Career Switcher PS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Career Switcher PS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:19 pm

Thank you for taking a moment to read my PS. Please don't quote pieces in replies. I would really like to take it down after a short period online.

I am a career switcher, out of undergrad for 7 years, with a Master's in my current field. This PS is intended to explain why I decided to switch. It is okay (word-limit-wise) for one of the schools I'm applying to, but 300'ish words too long for another.

*Please check out the revision below. It has changed a lot!*
Last edited by crysmissmichelle on Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:32 pm

pretty please?

User avatar
deadpoetnsp
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:57 pm

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby deadpoetnsp » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:10 pm

The story you have outlined in your SOP is touching. What is does not say is how your academic background makes you a strong contender for law school. Yes, you have a strong motivation and passion for law. But you also need to to show that you have an aptitude for it, and this is what you should add to your SOP. The fact that you have done a lot of self-study of immigration law and are moderating forums indeed helps, but you can make your academic case stronger. Maybe you can add a few lines about how your academic training also taught you skills that are important for the study of law. And a few lines indicating that you will have a sustained interest in the legal career later in life.

I did also try to see which sentences you can eliminate to get the shorter SOP you need for some schools, but I was not able to remove parts without taking away important parts of the whole story. I will think a bit about it and get back.

User avatar
crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:13 pm

Thank you! I was having the same problem with eliminating lines. I'm actually thinking the closing paragraph would have to go to make things stay cohesive but within the limits.

My educational background doesn't do much legal-wise. I was a language major and did a Master's in Teaching. I'm hoping that all of the "extra" responsibilities in each of my jobs and volunteer work will show them my organizational aptitude and ability to "multi-task." I'm specifically trying to highlight those things hard with my work experience.

Thank you again.

User avatar
3|ink
Posts: 7331
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby 3|ink » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:20 pm

The good:

This is a fantastic story with a lot of potential. This is perfect for a law school personal statement IMO.

The bad:

There's a lot in here you can do without. The description of the ceiling in the first paragraph is a bit much.

Overall:

If I were you, I'd focus on your transition throughout this. If I read this correctly, the large file for your husband's case represents mostly your work, right? Essentially, the large file represents the effort you have put in to getting him into the states. Perhaps you should mention the file in the first paragraph. You're in the immigration office waiting for your meeting and seeing the file reminds you of what you've been through to get to where you are.

In the subsequent paragraphs, map out your transition sequentially from crying to your attorney to writing letters to congressmen, citing immigration law and helping people find legal representation.

Finish with a paragraph tying immigration law to your passion for law in general. Say that you want to study immigration law in relation to law in general. You haven't done this yet, but make sure you don't say anything like "I plan to reform immigration law some day".

User avatar
crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:36 pm

I like the idea of starting with standing at the desk, seeing the file, it has description potential. I'm glad to hear that it sounds like a good idea for a PS though, because I've been reworking the topic for so long now, and telling it in different ways. . . .The topic just seems boring to me right now. . .

I would never presume to talk about reforming the law, lol, most of the problems right now are in executing the laws as they are. . .and I'm not starting a debate on illegal immigration, the legal system is f-ed to sh. . . .

Anyway, thank you. I am going to have to try to see if I can work a scenario starting with the file. . . .it was the most satisfying sight of the experience, I admit.

User avatar
vegenator
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:41 pm

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby vegenator » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:11 pm

PMed

User avatar
Shooter
Posts: 474
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:39 am

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby Shooter » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:42 pm

Very good, but the first sentence of the second paragraph uses "finally" twice. You might wanna fix that. Otherwise, this is better than the majority of statements I've read. If you left it as is, you'd probably be fine. If you improved it using the advice that some of the posters here mentioned, it will be even better (although I liked the description of the ceiling).

User avatar
crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:52 pm

Thank you, for some reason, that stupid ceiling haunts me, lol. I even took a picture of it. . .couldn't believe the weirdness of the whole thing, it was seriously just as described.

ifigotoschool
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:53 am

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby ifigotoschool » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:24 am

.
Last edited by ifigotoschool on Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:32 am

I'm thinking of ways to get rid of it, trying to incorporate the advice and make everything flow better. I'm glad that the story seems a good choice though.

User avatar
crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:06 pm

Does this seem to be too much change? It is at 517 words and it needs to be less than 500 for one of the schools. I took out the closing paragraph. . .it seemed really, really out of place.




The Border Patrol Agent stepped away from his computer for just a moment allowing me a quick glance at the thick stack of papers revealing the contents of the mystery envelope. It arrived the week before at my husband’s apartment in Canada. I opened it giddily, like a child at Christmas. The envelope arrived, along with my husband’s passport, in an Express Mailer with security taping and “Do Not Open” seals all around it. I opened the passport immediately searching for the visa. I had to touch it to make sure it was real. I ran my fingers over the paper and felt ridges of the print and security seals.

Now, in the customs office, the documents were separated so I could see them. It was a thick stack of my work, letters to consular officials, applications documenting our paper voyage through Citizenship and Immigration to the National Visa Center, from one consulate to the next for security checks, waiver applications, and congressional inquiries. Because of my work, I would finally get to live in the same country with my husband. I could go to work knowing that I would not have to fly to another country every time I got a few days off. I would no longer be compelled to troll online immigration forums and read and reread the Immigration and Nationality Act. I could stop drafting letters to Congressmen and I could stop stalking the Department of State inquiry line, whose number I had memorized.

Our case was a complicated one. My husband is a Pakistani born Canadian citizen. He and I were detained at the border while trying to enter together for a visit in January, 2005. The border agent took one look at the Pakistani visa in his passport and sent us to secondary inspection. We were questioned for more than nine hours before the officer decided to invoke an, “Expedited Removal.” The effect of this is much the same as deportation by an immigration judge, with a few differences. An expedited removal carries half the ban as a deportation by an immigration judge, five years instead of ten. There is no appeal and no court has jurisdiction over the decision. There is no right to an attorney and no time to argue your case. The decision has very little requirement for proof. All who appear at the United States border are assumed to be “intending immigrants,” and that is all it takes. M was deported without even being inside the United States.

I spent most of my first legal consultation crying. The attorney was thorough, but painted a picture I was not ready to handle. It was too much truth all at once. Over the course of researching and fighting our case, I went from the crying girl in the attorney’s office to someone able to quote immigration law from memory. Able to fight the consulate when in error, they demanded two different waivers when only one was legally necessary. I became someone who, after consulting six different prominent attorneys, was completely unable to hand the case over to anyone.


User avatar
deadpoetnsp
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:57 pm

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby deadpoetnsp » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:00 am

This flows much better and is a compact story and a quick read! I can't point to anything wrong with it.

User avatar
crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:27 am

deadpoetnsp wrote:This flows much better and is a compact story and a quick read! I can't point to anything wrong with it.


Thank you so much! :)

Does it seem easy to understand? I'm worried that I may leave out important explanations with the edits.

Saltqjibo
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:47 pm

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby Saltqjibo » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:40 am

pretty good! at first I didn't understand which border you were at and who was getting half-deported

User avatar
crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:50 pm

Saltqjibo wrote:pretty good! at first I didn't understand which border you were at and who was getting half-deported


Did it become clearer? or was it difficult to understand?

User avatar
deadpoetnsp
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:57 pm

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby deadpoetnsp » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:52 pm

crysmissmichelle wrote:
deadpoetnsp wrote:This flows much better and is a compact story and a quick read! I can't point to anything wrong with it.


Thank you so much! :)

Does it seem easy to understand? I'm worried that I may leave out important explanations with the edits.


Yes, it is easy to understand, and I cannot no obvious gap in the narrative leaps out.

User avatar
3|ink
Posts: 7331
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby 3|ink » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:02 pm

crysmissmichelle wrote:Does this seem to be too much change? It is at 517 words and it needs to be less than 500 for one of the schools. I took out the closing paragraph. . .it seemed really, really out of place.




The Border Patrol Agent stepped away from his computer for just a moment allowing me a quick glance at the thick stack of papers revealing the contents of the mystery envelope. It arrived the week before at my husband’s apartment in Canada. I opened it giddily, like a child at Christmas. The envelope arrived, along with my husband’s passport, in an Express Mailer with security taping and “Do Not Open” seals all around it. I opened the passport immediately searching for the visa. I had to touch it to make sure it was real. I ran my fingers over the paper and felt ridges of the print and security seals.

Now, in the customs office, the documents were separated so I could see them. It was a thick stack of my work, letters to consular officials, applications documenting our paper voyage through Citizenship and Immigration to the National Visa Center, from one consulate to the next for security checks, waiver applications, and congressional inquiries. I would finally get to live in the same country with my husband. Because of my work, my husband could finally live with me in the US. I could go to work knowing that I would not have to fly to another country every time I got a few days off. I would no longer be compelled to troll online immigration forums and read and reread the Immigration and Nationality Act. I could stop drafting letters to Congressmen and I could stop stalking the Department of State inquiry line, whose number I had memorized.

Our case was a complicated one. My husband is a Pakistani born Canadian citizen. He and I were detained at the border while trying to enter together for a visit in January, 2005. The border agent took one look at the Pakistani visa in his passport and sent us to secondary inspection. We were questioned for more than nine hours before the officer decided to invoke an, “Expedited Removal.” The effect of this is much the same as deportation by an immigration judge, with a few differences. An expedited removal carries half the ban as a deportation by an immigration judge, five years instead of ten. There is no appeal and no court has jurisdiction over the decision. There is no right to an attorney and no time to argue your case. The decision has very little requirement for proof. All who appear at the United States border are assumed to be “intending immigrants,” and that is all it takes. M was deported without even being inside the United States.

I spent most of my first legal consultation crying. The attorney was thorough, but painted a picture I was not ready to handle. It was too much truth all at once. Over the course of researching and fighting our case, I went from the crying girl in the attorney’s office to someone able to quote immigration law from memory. Able to fight the consulate when in error, they demanded two different waivers when only one was legally necessary. I became someone who, after consulting six different prominent attorneys, was completely unable to hand the case over to anyone.



Better, but you could trim some fat. Here are some suggestions.

"Brevity is the soul of wit."

User avatar
crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Career Switcher PS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:45 pm

Thanks! :)




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.