A-typical personal statment

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
EricLeeHughes
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:37 pm

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:51 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.

The latin phrase is the foundation for the Anglo-American Jurisprudence. This 12th Century statute was the first of our many civil rights.

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

Spoliation is the legal term referring to the willful destruction of evidence.

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

I'd hope you wouldn't since you didn't write it. :)

EricLeeHughes
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:37 pm

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:21 pm

Ok. I haven't given up on my OP. But perhaps it would make a better diversity statement. Since I will have to disclose my MH diagnosis to the Ohio Bar. I might as well tackle it head on in the PS.

I just hacked this out over the past hour or so. So it is pretty darn rough.
------

2:00 AM on a mountain road in the Imjin River Basin, South Korea. It was a dark moonless night in September 1998. I was driving my HUMVEE. I came upon a grizzly sight. A midsized sedan had just crossed right of center, striking a motorcycle head on at highway speeds. Neither passenger on the motorcycle was wearing a helmet.

The medical instincts the Army had instilled in me took over. Without taking time to think about the long-term repercussions, I stopped my truck, grabbed what little medical supplies I had with me, and rushed out to survey the carnage. I quickly diagnosed one patient with a broken neck. The other, a subdural hematoma, an open head wound, and leaking spinal fluid. Both men were unconscious. The latter required immediate surgery to survive.

As the only medical personnel on the seen, I ordered my Sergeant to take the HUMVEE back two miles up the road to camp and return with an ambulance, a two backboards and ideally a surgeon. She left and promptly got lost on the back alleyways. In the mean time, I used hand signals to instruct the non-English speaking bystanders to call for an ambulance. I then instructed two bystanders in how to maintain an open airway. It was some forty-five minutes before a Korean ambulance arrived. In the mean time I was up to my elbows in blood and spinal fluid. I had no infection control equipment with me.

I knew that I could be exposing myself to HIV, or Hepatitis by exposing my self to this much blood. I did not care. Two lives where in my hands. It was my responsibility to use my training to save them. Every two months, for the following two years I got tested for HIV and Hepatitis. Thankfully, the tests came back negative. So, I thought I had passed though the ordeal unharmed. I was wrong. It would be some ten years before the seriousness of these events would strike me. PTSD is like that sometimes. It is an insidious occupational hazard that all to often strikes first responders, and soldiers like myself. It snuck up on me like a tiger.

Over Christmas 2007 I entered out patient treatment. What I learned is that everyone has unrealistic beliefs about the world around them. When a person believes that the world is a fair and just place; that every person strives towards a good outcome; and that God is a just mitigator. Being traumatically faced with the reality that there is injustice in the world is life shattering. The more fair minded a person is, the more altruistic their goals, the more likely they are to subcome with PTSD.

The treatment program that is most effective is designed to rearrange your thinking, values, and beliefs about the world. No. I’m not saying I was taught to give up my altruism. I instead learned to give up my naivety. No longer do I believe that the world is just. Rather I have come to learn that the world is unjust, but that I have the power to bring justice to it. And that has made all the difference.

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Kilpatrick
Posts: 1073
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:06 am

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby Kilpatrick » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:34 pm

WAY better PS.

EricLeeHughes wrote:Ok. I haven't given up on my OP. But perhaps it would make a better diversity statement. Since I will have to disclose my MH diagnosis to the Ohio Bar. I might as well tackle it head on in the PS.

I just hacked this out over the past hour or so. So it is pretty darn rough.
------

2:00 AM on a mountain road in the Imjin River Basin, South Korea. It was a dark moonless night in September 1998. I was driving my HUMVEE. I came upon a grizzly sight. A midsized sedan had just crossed right of center, striking a motorcycle head on at highway speeds. Neither passenger on the motorcycle was wearing a helmet.

The medical instincts the Army had instilled in me took over. Without taking time to think about the long-term repercussions, I stopped my truck, grabbed what little medical supplies I had with me, and rushed out to survey the carnage. I quickly diagnosed one patient with a broken neck. The other, a subdural hematoma, an open head wound, and leaking spinal fluid. Both men were unconscious. The latter required immediate surgery to survive.

As the only medical personnel on the seenscene, I ordered my Sergeant to take the HUMVEE back two miles up the road to camp and return with an ambulance, a two backboards and ideally a surgeon. She left and promptly got lost on the back alleyways. In the mean time, I used hand signals to instruct the non-English speaking bystanders to call for an ambulance. I then instructed two bystanders in how to maintain an open airway. It was some forty-five minutes before a Korean ambulance arrived. In the mean time I was up to my elbows in blood and spinal fluid. I had no infection control equipment with me.

I knew that I could be exposing myself to HIV,or Hepatitis by exposing my selfmyself to this much blood. I did not care. Two lives where in my hands. It was my responsibility to use my training to save them. Every two months, for the following two years I got tested for HIV and Hepatitis. Thankfully, the tests came back negative. So, I thought I had passed though the ordeal unharmed. I was wrong. It would be some ten years before the seriousness of these events would strike me. PTSD is like that sometimes. It is an insidious occupational hazard that all totoo often strikes first responders, and soldiers like myself. It snuck up on me like a tiger.

Over Christmas 2007 I entered out patient treatment. What I learned is that everyone has unrealistic beliefs about the world around them. When a person believes that the world is a fair and just place; that every person strives towards a good outcome; and that God is a just mitigator. Being traumatically faced with the reality that there is injustice in the world is life shattering. The more fair minded a person is, the more altruistic their goals, the more likely they are to subcome withsuccumb to PTSD. This paragraph needs work. Especially the God is a just mitigator line. I would just take that out completely

The treatment program that is most effective is designed to rearrange your thinking, values, and beliefs about the world. No.I’m not saying I was taught to give up my altruism. I instead learned to give up my naivetynaivete. No longer do I believe that the world is just. Rather I have come to learn that the world is unjust, but that I have the power to bring justice to it. And that has made all the difference.


The ending is a little bit hokey, but I don't think it's bad. As a whole this is an interesting read, like night and day with your last one.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:37 pm

EricLeeHughes wrote:Ok. I haven't given up on my OP. But perhaps it would make a better diversity statement. Since I will have to disclose my MH diagnosis to the Ohio Bar. I might as well tackle it head on in the PS.

I just hacked this out over the past hour or so. So it is pretty darn rough.
------

2:00 AM on a mountain road in the Imjin River Basin, South Korea. It was a dark moonless night in September 1998. I was driving my HUMVEE. I came upon a grizzly sight. A midsized sedan had just crossed right of center, striking a motorcycle head on at highway speeds. Neither passenger on the motorcycle was wearing a helmet. You use quick short sentences to invoke suspense and action, but this could be done better with more exciting diction and language.

Faced with a crisis, the The medical training instinctsthe Army had instilled kicked in and I instinctively in metook charge over. Without taking time to think about the long-term repercussions,I stopped my truck, grabbed what little medical supplies I had with me, and rushed out to survey the carnage. I quickly diagnosed triaged one patient victim with a broken neck. Theand the other, with a subdural hematoma, an open head wound, and leaking spinal fluid. Both men were unconscious and critical, but. Thelatter required immediate surgery to survive.

As the only medical personnel on scene the seen, I ordered sent my Sergeant to take the HUMVEEback two miles up the road to camp and return with an ambulance, a two backboards and ideally a surgeon for emergency help. She left and promptly got lost on the back alleyways. In the mean time, I used hand signals to instruct the non-English speaking bystanders to call for an ambulance. I then instructed two bystanders in how to maintain an open airway. It was some The following forty-five minutes was both the longest and shortest forty-five minutes of my life as I waited for before aKorean ambulance to arrived. In the mean timeI was up to myelbows deep in blood and spinal fluid. withI hadno infection control equipment with meon hand.

I knew that I could be exposing myself to HIV, or Hepatitis by exposing my self to this much blood. I did not care the risks and the protocols for handling possible HIV and Hepatitis tainted fluids, but I blew right through them. Two lives where in my hands hung in the balance and. It was my responsibility to usemy training was keeping weight on the scale.to save them.

Continue editing here/ Every two months, for the following two years I got tested for HIV and Hepatitis. Thankfully, the tests came back negative. So, I thought I had passed though the ordeal unharmed. I was wrong. It would be some ten years before the seriousness of these events would strike me. PTSD is like that sometimes. It is an insidious occupational hazard that all to often strikes first responders, and soldiers like myself. It snuck up on me like a tiger.

Over Christmas 2007 I entered out patient treatment. What I learned is that everyone has unrealistic beliefs about the world around them. When a person believes that the world is a fair and just place; that every person strives towards a good outcome; and that God is a just mitigator. Being traumatically faced with the reality that there is injustice in the world is life shattering. The more fair minded a person is, the more altruistic their goals, the more likely they are to subcome with PTSD.

The treatment program that is most effective is designed to rearrange your thinking, values, and beliefs about the world. No. I’m not saying I was taught to give up my altruism. I instead learned to give up my naivety. No longer do I believe that the world is just. Rather I have come to learn that the world is unjust, but that I have the power to bring justice to it. And that has made all the difference.


Your writing is good but you occassionally pilfer from others (e.g. and that has made all the difference). My 11 year old picked up on that looking over my shoulder. That is a no no.

d34d9823
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby d34d9823 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:41 pm

EricLeeHughes wrote:I came upon a grizzly sight.

Please keep this sentence. I will laugh so hard if you submit this.

Also, were you trying to rip off the Gettysburg Address in your first one or did that happen by accident?

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:52 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
EricLeeHughes wrote:I came upon a grizzly sight.

Please keep this sentence. I will laugh so hard if you submit this.

Also, were you trying to rip off the Gettysburg Address in your first one or did that happen by accident?

+1 and +1

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Kiersten1985
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby Kiersten1985 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:06 am

Lose the Robert Frost at the end and you're good.

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vanwinkle
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:30 am

I don't usually do PS feedback here, but this is so much better than your first one I wanted to reward you for actually listening to people and trying to do it right this time.

EricLeeHughes wrote:Ok. I haven't given up on my OP. But perhaps it would make a better diversity statement. Since I will have to disclose my MH diagnosis to the Ohio Bar. I might as well tackle it head on in the PS.

I just hacked this out over the past hour or so. So it is pretty darn rough.
------

2:00 AM on a mountain road in the Imjin River Basin, South Korea. It was a dark moonless night in September 1998, on a mountain road in the Imjin River Basin, South Korea. I was driving my HUMVEE when I came upon a grizzlygrisly sight. A midsized sedan had just crossed right of center, striking a motorcycle head on at highway speeds. Neitherdriver nor passenger on the motorcycle was wearing a helmet.

(Note: You shouldn't say "neither passenger" since the driver isn't usually referred to as a passenger, and the way you have it worded is confusing.)

The medical instincts that the Army had instilled in me took over instinctively took control. Without taking timestopping to think aboutconsider the long-term repercussions, I stopped my truck, grabbed what little medical supplies I had with me, and rushed out to survey the carnage. I quickly diagnosed one patient with a broken neck. The other had a subdural hematoma and an open head wound, and was leaking spinal fluid. Both men were unconscious. Theunconscious, and the latter required immediate surgery to survive.

As the only medical personnel on the seenscene, I ordered my Sergeant to take the HUMVEE back two miles up the road to camp and return with an ambulance, a two backboards and ideally a surgeonmedical help. She left and promptly got lost on the back alleyways. In the mean time,While waiting, I used hand signals to instruct the non-English-speaking bystanders to call for an ambulance. I, then instructed two bystanders in how to maintain an open airway. It was someUp to my elbows in blood and spinal fluid, and working without infection control equipment, I gave aid to the crash victims for forty-five minutes before a Korean ambulance finally arrived. In the mean time I was up to my elbows in blood and spinal fluid. I had no infection control equipment with me.

I knew that I could be exposing myself to HIV, or Hepatitis by exposing my self to this much blood. I did not care. Two lives where in my hands.was aware that I was exposing myself to the risk of HIV or hepatitis infection, but I did not care because I knew their lives were in my hands. It wasI simply considered it my responsibility to use my training to save them, despite the risks. Every two months, for the following two years I gotOver the following two years I was regularly tested for HIV and Hepatitis. Thankfully, the tests came back negative. So, I thought I had passed thoughnegative, and for a while I believed that I had escaped the ordeal unharmed. I was wrong. It would beHowever, it was some ten years before the seriousnessreal damaging effects of these events would finally strikeme. PTSD iscan be like that sometimes. It is an insidious occupational hazard that all too often strikes first responders, and soldiers likesuch as myself. It snuck up on me like a tiger.

Over Christmas 2007 I entered out patient treatment. What I learned is that everyone has unrealistic beliefs about the world around them. When a person believes that the world is a fair and just place; that every person strives towards a good outcome; and that God is a just mitigator. Being traumatically faced with the reality that there is injustice in the world is life shattering. The more fair minded a person is, the more altruistic their goals, the more likely they are to subcome with PTSD.

(Note: The above paragraph is unsalvageable. I would recommend replacing it with something like this: In December of 2007, I entered outpatient treatment for PTSD, where I learned that I was not alone in facing the damaging consequences of holding unrealistic beliefs about the world around them. When a person clings to the belief that the world is a fair and just place, being abruptly and traumatically confronted with the reality that there is random injustice in the world is life-shattering. The more noble a person is and the more altruistic their goals, the more likely I believe they are to succumb to the effects of PTSD. )

The most effective type of treatment program that is most effectivefor PTSD is designed to rearrange your thinking, values, and beliefs about the world. No. I’mI am not saying that I was taught to give up my altruism. I instead learned to give up my naivety.; instead, I learned to shed my naivete. No longer do I believe that the world is just. RatherNo longer believing in simplified concepts of justice, I have come to learn that the world is unjust, but that I have the power to bring justice to some small part of it. And that has made all the difference.It is this new focus and perspective that motivates my desire to go to law school.(Note: In my suggested alternate ending, you could name "X Law School" instead of simply saying "to law school", but I'm not a big fan of name-dropping the school at the last second like that. You're not writing this as being about a particular law school, so I think name-dropping actually detracts from the point of your PS. You're better off just ending with a note that this is why you want to go to law school; they'll infer you want to go to their law school from the fact that you applied there. That's the strategy I used when applying, and it worked.)

Peg
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby Peg » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:10 am

The second attempt is LOADS better. Well done.

EricLeeHughes
Posts: 14
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:13 am

Thank you for the help and advice guys.

glacierfrost
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby glacierfrost » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:39 pm

WAY BETTER personal statement this time. Much more exciting and PERSONAL.

Keep on polishing it -- definitely has more potential now.

EricLeeHughes
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:37 pm

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:09 pm

Draft #3. Attempting to combine both statements into a unified work. The schools I plan on applying to do not have a page limit on the PS or DS. After wrestling which statement to declare my PS and DS. I've opted to combine them into a single statement that serves both purposes. Still pretty rough...

-------

It was a moonless night in September 1998, on a mountain road in the Imjin River Basin, South Korea. I was driving my HUMVEE when I came upon a grisly sight. A midsized sedan had just crossed right of center, striking a motorcycle head on at highway speeds. Neither driver nor passenger on the motorcycle was wearing a helmet.

The medical instincts that the Army had instilled in me instinctively took control. Without stopping to consider the long-term repercussions, I stopped my truck, grabbed what medical supplies I had, and rushed out to survey the carnage. I quickly diagnosed one patient with a broken neck. The other had a subdural hematoma and an open head wound, and was leaking spinal fluid. Both men were unconscious, and the latter required immediate surgery to survive.

As the only medical personnel on the scene, I ordered my Sergeant to take the HUMVEE two miles up the road to camp and return with medical help. While waiting, I used hand signals to instruct the non-English-speaking bystanders to call for an ambulance then instructed two bystanders in how to maintain an open airway. Up to my elbows in blood and spinal fluid, and working without infection control equipment, I gave aid to the crash victims for forty-five minutes before a Korean ambulance finally arrived.

I was aware that I was exposing myself to the risk of HIV or hepatitis infection, but I did not care because I knew their lives were in my hands. I simply considered it my responsibility to use my training to save them, despite the risks. Over the following two years I was regularly tested for HIV and Hepatitis. Thankfully, the tests came negative, and for a while I believed that I had escaped the ordeal unharmed. However, it was some ten years before the real damaging effects of these events would finally strike. PTSD can be like that sometimes. It is an insidious occupational hazard that all too often strikes first responders, and soldiers such as myself.

In December of 2007, I entered outpatient treatment for PTSD. I learned I was not alone. I believed that the world is fundamentally a fair and just place. Abruptly and traumatically confronted with the reality that there is random injustice in the world my life was shattered. The more noble a person is and the more altruistic their goals, the more likely I believe they are to succumb to the effects of PTSD.

The most effective type of treatment program for PTSD is designed to rearrange your thinking, values, and beliefs about the world. I am not saying that I was taught to give up my altruism; instead, I learned to shed my naïveté. No longer believing in simplified concepts of justice, I have come to learn that the world is unjust, but that I have the power to bring justice to some small part of it. It is this new focus and perspective that motivates my desire to go to law school.

My area of interest is in veterans’ law and military discharges. The veteran’s law community is small. Nationally, only a few hundred attorneys practice in this field. Non-attorney practitioners take up the slack in the veteran’s claims demand. Mostly they are service officers from the various veterans lobby and social support groups, or taxpayer supported county officials. Smaller still is the subset of attorneys that focus their advocacy efforts in the area of veteran’s civil rights. Save for a J.D. and a Bar Examination, I am already a member of the smaller group.

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.

These are problems that have motivated me to move beyond practice as a paralegal or non-attorney VA claims practitioner. I want to make the same kind of high impact, paradigm changes for justice, my friend and mentor has made. To do that, I have to be something more than a veteran’s service officer. I have to be an attorney.

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rinkrat19
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:27 pm

Take out the numbered list entirely. It was one of the main things wrong with your original draft. If you want to mention some things about the VA that you want to fix once you're a lawyer, write a normal paragraph mentioning 2-3 of them in single sentences. To reiterate what you've been told several times: this is a PERSONAL STATEMENT, not a position paper.

I speak directly to a current crisis in the disabled military and veterans communities. [REMOVE BIZARRELY OUT-OF-PLACE LIST] Trust in the VA has eroded significantly as the backlog of untreated veterans grows and new scandals in evidence destruction, experimentation on soldiers and sub-standard hospital conditions are exposed each year. These are the problems that have motivated me to move beyond practice as a paralegal or non-attorney VA claims practitioner. I want to make the same kind of high impact, paradigm dramatic changes for justice, that my friend and mentor has made. To do that, I have to be something more than a veteran’s service officer. I have to be an attorney.
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
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Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:30 pm

EricLeeHughes wrote:Draft #3. Attempting to combine both statements into a unified work. The schools I plan on applying to do not have a page limit on the PS or DS. After wrestling which statement to declare my PS and DS. I've opted to combine them into a single statement that serves both purposes. Still pretty rough...

-------

It was a moonless night in September 1998, on a mountain road in the Imjin River Basin, South Korea. I was driving my HUMVEE when I came upon a grisly sight. A midsized sedan had just crossed right of center, striking a motorcycle head on at highway speeds. Neither driver nor passenger on the motorcycle was wearing a helmet.

The medical instincts that the Army had instilled in me instinctively took control. Without stopping to consider the long-term repercussions, I stopped my truck, grabbed what medical supplies I had, and rushed out to survey the carnage. I quickly diagnosed one patient with a broken neck. The other had a subdural hematoma and an open head wound, and was leaking spinal fluid. Both men were unconscious, and the latter required immediate surgery to survive.

As the only medical personnel on the scene, I ordered my Sergeant to take the HUMVEE two miles up the road to camp and return with medical help. While waiting, I used hand signals to instruct the non-English-speaking bystanders to call for an ambulance then instructed two bystanders in how to maintain an open airway. Up to my elbows in blood and spinal fluid, and working without infection control equipment, I gave aid to the crash victims for forty-five minutes before a Korean ambulance finally arrived.

I was aware that I was exposing myself to the risk of HIV or hepatitis infection, but I did not care because I knew their lives were in my hands. I simply considered it my responsibility to use my training to save them, despite the risks. Over the following two years I was regularly tested for HIV and Hepatitis. Thankfully, the tests came negative, and for a while I believed that I had escaped the ordeal unharmed. However, it was some ten years before the real damaging effects of these events would finally strike. PTSD can be like that sometimes. It is an insidious occupational hazard that all too often strikes first responders, and soldiers such as myself.

In December of 2007, I entered outpatient treatment for PTSD. I learned I was not alone. I believed that the world is fundamentally a fair and just place. Abruptly and traumatically confronted with the reality that there is random injustice in the world my life was shattered. The more noble a person is and the more altruistic their goals, the more likely I believe they are to succumb to the effects of PTSD.

The most effective type of treatment program for PTSD is designed to rearrange your thinking, values, and beliefs about the world. I am not saying that I was taught to give up my altruism; instead, I learned to shed my naïveté. No longer believing in simplified concepts of justice, I have come to learn that the world is unjust, but that I have the power to bring justice to some small part of it. It is this new focus and perspective that motivates my desire to go to law school.

My area of interest is in veterans’ law and military discharges. The veteran’s law community is small. Nationally, only a few hundred attorneys practice in this field. Non-attorney practitioners take up the slack in the veteran’s claims demand. Mostly they are service officers from the various veterans lobby and social support groups, or taxpayer supported county officials. Smaller still is the subset of attorneys that focus their advocacy efforts in the area of veteran’s civil rights. Save for a J.D. and a Bar Examination, I am already a member of the smaller group.

I speak directly to a current crisis in the disabled military and veterans communities. I see many profound problems that symbolize the demand for a dedicated veterans advocate including claims backlogs, deprivation of due process, lack of standing due to statutory law and case precedent, and a negative stigma regarding military and disability.

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.

These are problems that have motivated me to move beyond practice as a paralegal or non-attorney VA claims practitioner. I want to make the same kind of high impact, paradigm changes for justice, my friend and mentor has made. To do that, I have to be something more than a veteran’s service officer. I have to be an attorney.

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby sparty99 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:36 pm

Again, this essay is garbage. Take the numbered stuff out of the essay!

subdural hematoma - just say what this means! No one knows what subdural hematoma means. bleeding on the brain. Dang.

"In December of 2007, I entered outpatient treatment for PTSD. I learned I was not alone. I believed that the world is fundamentally a fair and just place. Abruptly and traumatically confronted with the reality that there is random injustice in the world my life was shattered. The more noble a person is and the more altruistic their goals, the more likely I believe they are to succumb to the effects of PTSD. " - this paragraph does nothing to strengthen your application.

EricLeeHughes
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:37 pm

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby EricLeeHughes » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:39 pm

thanks guys. Too bad there is not a bull headedness subtest on the LSAT. If there was, I would apparently ace it. Seriously. Point about the list is finally taken.

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rinkrat19
Posts: 13918
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:47 pm

EricLeeHughes wrote:thanks guys. Too bad there is not a bull headedness subtest on the LSAT. If there was, I would apparently ace it. Seriously. Point about the list is finally taken.


Hey, learning slowly and painfully is better than not learning at all! A lot of people would just flounce out of the thread, thinking they knew better.

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Dirty Army Lawyers
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:03 pm

Re: A-typical personal statment

Postby Dirty Army Lawyers » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:07 pm

Be aware that Feres also protects the US military from legal malpractice.

While I was on active duty with the US Army, I was threatened by a US Army lawyer named Captain Matthew Fitzgerald to do something which was contrary to the US Army legal regulations (which I did not know at the time but he did). Fitzgerald’s motive was to tout this as his first accomplishment on his annual performance report of which I later got a copy. This threat resulted in my losing over $50,000 of my personal funds.

When I asked the top lawyer (now Lieutenant General Dana Chipman) for assistance, the first thing they did was appoint Fitzgerald’s previous boss and a very obvious friend to “investigate.” Since there was no wrongdoing found as a result of this faux investigation but specifics were protected by the Privacy Act , I filed the same complaint with Fitzgerald’s Oregon State Bar which is NOT PROTECTED under privacy laws. Evidence showed that Fitzgerald lied no less than 10 times to his Oregon State Bar.

It was all thrown out of federal court due to Feres although I had a slam-dunk case with all evidence in my favor. Just to add insult to my financial injury, Fitzgerald got promoted to Major. The US Government should no longer be protected from flagrant malpractice when such protections are not available in the private sector.

There is currently an online petition at:

http://www.petitiononline.com/fd1950/petition.html




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