Public Service/Immigration Law PS

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Eugenie Danglars
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Public Service/Immigration Law PS

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:49 pm

Thanks for reading. Any feedback is welcome.



“How do you spell love to your family?” asked the minister. He answered his own question, “T-I-M-E!” My five-year-old voice cut clearly across the silent church as I chimed in, “Actually, it’s L-O-V-E!” The “E” was a bit muffled as my horrified mother clamped her hand over her mouth, but fortunately the minister was amused and thanked me for my help. Even though I had not yet heard the Quaker maxim, “Speak truth to power,” I was beginning a life-long tradition of following it whole-heartedly. Whether it was organizing tutoring for ESL students in my high school being forced into unfair testing or wrestling with college administration to continue publication of a valuable course review guide, I’ve never had a problem with challenging authority when I believe that prevailing wisdom has failed. Although this tendency towards outspokenness can be problematic if it becomes petulant instead of productive, I believe that as I have grown older, I’ve learned which battles are worth fighting.

During my sophomore year of college in Spring 2007, I was a volunteer English teacher in Chelsea, MA, a mostly Hispanic immigrant city just across the river from Boston. In March of that year, a federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raid on a sewing factory in New Bedford, MA began to affect my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. In the grand scheme of human tragedy, the New Bedford raid was only a blip on the radar; as an example of the failure of our social service network and legal system, it was spectacular.

Through talking to relatives of people affected by the raid, reading the news, and doing a bit of research into immigration law, I made a serious of startling revelations. I learned that many people detained in the raid signed their own deportation orders, quite possibly out of confusion, fear, and lack of advocacy. At least one man was mistakenly and unlawfully deported after being detained in the raid. These revelations contradicted many of the things that I had believed and held dear about the American justice system. I continued teaching English because I still believed in the value of education as a tool for newly arrived Americans, but I was no longer satisfied with a potential career as an educator. I felt the urge to do more, and when I attended a seminar on immigration law basics for English teachers, I realized that becoming an attorney could be my chance to do just that.

Immigration is one of the biggest problems facing our country, and not simply politically and legally. Immigrants, both those in status and those out of status, are often excellent targets for criminals who know they are unlikely to call the police if they are attacked. Many immigrants avoid going to doctors for fear they will call immigration authorities to detain them for some offense, real or imagined. Our immigration system is cumbersome and classist, among other things. Everyone agrees that the system is broken, but no one does anything about it. I plan to change that. Perhaps that sounds arrogant or even foolish, but I see no reason why one person who is both passionate and prepared can’t effect positive change. Please give me the training I need to reach these goals by admitting me to _______________. This is an area where I can speak truth to power, and law is the language I need to learn to do so effectively.

ChicagoRambler89
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Re: Public Service/Immigration Law PS

Postby ChicagoRambler89 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:45 am

Eugenie Danglars wrote:Thanks for reading. Any feedback is welcome.



“How do you spell love to your family?” asked the minister. He answered his own question, “T-I-M-E!” My five-year-old voice cut clearly across the silent church as I chimed in, “Actually, it’s L-O-V-E!” The “E” was a bit muffled as my horrified mother clamped her hand over her mouth, but fortunately the minister was amused and thanked me for my help. Even though I had not yet heard the Quaker maxim, “Speak truth to power,” I was beginning a life-long tradition of following it whole-heartedly. Whether it was organizing tutoring for ESL students in my high school being forced into unfair testing or wrestling with college administration to continue publication of a valuable course review guide, I’ve never had a problem with challenging authority when I believe that prevailing wisdom has failed. Although this tendency towards outspokenness can be problematic if it becomes petulant instead of productive, I believe that as I have grown older, I’ve learned which battles are worth fighting.

During my sophomore year of college in Spring 2007, I was a volunteer English teacher in Chelsea, MA, a mostly Hispanic immigrant city just across the river from Boston. In March of that year, a federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raid on a sewing factory in New Bedford, MA began to affect my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. In the grand scheme of human tragedy, the New Bedford raid was only a blip on the radar; as an example of the failure of our social service network and legal system, it was spectacular.

Through talking to relatives of people affected by the raid, reading the news, and doing a bit of research into immigration law, I made a serious of startling revelations. I learned that many people detained in the raid signed their own deportation orders, quite possibly out of confusion, fear, and lack of advocacy. At least one man was mistakenly and unlawfully deported after being detained in the raid. These revelations contradicted many of the things that I had believed and held dear about the American justice system. I continued teaching English because I still believed in the value of education as a tool for newly arrived Americans, but I was no longer satisfied with a potential career as an educator. I felt the urge to do more, and when I attended a seminar on immigration law basics for English teachers, I realized that becoming an attorney could be my chance to do just that.

Immigration is one of the biggest problems facing our country, and not simply politically and legally. Immigrants, both those in status and those out of status, are often excellent targets for criminals who know they are unlikely to call the police if they are attacked. Many immigrants avoid going to doctors for fear they will call immigration authorities to detain them for some offense, real or imagined. Our immigration system is cumbersome and classist, among other things. Everyone agrees that the system is broken, but no one does anything about it. I plan to change that. Perhaps that sounds arrogant or even foolish, but I see no reason why one person who is both passionate and prepared can’t effect positive change. Please give me the training I need to reach these goals by admitting me to _______________. This is an area where I can speak truth to power, and law is the language I need to learn to do so effectively.


Eugenie D.,

Your message is strong, and you make a good case for admission to law school. You have practical experience and the willingness to help the disadvantaged. That being said, I think -- and others may certainly disagree -- your final paragraph exudes pretentiousness, as if you and only you are equipped to tackle immigration reform and affect change. You say "no one has done anything about" immigration law or reform; and that you see "no reason why one person who is both passionate and prepared can't effect positive change." Tune this differently, because you're discounting the fact that people have indeed enacted and reformed immigration law(s) in America; and that some others who have dealt with immigration law/reform have been and are "both passionate and prepared"; and that immigration reform is an onerous and cumbersome task in and of itself, and some passionate and prepared lawyers have not had success affecting change.

Technically, I'd add some commas here (second one is optional): "Whether it was organizing tutoring for ESL students in my high school, being forced into unfair testing, or wrestling with college administration to continue publication of a valuable course review guide, I’ve never had a problem with challenging authority when I believe that prevailing wisdom has failed."

In addition, I think you should mention the age/grade-level of the school where you taught and change "began to affect" to 'affected my life in ways...'

Try putting this, "In the grand scheme of human tragedy, the New Bedford raid was only a blip on the radar; as an example of the failure of our social service network and legal system, it was spectacular," in between "held dear about the American justice system." AND "I continued..." Start a new paragraph at "I continued...":

"During my sophomore year of college in Spring 2007, I was a volunteer English teacher in Chelsea, MA, a mostly Hispanic immigrant city just across the river from Boston. In March of that year, a federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raid on a sewing factory in New Bedford, MA began to affect my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

Through talking to relatives of people affected by the raid, reading the news, and doing a bit of research into immigration law, I made a serious of startling revelations. I learned that many people detained in the raid signed their own deportation orders, quite possibly out of confusion, fear, and lack of advocacy. At least one man was mistakenly and unlawfully deported after being detained in the raid. These revelations contradicted many of the things that I had believed and held dear about the American justice system. In the grand scheme of human tragedy, the New Bedford raid was only a blip on the radar; as an example of the failure of our social service network and legal system, it was spectacular.


I continued teaching English because I still believed in the value of education as a tool for newly arrived Americans, but I was no longer satisfied with a potential career as an educator. I felt the urge to do more, and when I attended a seminar on immigration law basics for English teachers, I realized that becoming an attorney could be my chance to do just that."

Change "serious of startling revelations" to: series of...

Good luck!

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Eugenie Danglars
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Re: Public Service/Immigration Law PS

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:22 am

That's helpful. Thanks very much!

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eliekedourie
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Re: Public Service/Immigration Law PS

Postby eliekedourie » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:23 am

It's a good topic. What worries me is that you cite an anecdote from your sophomore year of college and nothing more recent. If I were an adcomm member i'd look at your resume/CV and if you had no more volunteer experience working with immigrant communities or at least serious coursework dealing with the subject, I would consider your PS to be a big lie. I'm not saying this to be a jerk, but I've seen a ton of PSs on TLS where people make huge claims about their commitment to niche subject because of one thing that happened to them years ago. Often, they have not actually shown any real commitment to the issue in terms of work or volunteer experience. Take a long look at your resume and if you can't back up your claim to be committed to immigrant rights issues with additional work/volunteer experience, then you need to scrap this PS topic because it will come off as phony. If you do have the experience, you need to incorporate that into your PS.

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Eugenie Danglars
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Re: Public Service/Immigration Law PS

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:20 am

Thanks. You make avoid point. I will try yo work in other experiences. From my resume it is clear this isn't a one time thing. I ran a summer camp for immigrant teens junior summer , and I have unbroken esl on my resume since I was fifteen. But this is not clear from my statement and it should be. Thanks so much!

Please excuse any typos; I'm on my mobile.

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Sinra
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Re: Public Service/Immigration Law PS

Postby Sinra » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:34 am

....
Last edited by Sinra on Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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crysmissmichelle
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Re: Public Service/Immigration Law PS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:29 pm

But what have you done that has to do with immigration?

Just read about it? Think it's unfair? What have you done so far to learn about it, practice it?

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Eugenie Danglars
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Re: Public Service/Immigration Law PS

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:03 am

crysmissmichelle wrote:But what have you done that has to do with immigration?

Just read about it? Think it's unfair? What have you done so far to learn about it, practice it?


Okay, so from your comments and that above, I"m adding back the paragraph about why I ijoined the Peace Corps (it ties in, and it's recent). Other immigration stuff is readily apparent on my resume.

Thanks again for all the feedback, everyone :-)

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Snoring Meatball
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Re: Public Service/Immigration Law PS

Postby Snoring Meatball » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:40 pm

Your aspirations are adminrable, but as someone who has had considerable involvement in immigration issues, I'm worried that you haven't done enough in the area to really know you want to work in it. Some of the statements also sound a little naive to me. If you have more immigration involvement and this is truly what you want to do, I think you have a good start. I like the bit about the New Bedford ICE raid-- it does sound like that was your impetus for learning about the issue.

Everyone agrees that the system is broken, but no one does anything about it. I plan to change that.

Not unless you're elected to the U.S. Senate and get Lindsey Graham and John McCain to help draft a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

Perhaps that sounds arrogant or even foolish, but I see no reason why one person who is both passionate and prepared can’t effect positive change.

It sounds both those things. It's politics. It is incredibly difficult to pass immigration legislation that pleases both sides and doesn't infuriate the public. The 2006 and 2007 bills were considerable efforts, but both ultimately failed. The amendment process and public opinion are killer.




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