A-typical personal statment

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EricLeeHughes
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A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:41 pm

In 1775, some two hundred thirty-six years ago, a group of colonial representatives congressed towards a common goal. They conceived an Army and took up arms to defend an as yet unconceived nation, for a unclear purpose, against a tyrannical superpower. With minimal funding, and with bloody rags for snow boots, the Army not only won, it founded the first nation built on ideals. Their purpose was their belief, and their belief was simple if profound. It is the idea that a government exists to serve the people against the convention that the people serve the government. Now, centuries later, I am called to advocate for those that have taken up arms to defend that ideal.

My area of interest is in veterans’ law and military discharges. I speak directly to a current crisis in the disabled military and veterans communities. I see five profound problems that symbolize the demand for a dedicated veterans advocate.

1.) The VA claims Backlog:
At last count the Department of Veterans Affairs had 512,700+ claims pending and 90,800+ pending appeals. With the recent additions to the presumptive conditions for Dioxin (Agent Orange) exposure this backlog is only expected to grow. Dr. Martin Luther King’s statement “A justice delayed is a justice denied” rings true in this case. The Secretary has failed to make reasonable attempts to solve the procedural problems that lead to the delay. This was exemplified when he was found in civil contempt by the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on January 27, 2011, for failing to expedite remands.

2.) Shredding our trust in the VA:
On October 13, 2008 an expose broken by Larry Scott of VAWatchdog.org uncovered a confidential VAOIG investigation into the Detroit VA Region Office shredding substantial amounts of evidence in veterans claim files. As the story unfolded, it became clear that the spoliation of evidence by VA personnel was widespread, and had become standard practice to deal with the claims backlog.

3.) Fiduciary Fiasco
When the average person can no longer manage their own funds due process protections contained within guardianship proceedings protect the incompetent individual from being taken advantage of, or by having their estate wrongly disseised. But for the veteran, there are no such protections. A single signature, from a single physician, is all it takes for the VA to assign the veterans benefits over to a VA fiduciary for “safe keeping.” The end result of such paternalism is often destitution for the veteran.

4.) The Feres Doctrine and unethical experimentation:
In Feres v. U.S. 340 U.S. 135 (1950) the Supreme Court ruled that military service members couldn’t sue or recover damages from the Department of Defense for injuries incurred in the line of duty. Sadly, this ruling has been capitalized on by military scientists that have since subjected military service members to a host of unethical experiments. Substances that have been tested on military members are chemical warfare and live biological agents; Experimental drugs to include LSD; And microwave based energy weapons designed to bake the soldiers skin as if it were food. These experiments are the subject of Vietnam Veterans of America et. al v. The Central Intelligence Agency et. al.

5.) Military Discharges and the Stigma of Disability:
When a service member becomes too disabled to function in the military environment there is a series of administrative discharge procedures that are designed to compensate the service member for their disabling condition. The simple way to understand them is that minor disabilities result in the service member’s contract being bought out by the Department of Defense. While more significant disabilities result in the service member being medically retired. The problem with this process is that the veterans’ disability status is prominently placed on discharge papers that serve as an employment reference. The result is a lifetime of stigma and discrimination. I document this process fully in the attached Diversity Statement / writing sample.

Each of these issues shares a common procedural flaw. It is the absence of an ancient civil right. A right based on the idea that the law binds the government as well as the citizen. It is the very right that the Army crossed the Delaware to preserve on that frigid Christmas night in 1776.

Nullus liber homo capiatur, vel imprisonetur, aut disseisiatur, aut utlagetur, aut exuletur, aut aliquo modo destruatur, nec super cum ibimus, nec super cum mittemus, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum vel per legem terre.

I refer of course to the due process clause of the Great Charter – The Magna Carta. Literally translated, it means:

No free man shall be arrested or imprisoned, or disseised or outlawed or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we, but not to proceed with force against, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

When the veterans disability claims are needlessly delayed, their due process rights are declined. When the DVA shreds evidence for a veterans claim file, their due process rights are declined. When a veteran is infected by and HIV/ Hepatitis C, or compelled to fight beyond their mental capacity, or treated as less than willing experimental guinea pigs are they not effectively “destroyed” absent due process? Is it not a form of social destruction when a veteran is compelled to disclose their disability status every time they provide the employment reference given them by the military? When a single doctor has the power to disseise a veteran of his income, isn’t the action fundamentally unjust? What is it about the veteran’s status that causes so many to be disseised of their ability to retain a home? What of retaliation? Isn’t it a violation against the prohibition to proceed with force against a citizen without the lawful judgment of their peers?

These are all questions that demand an answer. With the knowledge I gain from Salomon P. Chase College of Law I hope to answer them, and return to the veteran’s community the rights they originally fought for.

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bk1
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:43 pm

Huh?

Are you being serious because if you are, you managed to take the personal out of personal statement.

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby gbpackerbacker » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:46 pm

wut.

CanadianWolf
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:51 pm

This is a high school social studies paper, not a personal statement for law school. Try to write about something that has influenced your development & framed your outlook on life. Focus more on you & less on curent issues.

EricLeeHughes
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:32 pm

I told you guys that it was atypical. If in doubt check the subject line. :)

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bk1
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:33 pm

EricLeeHughes wrote:I told you guys that it was atypical. If in doubt check the subject line. :)

And we are implying that this is not the good kind of atypical.

EricLeeHughes
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:34 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:This is a high school social studies paper, not a personal statement for law school. Try to write about something that has influenced your development & framed your outlook on life. Focus more on you & less on curent issues.


Actually, I've been working pro bono as a paralegal on veterans issues for over three years. So, yes these "current events" do frame my outlook. Though I suppose it would make more sense in the context of my resume and recommendation letters.

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20121109
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby 20121109 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:37 pm

Pretty terrible personal statement, brah

This may actually hurt you instead of the usual negligible effect.

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francisConn
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby francisConn » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:39 pm

EricLeeHughes wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:This is a high school social studies paper, not a personal statement for law school. Try to write about something that has influenced your development & framed your outlook on life. Focus more on you & less on curent issues.


Actually, I've been working pro bono as a paralegal on veterans issues for over three years. So, yes these "current events" do frame my outlook. Though I suppose it would make more sense in the context of my resume and recommendation letters.


Then write it about your personal experience working on veterans issues. More personal, less treatise.

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Cupidity
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby Cupidity » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:40 pm

Awful.

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kwais
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby kwais » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:41 pm

people could say it nicer, but indeed, it is seriously lacking in the personal department. You could keep the approach but cut the content in half and add your own story

EricLeeHughes
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:43 pm

Cupidity wrote:Awful.


Then perhaps you could be constructive and point me in the direction of a paper that is good?

EricLeeHughes
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:44 pm

kwais wrote:people could say it nicer, but indeed, it is seriously lacking in the personal department. You could keep the approach but cut the content in half and add your own story


Thank you that was constructive.

glacierfrost
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby glacierfrost » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:48 pm

I mean it's well written, but this is not the kind of style you wanna go for in your personal statement. It's supposed to be PERSONAL and tell us something about you, not about the issue. I feel like this statement could easily be used by anyone and it is not specific to you. I don't even know why you want to go into this field after reading it (I should though), are you a veteran yourself and have suffered some injustice before? If so, maybe you should write about that instead.

The way it reads now, it sounds kind of pretentious as if you are trying too hard to sound like a lawyer. You're not.

And why waste space in your statement talking about the Magna Carta? If you're trying to go for a dramatic effect, trust me, it's not gonna work. Adcoms are probably bored over their minds from the applicants each year who try too hard to impress them with their 0L legal speak.

I think you need to rework it so you talk more about why you care so much about this issue rather than giving us a research essay about the injustices in the field.

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bk1
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:48 pm

EricLeeHughes wrote:
Cupidity wrote:Awful.


Then perhaps you could be constructive and point me in the direction of a paper that is good?

There is a search function for a reason, not to mention a thread devoted to examples of what a good PS looks like.

Balliol2012
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby Balliol2012 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:49 pm

Worst ever.

Balliol2012
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby Balliol2012 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:53 pm

Is this real??? I just looked up Salomon P Chase College of law. "Salmon P. Chase College of Law ("Chase"), was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1893 as an evening law school affiliated with the Cincinnati YMCA." - Wikipedia.

EricLeeHughes
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:56 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Pretty terrible personal statement, brah

This may actually hurt you instead of the usual negligible effect.


I am curious to know why you believe this would hurt me?

glacierfrost
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby glacierfrost » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:57 pm

Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law

http://chaselaw.nku.edu/

EricLeeHughes
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:59 pm

glacierfrost wrote:Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law

http://chaselaw.nku.edu/


Good catch. Thanks!

bhan87
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby bhan87 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:02 pm

OP: You really need to read through this article and rethink your personal statement:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/guide-to ... ments.html

EricLeeHughes
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:08 pm

Balliol2012 wrote:Is this real??? I just looked up Salomon P Chase College of law. "Salmon P. Chase College of Law ("Chase"), was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1893 as an evening law school affiliated with the Cincinnati YMCA." - Wikipedia.


Yes, this is correct. Is there a problem with that?

Balliol2012
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby Balliol2012 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:16 pm

aw naw, go ahead, do your thing bro

sparty99
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby sparty99 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:20 pm

This is essay is garbage.

"Nullus liber homo capiatur, vel imprisonetur, aut disseisiatur, aut utlagetur, aut exuletur, aut aliquo modo destruatur, nec super cum ibimus, nec super cum mittemus, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum vel per legem terre." - what the hell is this? This isn't latin class.


"spoliation of evidence" - speak clearly.....

You need to delete this essay and start from square one. I would not submit this.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby Kilpatrick » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:23 pm

You definitely need to start over on this. But on your redone PS leave out all that stuff about the Continental army. If you by any chance get an adcom with a history background you will probably make them laugh out loud.




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