Please critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:37 pm

Please critique

Postby GatorGirl89 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:18 pm

Any critiques or advice would be appreciated. I am trying to send out my apps as soon as scores are released. Thanks in advance!

It was just another day at the office as I sat at my desk and reviewed a case about a murder that occurred in a nearby town. This particular case caught my attention. It wasn’t the typical drug deal gone wrong or domestic violence dispute. A 17 year old boy had been shot and killed while breaking into a house to steal food for his family. He and his family were illegal immigrants which meant that they did not have the necessary paperwork to get jobs. This left the family with no money for food and in a moment of desperation, the young man broke into a house to try to help his family.
I spent my days helping the prosecutors gather the facts of the case and prepare their arguments, yet as I sifted through the pages of information, I could not help but think that there was a larger problem behind this crime. Illegal immigrants come to the United States looking for refuge but since they do not have the proper documentation, they are unable to obtain legitimate employment and make a respectable life for themselves. This young man’s fear of deportation and inability to provide for his family caused him to feel like he had nowhere to turn to for help. A young life was lost because this family could not get the paperwork necessary to get a job. This issue hit close to home for me since my father is a Cuban immigrant.
The status of citizenship makes the difference between a person with no options, and one with the potential to succeed. My father came to America with nothing but a small suitcase. He spent years toiling over rolls of fabric and slaving away over steaming irons. As I grew up, I saw my father transform from a factory worker who would leave before the sun came up every morning to a successful businessman with awards lining the walls of our home.
As a child I would spend many of my days alongside my father in the factory because my family could not afford childcare. One of my favorite memories is riding around on the forklift with my father’s co-worker Jorge-Luis. While most everything has changed about the circumstances, I still on occasion accompany my father to business meetings and such. A few years ago, on the way back from one of these meetings we stopped for lunch at a small Cuban restaurant by my father’s old factory. I was thrilled to realize Jorge-Luis was there. However, the encounter turned bittersweet as I discovered that he was still a factory worker. He was still living in the same small apartment and still lived paycheck to paycheck. The only difference between my father and his friend was citizenship; while my father was able to improve to a comfortable standard of living, his friend was in the same situation he had been in 15 years before. He was stuck because he was unable to attain a legitimate job or qualify for assistance.
Around this same time I went to the nearby town of Immokalee to work with Habitat for Humanity. While speaking with a family that would be receiving a home, they told me about some friends of theirs who did not have their citizenship and worked as farm workers in the area. The family felt terrible that they would receive a new home while their friends struggled to feed their children. The story about reminded me of my father’s friend Jorge-Luis. I became intrigued and did some research on Immokalee. I was astonished when I realized that the area was known to contain slavery rings made up of immigrant workers who could not obtain legitimate employment due to their status as illegal immigrants. It became my mission to help these immigrants escape the cruel conditions they were working under. I discovered that produce from these farms is distributed to the supermarkets in the area and that an increase in the price supermarkets pay for the produce would directly increase the wages of these workers. I formed a volunteer group to pressure local supermarkets to pay higher rates for produce. I realized the marginal pay raise however, would not make the difference I wanted. It would not give then a secure livelihood, or pay to send their children to college.
While I was proud to be taking a stand against these injustices and helping to correct them, I knew wanted to solve the problem instead of just helping to raise wages. I read an article about the state attorney prosecuting the leaders of the local slavery rings in Immokalee and I realized that I could use the law to get to the root of the problem. It became clear to me that a career in law could help me to bridge the gap and help both illegal immigrants and society at large. I have seen firsthand the effects that citizenship and the ability to get a job can have through witnessing my father overcome the obstacles in his life while his friend cannot. I believe the education I would attain at _____ Law School would provide me with an excellent foundation to act as an advocate for illegal immigrants and all people living or working under unfair conditions.


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Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Please critique

Postby LSATclincher » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:02 pm

First, the PS needs to be more about you. You waste 2 para's with the anecdote. The anecdote should be a sentence or two. There are a few gross mistakes. And the voice/tense changes throughout the piece.

Your ability to tell a story is pretty good. So I think you can write a very strong piece with your passionate experience. Your Habitat experience should be discussed more. You only spend two sentences discussing how you formed that volunteer group. You need to discuss this more.

I'd open strong with the volunteer group experience. You can keep a lot of what you have. It just needs tweaking, and to be more about you. I think it's ok to keep the focus on your passion for immigration rights and such.

That final paragraph needs to be deleted completely. So many PS's on here throw in a final sentence discussing "why law school?" My old PS had this. It doesn't work.

Good luck!

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