Is my public interest law theme effective? Please critique!

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clevermoose
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Is my public interest law theme effective? Please critique!

Postby clevermoose » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:44 pm

Hello and thank you for reading! This is my most recent draft. After hearing the comments of helpful people on TLS I have revised my PS and would love to read your critique!
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Personal Statement

The United States legal system can sometimes prove to be vicious for the underprivileged. At the ACLU National Prison Project in Washington, D.C., I would receive around twenty-five letters each day from prisoners who had suffered as a result of a difficulty with the legal system. The prisoners’ challenges often resulted from or were exacerbated by either by their command of the English language or their lack of funds for legal resources. Each day, the letters described horrific stories of abuse, malnourishment, healthcare neglect, and rape. The prisoners issued a plea for pro bono legal representation, but most letters, unfortunately, were answered with relevant but general legal information and apologies. Our office worked hard and passionately to advocate for mistreated prisoners and we were often successful when we accepted a case. However, the large majority who reached out for our help remained in their same conditions merely because we did not have the resources to help them.

This same trend occurred at my local Community Legal Information Center. We simply did not have the resources to address and remedy all of the suffering. My experience at both of these organizations left the same impression in my mind: our world needs more knowledgeable and tenacious individuals who are willing to devote their professional lives to the underprivileged. The need for public service organizations is dire, for the social benefits that result from the work is invaluable.

As a student who funds his education through financial aid and scholarships, I understand and greatly appreciate the value of programs that help those with need improve their lives. If it were not for the assistance of altruistic foundations, awards, or government programs, it would be incredibly difficult for me to obtain a high quality education. I have much to be thankful for because most of my education was made possible as a result of programs that help people in difficult life situations. In my case, I was helped because of my family’s financial difficulties.

Additionally, my exposure to the legal field must largely be credited to programs created by the University of California and local philanthropic organizations. For example, while participating in the UC Davis School of Law’s King Hall Outreach Program, I was exposed to the demands of legal education. I met with lawyers, judges, law school students, and professors to discover if the field of law was right for me and what kinds of law would interest me most. What most caught my interest were the public service clinics that allow students to experience the field of which they finds most interesting or important. This aspect of law school is incredibly exciting for me and I am eager to be a part of a law school that encourages its students to participate in public interest law with real world applications.

Throughout my educational experience, I have sought out opportunities in my own community and also abroad that focus on helping people receive the aid they need, whether it be with language acquisition, legal information, or even grant funding for special legal projects. While participating in these altruistic programs, I learned that one must have a strong devotion to their chosen field. Complementing this devotion, it is also necessary to have a consistent internal motivation to work on a strict schedule with a diligent attention to detail. In order for an organization to operate effectively, its members must be devoted to their cause and also work systematically. I believe that these are qualifications that I will espouse when attending law school and eventually as an advocate expanding the programs that have helped so many.

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clevermoose
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Re: Is my public interest law theme effective? Please critique!

Postby clevermoose » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:03 pm

shameless bump, and...

after reading this again: the ending is flat! does anyone have a suggestion for an ending?

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Tanicius
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Re: Is my public interest law theme effective? Please critique!

Postby Tanicius » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:12 pm

Real problem is with the beginning. I worked for a prisoner legal aid center myself this past summer, and I know what you're talking about; the adcomm reader has no such personal connection. You need to create one by telling a story. Right now you have, "I opened up letters from people who had it rough. This was sad to me." Boring, heard it all before. Recount briefly one of the pleas from these letters as a short introductory paragraph, and then jump into part of the personal statement that concerns you.

As for ending: Last paragraph is unnecessary.

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clevermoose
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Re: Is my public interest law theme effective? Please critique!

Postby clevermoose » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:57 pm

Good suggestion! I will definitely add a story paragraph. There is one particularly salient story that involved a man's penis splitting in two because of constant misapplication of a catheter. Is this inappropriate or too extreme of an example?

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Tanicius
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Re: Is my public interest law theme effective? Please critique!

Postby Tanicius » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:46 pm

clevermoose wrote:Good suggestion! I will definitely add a story paragraph. There is one particularly salient story that involved a man's penis splitting in two because of constant misapplication of a catheter. Is this inappropriate or too extreme of an example?


I would go with something else. Remember what you want to focus on, too. The point isn't, "Well, gee, some people in life sure have it miserable," but rather that they could be helped but aren't because not enough people are stepping up to the plate. How well you illustrate this point is a delicate matter; there's danger that you can distract the reader and frustrate them because you don't have a clear connection between this story and your actual desire to help the person.




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