Another NT personal statement....please and thank you :)

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Another NT personal statement....please and thank you :)

Postby raperez129 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:57 pm

I am a bit worried about the length..... :?

Who I am
First impressions take less than thirty seconds. However, there was a time when most people made their assumptions about me in less than ten seconds. It was always the same. A stranger’s face would declare both disappointment and lack of expectation, followed by condolences instead of congratulations. This was the reaction I received from nearly everyone I encountered, from course instructors, to the checkout girl at the grocery store. I was eighteen, just out of high school and pregnant; a stereotypical “waste” to society.
Like most parents, my father wanted more for his children than he had for himself. My mother gave birth to me when she was just seventeen. After my mother left, my father raised me and my two younger siblings as a single father. He had a limited high school education, but he worked hard to provide us with what we needed. Growing up, I did well in school. In high school, I made excellent grades and earned the position of Yearbook Editor my junior year. My father was very proud of me for my academic accomplishments.
When it was time for college I planned to work and attend community college for two years, then transfer to a university to complete my degree. No one in my extended family had completed college and so I was to be the first. However, before I attended my first college course, I learned I was pregnant. It broke my father’s heart, and I saw him cry for the first time in my life. My father told me I must either place my baby for adoption, or live a ruined life away from him. I agreed to place my baby for adoption, but I secretly made plans to live on my own. Meanwhile, as my belly grew, I worked full-time at a restaurant and continued my college courses, feeling a million miles away and a thousand years older than the girls around me.
In order to provide for my daughter and myself, I relied on every available public program or resource I could find, such as food stamps, public housing, subsidized daycare, and Salvation Army Christmas. It took several years of work, but I accomplished everything I set out to accomplish, and I did it while raising my daughter. The day I walked down “The Hill” in 2000 and received my degree from the University of Kansas, I saw my father cry for the second time in my life, and I did not want to live my life away from him anymore.
Today when I see a young pregnant girl, I know too well the difficult road ahead she will face. I wish I could stop for a moment and tell her all the things I know now about myself. I want to tell her she is smart and valuable, that she can accomplish everything she commits to and I have so much hope for her. I know her, because I was her.
Why I want to attend law school
A few weeks ago I was sitting among a group of students considering law school. At one point we were asked to introduce ourselves and tell why we want to go to law school. I was taken aback by some of the more frequent responses. For example “I like to argue,” “I want to make lots of money” and perhaps most disturbing, “My parents told me that I was going to go to either med school or law school, and I didn’t think I could get into med school.” I confess to nursing a broken heart at the inevitability that some with less exalted motives will undoubtedly be chosen for law school ahead of me, when my sincere and honest reason for wanting to go to law school is because I want to be a better person, achieve more in my career, and serve people in my community who need legal help. I find inspiration in U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s appointment to this country’s highest court. From her humble beginnings, to her public service and her tireless community support, she epitomizes someone who has used her legal career as a vehicle to serve and benefit others, and I want to attend law school so I can be in a position do the same with my career.
For the last 10 years I have worked full-time as a Paralegal, and in recent years my work has focused on the area of Immigration Law. I feel drawn to this area of law because of the philosophical discussion it engages on the meaning of U.S. citizenship. My grandparents were born outside of the U.S., yet my parents, and my siblings and I feel as rooted in the country as those who are fortunate enough to trace their genealogy to the Mayflower. Every day I work with foreign nationals searching for a better life through schooling, or who seek to begin a professional career in the U.S. with the goal of offering their families a life with much more opportunity than they are afforded in their home countries. I enjoy my work, and I feel a personal connection with Immigration Law because these people are risking everything they have known to come to the U.S. to accomplish something which will improve their future. I know very well how it feels to be in that situation. They are my grandparents, and they are me.
I am of Hispanic origins, but I consider myself multicultural. I have gone to affluent suburban schools, I have lived in predominantly minority communities, and I have worked in a multitude of socially and economically diverse workplaces, comfortably flowing from one world to the next. I believe it is this exposure to diverse perspectives which will prove to be a great value to me in law school, in my legal career, and in sustaining the ability to view and judge situations objectively.
My Potential for Success
I believe my potential for success in law school will be evident from my background and by evaluating my growth in maturity and skill sets over the last 10 years. The attorneys for whom I work and those who have mentored me a great deal have written letters to attest to my ability to effectively analyze data, interpret information, and make inferences about legal concepts. Being a lawyer is much more than knowing the law and surviving the academic environment of law school. Real life application of legal procedures can take many forms, and as a Paralegal, I have already been taught many of the skills which new lawyers must take time to learn right out of law school. Furthermore, pursuing my MBA later in life, rather than right after undergraduate studies meant I had to make “real world” sacrifices to make this advanced degree possible. This, in turn, forced me to prioritize my goals and allowed me to be more focused and dedicated to my studies, which will continue to carry over to my studies in law school. Considering my achievements to date, I see no reason why I would not achieve similar success in law school.
Perhaps the most important factor contributing to my potential success in law school is that I have the full support of my family. My husband and I have been married for almost five years and we have two more children. We all understand this endeavor will require a significant commitment of time and resources for our entire family. There may be a t-ball game I will miss, a cheer competition I can not attend, or a vacation that may need to be put on hold, but we all agree we are ready to make these sacrifices. These sacrifices are worth the opportunity to further my accomplishments, make my children proud, and demonstrate for them that with hard work, commitment, and education, anything is possible. And as my father before me, I want more for my children than I had for myself.
Ten years ago, I was a 20-something single mother struggling to finish an undergraduate degree. Six years ago I was, by some measure, a more mature single mother, succeeding in an MBA program. Four years ago I relocated to Houston to continue my career in the legal field. Keeping on my path, two years from now, I see myself as a student flourishing in law school. It may even be, at that point, I will see my father cry for the third time in my life, as he shares his joy for my continued accomplishments. I have consistently demonstrated that I see my endeavors through to the end and I expect law school and my legal career will be no different. I see my possibilities as endless.

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Re: Another NT personal statement....please and thank you :)

Postby glmn01 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:11 pm

So I am bored and have too much spare time. These are my suggestions. Please keep in mind that they are just suggestions/my opinion. Last year, when I was having my friends and professors read my PS, I tended to get a little upset/ticked off when people made suggestions that I didn't agree with. PLEASE don't be like me. (LOL)

2nd sentence: "declare both disappointment and lack of expectation" This is kinda awkward. maybe say: disappointment and A lack of expectation (but it begs the question of what expectation they are lacking of you... financial expectations? Education-related expectations? I think you should either change it or expand on what you mean)

2nd paragraph: "After my mother left, my father raised me and my two younger siblings as a single father." This is repetitive. (father raised...single father) how about: my father raised a single parent?

2nd paragraph: "He had a limited high school education", (what does that mean! Did he graduate HS or not?)

"Growing up, I did well in school. In high school, I made excellent grades and earned the position of Yearbook Editor my junior year." (The first sentence is too short, I would make a compound sentence out of what you have. Also, what constitutes "excellent grades" I would either put your GPA in their or say that you made honor role all the time or something...)

"No one in my extended family had completed college and so I was to be the first." Also kind of awkward: "I was to be the first" (I would change it)

2nd paragraph again: I know that saying that you felt like you were 1,000 years older is a hyperbole but I think a more realistic exaggeration would be better received. Maybe say that you felt 20 years older or something.

I'm done for now. let me know if you like my suggestions so far. I would be more than happy to add more but I don't know what type of person you are in terms of whether you appreciate the critique or not. PM me if you would like more...

Thanks and good luck!

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Re: Another NT personal statement....please and thank you :)

Postby raperez129 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:50 pm

Thanks for being bored. :mrgreen:

Muwa! You are the best. I like your suggestions. Off to work some in....

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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:40 pm

Re: Another NT personal statement....please and thank you :)

Postby Antigone » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:06 pm

First of all, I must say your story is amazing. You are amazing. I like everything that you discuss in this statement, from your struggles as a teen mom, to your experiences working in immigration law. You have a really unique story and you have composed it in a very clear and passionate way. I think one of my favorite parts is when you are talking about the support of your family and about the sacrifices you (and they) are willing to make. This really sets you apart from all the young gunners that are going to law school because they have nothing better to do, or because of some bullshit idea about privilege/wealth, etc. It is clear that your intentions are good and that you are in it for the long haul.

The length is a bit long, but I know with some revisions you can "cut the fat" and make it fit the length requirements of most schools. Keep working on it, and if this is just your initial draft, I would love to read the final product.

Best of luck to you and your family!

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