URM Personal Statement Critique

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URM Personal Statement Critique

Postby TLawannabe » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:21 pm

Hi everyone, this is my first draft i'd appreciate ANY help, suggestions.


Most people do not understand why I love public speaking, most find it out of human nature, but to understand would mean to look to my upbringing. My childhood was riddled with a number of experiences, from abuse to an impoverished upbringing; they have been the foundation for many of my decisions. By slowly crafting and sculpting me, these experiences have made me who I am today.

I learned at a young age that my family was different from those around me. As immigrants to the United States, we experienced the hardships of rebuilding our lives. We were one of three families crammed into a three-bedroom apartment in the Ghetto of south Florida. The stress my parents dealt with seemed only to be released onto me, in the form of physical and emotional abuse.

In my home it was as if I still lived in Jamaica, where children were to be seen but not heard, while at school I was an American Child, yearning for a mental escape. I found this escape through speaking, presenting stories to my classmates, creating jokes to tell the cafeteria workers, and often times telling the secrets of my life at home. My parents were not pleased with this, I was often told, “Shut-up, or I’ll wash your mouth out with soap” and “Do not speak unless I speak to you.” I was forced into silence and my mind became my playground. I spent my time reading about professional speakers, falling in love with becoming just like Chris Gardner and Donna Brazile and watching TED Talks for hours at a time.

It was not until college that I would be able to put my years of interest to work. The first moment I could, I took an open leadership position that would allow me to speak on behalf of an organization. My time spent with the XXXXXX was spent honing in on my speaking skills and practicing to make myself better. I had the opportunity to address groups of more than 100 as well as smaller intimate groups of 20; XXX gave me the outlet that I had been searching for.
My passion for speaking led me to seek out opportunities to challenge myself and enhance my skills. The Mock Trial team did that, for 3 years I have competed on the XXX Mock Trial Team as both an attorney and a witness character. I initially joined the trial team to use it as a platform to speak, but after a few months on the team I began to learn that my passion could be combined with a career as an attorney. I worked to build a case, speaking on behalf of my client. I delivered opening statements, direct examinations and conducted crosses on witnesses. Mock trial helped to strengthen my unwavering dedication. Although it was rewarding, I failed numerous times, I lost objection battles and had my opening statements torn apart by judges. The criticism I received helped to chip away at my weaknesses and build my character. I can relate my experience on the team with my life as a child, each time I was denounced by my parents I relied on my passion as a reminder to get me through each obstacle.

As an attorney I plan to combine my passion for public speaking with my legal education as a platform to speak for those who have lost their voice. As I look ahead to my legal career, I will continually call on the lessons of the trial team for inspiration and guidance. I believe my passion combined with those experiences will allow me to succeed not only in law school but in my legal career.

Although my childhood experiences were not ideal I refused to allow them to determine where I would end up. Collectively these life experiences have inspired my growth. They have molded my personality, motivation and dedication. Much like a carving of a sculpture, these experiences have carved away at my surface exposing ripened character and zeal; a zealousness that fuels me through my educational pursuits, and a steadfast character that will not to waver.

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