Please critique my Personal Statement! (Boston Law Schools)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
crgrs359
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:55 pm

Please critique my Personal Statement! (Boston Law Schools)

Postby crgrs359 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:35 pm

“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone…and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one another that creates something”- Justice Sandra Day O’ Connor

As I stared at the incoming news reports, I felt both a sense of defeat and a hint of sadness. The Supreme Court of the United States has just crowned George W. Bush America’s next President. As an eleven year old, it was the first time I had ever followed an election or considered the democratic process. While I was unaware of the nature of the court and what it stood for, I did become cognizant of its enormous power, of the degree of influence it possessed over some of the most important issues of the day.
While my political views were just beginning to take shape, I knew that as a young person I could have very little impact over the electoral process; I was not old enough to vote. Yet I made a commitment to make something of my own convictions, to channel my beliefs about health care, education, international diplomacy, and social welfare into some sort of tangible action. At thirteen years old, my father dropped me on a street corner to hold signs for Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Shannon O’Brien. As I became more involved in that campaign, many of my young peers questioned my actions and considered them somewhat irrational. In what way could a thirteen year old contribute to the political process? Yet, somehow, I remained confident, I chose to maintain a belief that my actions, as limited in nature as they may have been, could make some meaningful impact on the democratic process.
My initial interest in the study of law can probably be most accurately described as a cursory extension of my passion for politics. From my perspective, the law represented a perfect avenue through which I could proliferate my interests in debate and advocacy. In retrospect, I had a very incomplete formulation of what a true conception of the law entails.
Upon enrolling at New York University, I followed what I perceived to be a logical trajectory towards pre-law studies. In my junior year, I was required to take a course in Civil Liberties. While the vast amount of reading associated with the course was at times overwhelming, I became enthralled by many of the court cases I was required to read. In the spirit of full disclosure, what struck me most about each and every case was that at the basis of each were real people. Young people seeking improved access to education. Oppressed minorities speaking citizenship or land rights. Public advocates seeking protection of their fundamental rights to free speech under the first amendment. In each and every case. I got a sense of the inherent power of the law, how the many unique components of our legal system and our constitution can possess such enormous potential to affect the lives of so many individuals.
In the course of my studies, and in subsequent courses, a number of U.S. Supreme Court cases have had a formidable influence on my understanding of the potential of the law. In Schenck v. United States, the court’s establishment of boundaries articulating requirements for limiting free speech brought me to the realization that prior to this ruling, the U.S. Government was able to exercise far more discretion in censoring the voices of valid political dissidents. In Botillier vs. Dominguez, I was alarmed as the court used its jurisdiction to deny a title possessing Mexican-American land holder his property on the basis of a legally complicated formula for asserting land claims in conjunction with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Equally as critical was the court’s ruling et al v. Westminster School District, in which the court effectively put an end to veiled racial classifications of public school students, enlightening me to the court’s ability to not only set the tone for contemporary aspects of society, but for the future of the nation’s children as well.
For the past four years, I have worked as a tutor in a second grade classroom on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in conjunction with the America Reads/ America Counts Program. The educational facilities of P.S. 110 are older, the local neighborhood somewhat intimidating, and the people who volunteer have very little. Yet inside the school’s walls are some of the brightest, most competent young people one could expect to encounter in any elementary school across the country. Their potential seems to know no foreseeable ceiling, and their talents strike me with a sense of awe on a daily basis. These students come from a diversity of ethnic, socio-economic and familial backgrounds. Many will not be afforded the opportunity to continue their academic careers beyond high school due to economic constraints. It is these young people, and countless individuals like them, who need a voice.
My interest in the study of law as it exists today has been forged by a multitude of factors. Yet, its evolution is a fundamental one. Initially, my interest the law represented a realm in which I could give life to some of my personal passions: argument, debate, a forum for the discussion of relevant issues in contemporary society. Today, that interest revolves around a belief that my career in law can be utilized as a tool to help represent the interests of others. As I have come to more fully understand, the nature of the law, of our court system and of our constitution is an undeniably powerful one. While I am realistic in assuming that my prospective future as an attorney might not change lives or give way to instantaneous social justice, I am confident that I can make a meaningful contribution to our society, to be a small voice for the interests of those who are down trodden in our world and need some sort of an engine through which they might achieve their own potential.
Eight years ago, I held a sign on a street corner trying in some small way to translate my convictions into action. Today, it is my very conviction that the law is the critical means by which the interests, convictions, and hopes of so many can be brought to fruition. It is the tapestry of my own experiences which has forged my desire to become a public interest lawyer.

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3|ink
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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Please critique my Personal Statement! (Boston Law Schools)

Postby 3|ink » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:46 am

I liked everything but the first paragraph. The politics don't bother me, but I could see how it might come off the wrong way. Assuming only liberals read this (which will probably be the case), they may think that you're trying to appeal to their political affiliations to win them over. I personally think you'd be better off employing subtlety. Remove any hint of your political preferneces, but keep your volunteer work in there. It won't be hard for them to figure out which side you're on anyway.

Edit: Oh. And drop the quote. You're good enough at writing, so you don't need to borrow anyone elses words.

crgrs359
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Please critique my Personal Statement! (Boston Law Schools)

Postby crgrs359 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:34 am

Thanks 3|ink. As you can see, I also need to cut down on the ridiculous length, so I'm all for any advice that involves removal lol




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