Why Law? PS Draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Why Law? PS Draft

Postby sgp_lycee » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:13 pm

I wrote this PS for a school that specifically asked, "Why Law?" This is a first draft so any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I'm not sure about the ending.... or any of it really. Don't be kind!!


I could feel this dull ache spreading across the front of my forehead as I continued speaking with Mr. Kwon on the phone.

“So, are you saying that it’s okay for the school to not follow the contract?” I said this quietly and wondered again how I had come to this moment; fighting for something that was clearly stated in a contract that was signed by both me and the South Korean school I had dedicated two years of my life and that was trying to wrangle out of giving me an appropriate severance package.

I did not understand why I was trying to convince a lawyer that following a contract should be important. I did not understand how a school could so easily refuse to follow through with their side of a contract and no legal service could see why they had to be held accountable.

“No,” answered Mr. Kwon, “but I don’t think going to court would be a good thing. You should try speaking to your school.” Mr. Kwon said and I could feel my hope stop short again as another lawyer told me something that I did not want to believe.

I felt this helplessness that I did not think was possible. I was far from home and any one that could offer personal support. I was in a country that I did not speak the language fluently, and although every person I spoke to did speak English, it was as if we were speaking two different kinds of English.

After living in South Korea for two years, I thought I understood the inner workings of Korean social customs, but I had never tried anything dealing with contracts. I quickly realized that I was reading the words and hearing what people were saying as a foreigner and not as a Korean. I had yet to apply a social aspect to these words. And while I wanted to sit within the normal cultural acceptance, I still sought what was promised by the agreement.

I wanted to know why the law was flexible and what was meant by the words written so I extended my stay in South Korea indefinitely. I researched and asked questions to untangle this system of law, contracts and how these worked together within Korean society towards foreigners.

As a teacher, I was used to speaking for my students when they needed someone to protect them. I already knew what it meant to speak for a student who needed help even if parents did not want to hear it. Over the course of those four weeks, I learned to be my own advocate. And check twice every statement and word and then process it not only as an American but also what it meant in Korea.

I think understanding the concepts and the words behind law are what makes it tangible. As a high school social studies teacher, I taught government. And making it more than just a series of rules for students to memorize is a challenge. I felt removed from the actually laws that I taught because they had always seemed like an invisible force. It was during this situation in South Korea that the law stopped being an intangible and indecipherable force; I felt myself really see it and use it as tool.

I want to do this for others. I want to be able to untangle the jumbled words that law can be and I want to understand it and have the people that I represent also understand it. I want to be their advocate and be able to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.


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Re: Why Law? PS Draft

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:17 pm

I don't like the anecdote that makes up the bulk of your essay. It's too long and it sends the wrong message, because it describes a situation where being legalistic was completely futile. I'd try a totally different approach.


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Re: Why Law? PS Draft

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:36 pm

Not really a convincing essay as to why law school because it suggests that you may have been unable to understand the terms of your contract.


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Re: Why Law? PS Draft

Postby sgp_lycee » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:24 am

Thanks! I wasn't really sure about the topic, it was difficult for me to actually pinpoint an experience that I could use about law.

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