Here's my ps..I need some help

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
dlee975
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 2:28 pm

Here's my ps..I need some help

Postby dlee975 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:45 pm

I'm writing on a very specific incident that has made we want to be an attorney. But in order to get to the incident, I want to set a history, however I feel like it is too long and I'm having trouble condensing it down. I have 10+ years of working experience that I was probably going to write about in my ds and not include so much in my ps. Any thoughts, critiques would be so well appreciated. It's hard to start writing again after such a long hiatus. :o

“I’ve decided to sell the machines for scrap metal.” I couldn’t believe it had come to this. Surely, this is not the way my parents had envisioned their entry into the golden years when they immigrated to the United States thirty six years earlier. The offer had come in the form of a fully managed vending business. Sure, a half million dollars was a high price to pay but these machines were going to revolutionize the vending industry as they rapidly dispensed instant cup noodles to the hungry masses. The saleswoman had allegedly acquired over 400 locations and contracts for these machines, primarily in university settings. My father thought that this was a great concept, and with that the decision was made: my father was going to be the owner of a vending business.

My parents immigrated to the United States in 1973 in a quest to fulfill my mother’s dreams of raising a family here. When she heard that nurses were in high demand in America, she enrolled in nursing school and received her degree as a registered nurse. My father wasn’t too excited about the idea of relocating. He had graduated from the prestigious Korean Military Academy and was determined to pursue a career in politics. Upon entering the army, he was quickly promoted and achieved the rank of captain, serving under the general who would later go on and become the 12th president of South Korea. But my mother had her way and my parents moved to America.

My mother began work at Georgia Baptist Hospital working the dreaded 7pm to 7am shift. My father discovered that all his accolades and honors from the Korean Army only qualified him as a night security guard at the local K-mart. But they worked diligently at their jobs to make a living for our family. My father then acquired a job at the Peachtree Plaza Hotel Sun Dial restaurant as a prep cook and soon found out that he had a certain talent in the kitchen. Within two years he was offered a position as one of the head chefs. Rather than accepting the position, he and my mother took their savings and decided to try out the restaurant business on their own. They signed a lease and started a little restaurant in downtown Atlanta serving breakfast and lunch. At an early age, my summers were spent learning the value of hard work from two of the most determined individuals America.

After 15 years of restaurant operation, my mother grew ill and my parents were forced to sell the restaurant. My mother stayed at home and I withdrew from school in order to assist in her care. I enrolled in correspondence courses to continue my education and relied on my mother to help me with many of my courses. Unfortunately, because of the language barrier, the assistance I received was limited and I became responsible for my own education at the age of 13. I worked diligently, and even though it took me a little bit longer I prepared myself to re-enter a more structured educational environment at a small Christian high school as a junior, one year behind schedule. Although re-entry was challenging, my years of home schooling had taught me invaluable lessons in self motivation and discipline. I tackled the courses and graduated with honors. Throughout college and the years leading up to now, those lessons have served as a guide and continue to give me the confidence to face life’s challenges, especially within these last two years.

In March of 2007, my father was propositioned by a member of his Bible study group to invest in a vending business. The machines were state of the art, capable of vending a variety of instant noodles, the hot water to cook them, and the eating utensils in a neat little package. The locations had been secured and the machines were going to be fully managed by the manufacturer’s management company. Before entering into the agreement, my father sought out the advice of some attorneys he was acquainted with but these individuals specialized mostly in taxes or real estate. He was referred to other English speaking business attorneys but was intimidated by the language barrier. So he went with his gut, and decided to invest half a million dollars into the business. After an upfront payment for 100 machines he received twenty machines and the saleswoman stopped answering his calls. The business turned out to be completely illegitimate. There were no locations in which to place the machines. There wasn’t any management company. I was living with my family in South Korea at the time I received a call from my mother asking me to come and help my father. My father, in desperation, had begun asking owners of local motels if he could install a machine on site and share the profits with them. Unable to imagine my father doing this at his age and after working so hard to secure a modest but comfortable retirement, I returned from Korea with one simple plan.

My plan was get the machines installed in some profitable locations to mitigate the loss of money incurred by the lease signed for the warehouse storage of the machines, a warehouse that was housing less than 20 machines. Working with several attorneys, we were able to secure 50 more machines bringing the total to 70. The remaining 30 machines owed to my father were never received and the manufacturer is no longer in business.

The vending business, as I soon discovered is highly protected with exclusive contracts between locations and the vending companies. However, after what seemed like thousands of phone calls and rejections, I made a breakthrough. I was able to make contact with Army and Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES) and proposed the idea of installing the vending machines onto military bases. They were excited at the prospect and because they did not enter into exclusive contracts with vending companies we were able to install the vending machines. We placed the machines in Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia and Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. The machines were a success but due to the poor design they began to break down. Without any type of support or available replacement parts we were forced to shut down after a year and a half of operation.

During my interactions with numerous attorneys, the recurring theme was the “should haves” and “could haves”. Sure, my father should have done many things differently but partly to blame was the lack of individuals and resources that were available to him specifically. And as I spoke with many individuals of the Korean-American community, I found that my father’s experience was not so unique. Many hard working individuals who have come to make a better life for themselves and their families are being taken advantage of by individuals exploiting the “hand-shake” way of doing business and the language gap that exists in many 1st and even 2nd generation immigrants. Atlanta has seen tremendous growth in the Korean community and according to some sources Metro Atlanta has the fastest growing Korean population in the country. There is an immediate need for attorneys who are both fluent in the Korean language and proficient at understanding the laws that are written in English. As an attorney, I would use the knowledge acquired during my 10 years of working experience along with my bilingual ability to educate the growing Korean community and to protect the hard earned interests of individuals from those who would so easily, without an ounce of remorse, take it away.

User avatar
rw2264
Posts: 314
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:59 am

Re: Here's my ps..I need some help

Postby rw2264 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:59 pm

you definitely need to cut down on the first part. you don't need to include everything, and you can include what you need to in about half as many words. most of it should go in your DS.
also, your DS should be about your parents' immigrant experience and yours as a second generation korean american... writing it about your work experience doesn't make much sense.
also, if you were simply going to mention your work experience in terms of reiterating your resume, you shouldn't write about it at all beyond explaining why you hope suddenly to become an attorney, assuming you aren't in the legal profession.

dlee975
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 2:28 pm

Re: Here's my ps..I need some help

Postby dlee975 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:27 pm

OK Thanks. I'm having some difficulty differentiating between a ps and ds. But I'm doing my research. :)

User avatar
OneSixtySix
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:40 am

Re: Here's my ps..I need some help

Postby OneSixtySix » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:00 am

It reads very well, but as the previous poster noted...the backstory is simply too drawn out. Your final two paragraphs provide an excellent rational to study law without pulling a "I always wanted to be a lawyer because...".




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.