Please Critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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gitguy
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:01 pm

Please Critique

Postby gitguy » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:00 pm

I didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming a lawyer. When I was young, I wanted to be an architect, a paleontologist, and then an astronaut. I idolized men of science and discovery, and spent my time learning about geography and the stars. Courtrooms and code sections didn’t seem to educe the same inspiration a shuttle liftoff could. My desire to become a lawyer is instead a product of several years of self-discovery, reflection, and the gradual development of an intense interest in politics, public policy, and environmental preservation.

I was born on the south side of Chicago and raised by my mother, who is as staunch a pro-union, blue collar Midwesterner as you will ever find, and a lot of that rubbed off on me. She first went to work for Bell Telephone as a phone installer at a time when women were either secretaries or stayed home, a fact they didn’t let her forget. She became a top union steward and fought discrimination at every turn, all while supporting my sister and me on her own. She showed me basic rights are hard won, that organizing and advocacy produce real results, and that everyone deserves respect. Over time, I found that to be as inspiring as any trip into space.

She moved us to a small, rural town in California where I spent much of my time out in the open spaces, but it was a place marred by the distinction of having some of the worst air quality in the nation. In my freshman year of high school, he EPA came to our school to collect soil samples from the football field and informed us that the nearby aerospace plant, active since the Cold War, had a history of dumping spent rocket fuel constituents into the ground after testing, a fact which seemed to explain our loathsome water quality and several cases of childhood leukemia in the community.

Looking back, it was during those years that I developed a deep concern, and to be candid, deep frustration over environmental degradation and the social injustices my mother endured. I realized that the reality for our generation is, in part, characterized by an environment at the mercy of economies and political systems at odds with sustainable practices, and a lack of recognition of basic human rights.

Nor is the economy a source of optimism for young people. Falling wages, reduced benefits, part-time underemployment, and widening inequality are also the reality. I know the job market well, I worked full time all through college, at one point with two jobs. Graveyard, morning, noon, and night for low pay – it’s hard for people to get ahead, or stay afloat for that matter, and the widening chasm is creating serious social problems.

So, I went to work canvassing for public interest groups including CalPIRG, Greenpeace and HRC, face-to-face, door-to-door, talking to people about the issues. After my first year of college I shifted gears away from engineering, and spent my time at the University of California Irvine studying public policy, law, and the environment, because I learned that’s where my passion lies. During my internship with the US State Department I learned how our country influences environmental policy abroad while balancing international economic interests.

All along, I felt strongly that law was my calling, but in truth I had no idea what an attorney really does all day. At the end of college, I decided to take a job at a firm specializing in complex civil litigation, and for the last two and a half years I have felt at home there. What started out as hole-punching and file running evolved into hands-on experience working directly with the attorneys drafting pleadings, investigating cases, conducting discovery, working with clients, and even assisting in the litigation of several jury trials. It turns out that I have a knack for it, and my time at the firm has served me with invaluable preparation.

These experiences have brought me to a point of resolve. I want to be an advocate, a litigator, a regulator, and a force for change. I want an opportunity to craft sound policies that benefit the economy, the community, and the ecosystem alike. There are enormous challenges ahead, but I believe that we can adapt ecologically, and become more inclusive economically. Ours will not be a lost generation, but one of renewed confidence and innovation. We will learn to balance competing interests and find ways to thrive. I want to be a part of that conversation. But, first I need a seat at the table.

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bobbypin
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:50 pm

Re: Please Critique

Postby bobbypin » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:20 pm

gitguy wrote:I didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming a lawyer. When I was young, I wanted to be an architect, a paleontologist, and then an astronaut. I idolized men of science and discovery, and spent my time learning about geography and the stars. Courtrooms and code sections didn’t seem to educe the same inspiration a shuttle liftoff could. My desire to become a lawyer is instead a product of several years of self-discovery, reflection, and the gradual development of an intense interest in politics, public policy, and environmental preservation.

I was born on the south side of Chicago and raised by my mother, who is as staunch a pro-union, blue collar Midwesterner as you will ever find, and a lot of that rubbed off on me. This sentence does not flow well. She first went to work for Bell Telephone as a phone installer at a time when women were either secretaries or stayed home, a fact they didn’t let her forget. She became a top union steward and fought discrimination at every turn, all while supporting my sister and me on her own. She showed me basic rights are hard won, that organizing and advocacy produce real results, and that everyone deserves respect. Over time, I found that to be as inspiring as any trip into space.

She moved us to a small, rural town in California where I spent much of my time out in the open spaces, but it was a place marred by the distinction of having some of the worst air quality in the nation. In my freshman year of high school, the EPA came to our school to collect soil samples from the football field. He informed us that the nearby aerospace plant, active since the Cold War, had a history of dumping spent rocket fuel constituents into the ground after testing, a fact which seemed to explain our loathsome water quality and several cases of childhood leukemia in the community. This sentence ran on and on. It needed an edit.

Looking back, it was during those years that I developed a deep concern, and to be candid, deep frustration over environmental degradation and the social injustices my mother endured. I realized that the reality for our generation is, in part, characterized by an environment at the mercy of economies and political systems at odds with sustainable practices, and a lack of recognition of basic human rights. This paragraph seems extraneous and a bit whiny.

Nor is the economy a source of optimism for young people. If you remove the preceeding paragraph, this sentence no longer works. Falling wages, reduced benefits, part-time underemployment, and widening inequality are also the reality. I know the job market well, I worked full time all through college, at one point with two jobs. Graveyard, morning, noon, and night for low pay – it’s hard for people to get ahead, or stay afloat for that matter, and the widening chasm is creating serious social problems.

So, I went to work canvassing for public interest groups including CalPIRG, Greenpeace and HRC, face-to-face, door-to-door, talking to people about the issues. After my first year of college, I shifted gears away from engineering, and spent my time at the University of California Irvine studying public policy, law, and the environment, because I learned that’s where my passion lies. Another run on sentence. During my internship with the US State Department, I learned how our country influences environmental policy abroad while balancing international economic interests.

All along, I felt strongly that law was my calling, but in truth I had no idea what an attorney really does all day. Remove this sentence. At the end of college, I decided to take a job at a firm specializing in complex civil litigation, and for the last two and a half years I have felt at home there. What started out as hole-punching and file running evolved into hands-on experience working directly with the attorneys drafting pleadings, investigating cases, conducting discovery, working with clients, and even assisting in the litigation of several jury trials. It turns out that I have a knack for it, and my time at the firm has served me with invaluable preparation.

These experiences have brought me to a point of resolve. This sentence says to me I couldn't find anything better to do with my life so I guess, I'll just become a lawyer. Ho-hum. I want to be an advocate, a litigator, a regulator, and a force for change. I want an opportunity to craft sound policies that benefit the economy, the community, and the ecosystem alike. There are enormous challenges ahead, but I believe that we can adapt ecologically, and become more inclusive economically. Ours will not be a lost generation, but one of renewed confidence and innovation. We will learn to balance competing interests and find ways to thrive. I want to be a part of that conversation. But, first I need a seat at the table.


There are a few instances of missing commas that I added. The tone of this statement seems a bit disjointed. I hope that the edits I suggested help.




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