Draft #7. BIG CHANGES. Please judge

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Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Draft #7. BIG CHANGES. Please judge

Postby Nailjohnj » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:18 pm

So I took the advice of the people who read my previous PSs to really stick a theme in my statement, so I went with Change and Growth (cliche?). I feel like I am nearing the final draft, so please tell me what you think, I really use critiques that I get here.

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Change is never easy, but almost every person can look back on their lives and find the moments that altered who they were and where they were going. In fact, sometimes a major change is exactly what someone needs to move forward with their life. I have had three such moments, and though they were almost 15 years apart, these moments had a profound impact on my life and why I decided to pursue a career in law.

When I was ten years old, my mother decided that our family needed a change to broaden our horizons. So, she took a job with the Department of Defense and moved us 4,500 miles from upstate South Carolina to southern Germany. At the time I hated the idea of leaving my family and friends to move to a country where I could not even speak the language. But, over the next nine years I would learn new languages; make friends across cultural boundaries; and develop a thirst for knowledge that comes from experiencing arts, architecture, and other works that many people only get to read about.

As I returned to the south for college and ultimately came back to South Carolina, I realized that my views of the world had evolved and I was approaching issues in a more analytical manner. This change led me to pursue a major in economics, but with jobs evaporating quickly in the wake of the financial crisis, I felt that I was nearing graduation rudderless. It was not until the eve of my graduation that I discovered my future career. Over dinner that night, I had a conversation with an old family friend who was as an international trade lawyer in Washington, D.C. As we discussed some of his old cases involving agricultural subsidies, which I had researched in college, I felt a rush that I had not felt before and began to consider attending law school.

Unfortunately, due to the cost of attendance, I accepted that I would not be able to enter law school immediately after graduation. So, I entered the workforce with my sights set on saving money and began preparing for the February 2010 LSAT. When I finally opened up to my mother about my plan in October of 2009 she was she thrilled that I had found a new direction. She even bought me some new LSAT preparation books and had them delivered to me without my knowledge. The books arrived on November 1st. Two weeks later my mother passed away suddenly in Germany.

On the morning of November 18th, I had to catch an early flight to a training program for a new job that I had recently started. After I checked in for my flight, I decided to give my mother a call, since we had not spoken in a week or so due to the time difference and my new job. After six rings, her boss unexpectedly answered her phone and turned my life upside down with a ten minute conversation. The next few months were a complete blur for me, with her memorial and a four day trip to Germany set in the middle of the holiday season. As the calendar changed to a new year, I felt a crushing grief that reduced me to a shell of my former self and caused me to abandon my plans for law school. But in February, a new problem suddenly came to the forefront.

Due to the complexities of the German and American probate codes, my brother, who lives in Portland, Oregon, and I were potentially liable for almost $600,000 of debt between real estate and medical bills in Europe that threatened to consume our mother’s estate in the United States. Since I had volunteered to act as the executor of her estate, I took responsibility for solving this problem. I began spending hours after work in the library reading German and American legal code, I worked with German consulates in Portland, Oregon; Atlanta, Georgia; and Greenville, South Carolina; and consulted lawyers in South Carolina; Washington, D.C.; and Frankfurt, Germany. With their help, I was able to uncover a method where we could dispose of the German liabilities without affecting the estate in the United States. As I called my brother to tell him the good news, I felt a new exhilaration from solving this complex international issue and I knew that I had rediscovered my passion.

So, as I find myself completing my law school applications, I understand that dealing with my mother’s death will continue to be difficult, but at least the loss has forced me to put my plans for my life into action and pursue my dreams. I now know that I will spend the rest of my life working to help people understand the complex legal system that I have just begun to learn how to navigate. So, instead of spending my life wondering who I would have been if I had not grown up abroad or if my mother were still living, I am confident in who I have become as a person and the direction of my life.

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Flips88
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Re: Draft #7. BIG CHANGES. Please judge

Postby Flips88 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:58 pm

Just going to comment on some grammatical things.

"But, over the next nine years I would learn new languages; make friends across cultural boundaries; and develop a thirst for knowledge that comes from experiencing arts, architecture, and other works that many people only get to read about. "
You start this sentence with a conjunction and end it with a preposition, both of which are grammatical no-nos

"So, she..."
"So, I entered.."
"So, as I find..."
"So, instead of spending..."
4 sentences that start with "so...", 2 of which comprise 2 of the last 3 sentences. You don't need "so", it would be great if you were reading this aloud, but it is unnecessary in written form.


"preparing for the February 2010 LSAT"
Every single applicant prepared and took the LSAT. You don't need to mention it really.

"But in February, a new problem suddenly came to the forefront."
Don't start with a conjunction. Try, "In February, however, a new problem suddenly came to the forefront."


I think your theme works, but the grammar and content need refinement. Talk about the process of maturity more, about what it was like to suddenly be responsible for your mother's estate at such a young age. Hope this helps. I'm not trying to be mean, just trying to help make the PS better. Good luck!

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: Draft #7. BIG CHANGES. Please judge

Postby Nailjohnj » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:48 pm

Nailjohnj wrote:I'm not trying to be mean, just trying to help make the PS better.


No, you aren't being mean at all, I really need to fix those issues and you are the first person to point them out to me. I'll see what I can do about whittling it down. How about content? does this ps come across as strong or weak? I really appreciate everyone's help with this grueling process.

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: Draft #7. BIG CHANGES. Please judge

Postby Nailjohnj » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:37 pm

Flips88 wrote:Every single applicant prepared and took the LSAT. You don't need to mention it really.


I really don't want to talk about studying for the LSAT, because that isn't unusual, as everyone is pointing out, but I like the use of the books as a segue to my mother passing away. Do I drop all of that, or just talking about the test prep and keep in the prep books part?

ApolloniusCanon
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:14 pm

Re: Draft #7. BIG CHANGES. Please judge

Postby ApolloniusCanon » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:34 pm

You can still mention the books, but segway from telling your mother of your interest in law school, not from signing up for the Feb. LSAT. Adcom's will be able to make the connection between you telling her of your interest in law and her decision to buy the books. They know a thing or two about the law school admission process :).

Also, you mention three life changing events, but only clearly mark out the first. I would change this in some fashion.




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