Thank you everyone who gave me feedback on my last draft it was very helpful! I would really appreciate some feedback on my new draft. I am trying to send my apps out as soon as scores are released so any critiques would be helpful. Thanks again!
I watched the victim’s mother struggle to hold back her tears as she spoke about her son. She was filled with grief as she explained the circumstances surrounding his death. This case was not the typical drug deal gone wrong or domestic violence dispute. An unarmed 17 year old boy had been shot and killed while breaking into a house. He and his family were illegal immigrants, and were about to be evicted from their residence. In a moment of desperation, the young man broke into a house to try to obtain money for his family.
It was my assignment to help the prosecutors gather the facts of the case and prepare their arguments. As I sifted through the information, I thought about the larger problem behind this crime. The young man’s inability to obtain legitimate employment made him feel like he had no option other than to steal. A young man’s death may have been prevented had the family been able to get the paperwork necessary to get a job. This issue hit close to home since my father is a Cuban immigrant.
My father spent years toiling over rolls of fabric and slaving away over steaming irons in a sewing factory. One of my favorite childhood memories is riding around on the forklift with his co-worker Jorge-Luis. My father’s status as a citizen put him at an advantage over his coworkers. As I grew up, I saw him transform from a factory worker who would leave before sunrise each morning to a successful businessman with awards lining the walls of his office.
The circumstances have changed, but I still on occasion accompany my father to work. A few years ago, on the way back from a meeting, we stopped for lunch at a small restaurant by my father’s old factory. I was thrilled to run into Jorge-Luis. The encounter turned bittersweet as I discovered that he was still a factory worker living paycheck to paycheck. The only difference between my father and his friend was citizenship. My father was able to improve his standard of living, while Jorge-Luis could not.
Around the same time, I went to the town of Immokalee to work with Habitat for Humanity. I laid sod alongside a family who would be receiving a home. They told me about friends of theirs who were illegal farm workers in the area, struggling to feed their children with low wages. The story reminded me of Jorge-Luis. I became intrigued and did some research on Immokalee. I discovered that the area contained slavery rings made up of immigrant workers. I was astounded when I realized the extent of the mistreatment faced by the farm workers solely because they could not obtain legitimate employment due to their status as illegal immigrants.
It became my mission to help the farm workers escape these cruel conditions. I learned that produce from these farms is distributed to 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 help persuade local supermarkets to pay higher rates for produce. We wrote letters to store owners and handed out flyers to shoppers. While I felt accomplished in raising awareness to this issue, I knew I wanted to address the root of the problem rather than just the consequences.
I closely followed developing news about the local farm workers. When I read an article discussing the state attorney prosecuting the leaders of the local slavery rings, I recognized law as an effective way to address the issue. The following summer I pursued an internship with the State Attorney’s office. I observed many cases involving illegal immigrants. Some were minor violations such as driving without a driver’s license and some were tragic such as the death of the 17 year old boy. Many of the crimes shared a common thread in that they may have been prevented had their status as illegal immigrants allowed them to acquire a driver’s license or legitimate employment. My experience at the State Attorney’s office cemented the idea that a career in law would allow make a direct change in the lives of immigrants.
My close ties with the immigrant community make this cause particularly significant for me. I have seen firsthand the positive outcomes of an immigrant granted citizenship, and the unfortunate consequence of one who feels they have no options. I aspire to use my degree in law to represent the plight of immigrants in a system which they are inherently disadvantaged. The education I would attain at _____ Law School would provide me with an excellent foundation to achieve this goal.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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