Four years ago I pumped $2.00 worth of gas into a 1989 Honda Accord and headed thirty miles to Grambling State University; that day I became the first member of my family to go to college This accomplishment was the product of extensive contemplation of what I had to gain versus what I currently had: a lineage of uneducated ancestors and chances of inheriting the tradition of living paycheck to paycheck. Thus bettering me was something that needed to be done and college was proof positive that I was not a product of my environment but better because of it.
Life in the ghetto gave me a sense of reality as I saw life in its most vulnerable form and the people within it, including me, suffering as its product. As I witnessed a man die in the street people crowded around him as he took his last breath with hours passing before the ambulance arrived to peel him off the street. Witnessing more subtle forms of violence, I longed to see things made right.
The lack of education of the ghetto’s citizens manufactured an array of conditions. My own family whose roots began in slavery is a perfect example. My grandmother had a third grade education, and my grandfather never went to school. My mom only received a high school education and my father was a career felon, a murderer and a drug dealer. Because of this lack of education, my family suffered through life, depending on food stamps and having to decide whether we would have electricity or Christmas presents. The filthy smell of poverty, the cold winters without electricity and refrigerating food in the window sills, all made me feel apprehensive about plans to continue in the footsteps of others who had decided school was unnecessary. Contrary to my direction in life, I instead considered my life to be one in which I exhausted myself for the wellbeing of others.
I trust that my collegiate career has accomplished the act of meshing my ambition with substance. I want with all my heart to be a part of a system whose job is to implement laws and mandates for the well being of its constituents. Working as an intern for the Louisiana State Representative and attorney Richard J. Gallot, Jr. was the first step in cementing my ambition. Working as an intern in his office gave me a sense of appreciation for the ideals of justice and for the work involved in making sure that the laws were carried out and applied.
I also appreciated the professionalism and the fact that I learned about the law hands on. That measure of professionalism, the seriousness of law, and the seriousness of purpose are all reasons why I wish to pursue a career in law, and these elements are ones in I believe are incorporated into FAMU’s law school where I aspire to study. The diverse student body, bar passage rate and student to teacher ratio are all reasons why I believe FAMU and I to be a perfect match!
With my education, I will give myself to the legal system as a steward of the law. I wish to bring to the table a fresh perspective as an advocate against race, class, religious and sex based discrimination. I hope that with my education I can implement programs to educate people about the law in ways that the common person can understand and to make laws more straightforward.
I trust that my life illustrates a selfless duty to community by first educating myself and by dedicating the next few years of my life to learning the law and working to make society a safer place. However, my duty to the community has strengthened my resolve to study law at a premier institution so that I may be qualified to transform a mere theory into fruition: implementing a safer society by applying legal training, perspective, experience and compassion.
(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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