PS- Second Draft....Please critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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jr8966
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PS- Second Draft....Please critique

Postby jr8966 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:30 pm

I rewrote my statement to give it a more PERSONAL feeling. Any comments are welcome. Thank you for taking the time to review. I am willing to do the same for anyone a little to shy to post.
************************************************************************

Imagine growing up without the rule of law. My rural neighborhood along the Texas Mexican border was like a town depicted in old Wild West movie. Gangs and drug dealers roamed free to manage their illicit activities while corrupt police officials turned a blind eye. My community was not best known for having law abiding citizens either. As Mexican Americans we lived side by side with undocumented immigrants, owed uncollectable debts, and former convicts were found in many households, including my own. As a result most residents shared a natural distrust of the law.

My perception of the legal system always differed slightly from my peers. As a young amateur historian, I was well aware of the rich legal history that my region shared at the forefront of the Hispanic rights movement. I read the triumphal stories of great Rio Grande Valley lawyers like J.T. Canales and M.C. Gonazales who had paved the way for a disenfranchised Latino population. Still, as hopeful as I remained it was difficult to ignore the politicized legal environment in Texas. Elected judges came with campaign promises, and outside political groups dominated the courts with agendas that were detrimental to my community’s interest. From the outside looking in I observed a legal system that bared little resemblance to the bastions of Latino reform in the 1930’s. While I understood the source of my community’s reservations towards law, I knew complacency was not option.

During my freshman year in college I pursued a fulltime paralegal position with a local law firm. I eagerly accepted the responsibility of preparing cases for trial as an opportunity to understand a legal system I avoided all of my life. With this new challenge I discovered a structured adversarial process full of hundreds of legal documents. I initially found formal legal writing to be incomprehensible and rigid. Ironically, it was within the confines of legalese where I discovered a more interpretive approach to the law. My habitual readings of casebooks revealed an analysis of law that transcended time and tradition. Compiling the puzzle pieces of the litigation process was forcing me to think with an open mind. So impartial, that words and sentences took on multiple meanings. Gaining a better understanding of the law was empowering, as I discovered opportunities for greater social good.

I took my newfound confidence and worked tirelessly. Each client’s file held a personal story of `hardship, but collectively they represented the same social barriers I overcame in my home region of the Rio Grande Valley. As part of the litigation team I was tasked with chronicling these unique situations through traditional legal tools. This at time required adaptive thinking. I had to view the law from two perspectives, one from a professional standpoint and another from my personal experience. Discussing the poor conditions of Colonias in South Texas to a defense firm from New York was like teaching a foreign language. While I dealt with many of these issues throughout my life, most legal professionals had a limited knowledge of these situations. I was able to overcome this barrier by finding common ground much like a lawyer does when searching for relevant cases. Colonias became “rural housing” issues and remittance fraud turned into “financial service abuse.” I felt fulfilled knowing that my work was in a small way shaping the legal system’s view of Latino issues.

My efforts did not go unnoticed. The firm rewarded my hard work by making me manager of the client intake division. This was an honor in our office as the paralegal responsible for this task was viewed as the highest performing. I was finally given an opportunity to share my new world with prospective clients with whom I could relate. Only two years earlier I had walked into the same law firm with no idea of the legal resources available to my community. For me this was a symbolic task as I would represent the first line of communication an individual would have with our legal system. I dutifully provided an attentive audience well aware that this simple action would go a long way in whittling the apathetic view many held in my community.
Representing a cause, interest, or individual before the court of law is the most honorable duties one can fulfill. I have carried this principle with me throughout my career in Washington, DC as a reminder that behind talking points and court decisions are people looking for answers. Obtaining a juris doctor will allow me to play a more proactive role in shaping public policies through legal action and ensure that those in need of representation receive an audience. Without my humble beginnings at that South Texas firm, law school would just be another opportunity rather than a life changing event.
Last edited by jr8966 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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gdane
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Re: PS- Second Draft....Please critique

Postby gdane » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:37 pm

Way too hyperbolic. Language is too extreme. Your last line where you say "A few lines on my resume do not succeed in demonstrating the impact the law has had in my life. Representing a cause, interest, or individual before the court of law is the most honorable duties one can fulfill." is unsubstantiated and extreme. Youre framing an opinion as something that is the case. You also come off as pretentious with your statement that a few lines on your resume dont tell the whole story.

The story at the beginning is weak. It made me laugh.

Theres too much fluff in this statement, especially in the beginning. The specific examples that you mention toward the end are good. The paralegal stuff is great. It demonstrates good work ethic.

Overall, this needs a lot of work. It's just way too exaggerated.

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jr8966
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Re: PS- Second Draft....Please critique

Postby jr8966 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:47 pm

Thanks...Keep the comments rolling.

Destined
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Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: PS- Second Draft....Please critique

Postby Destined » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:04 pm

my essay is nearly the exact same as yours haha

thank god sent it in a month ago!

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jr8966
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Re: PS- Second Draft....Please critique

Postby jr8966 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:40 pm

LOL!!! I need to incorporate some more personal elements then....Are you from Texas?

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jr8966
Posts: 86
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Re: PS- Second Draft....Please critique

Postby jr8966 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:41 pm

Keep the comments rolling...




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