Thanks for your help here. One note about the chronology in the last paragraph: It doesn't make sense as you read it today because I've written it to reflect the fact that I'll be submitting my applications in October.
[STATE], especially in a blue collar coastal town where Italian and Portuguese are the most prevalent second languages, is not the best place to be exposed to Spanish. Yet despite this a love of the language was fostered in me right away during my high school years. Still, I questioned its personal applicability. When would I ever be able to use it, and how? Although I enjoyed learning and speaking it, I was young, had never lived outside of my hometown, and found it hard to picture myself in a position where I would be able to put Spanish to good use. It seemed destined to ultimately become a forgotten interest.
This notion, however, was unexpectedly put to rest one day during my freshman year at [UNIVERSITY]. As I was waiting to pay for my groceries at a supermarket just off campus, I noticed that the line was at a standstill. I looked ahead and soon identified the cause of the problem when I saw two equally frustrated people, one a cashier and the other a patron, clearly struggling to overcome a language barrier. After some consideration I cautiously approached the register and offered to help. I ended up resolving the issue with little difficulty, much to the relief of those who had been impatiently waiting in line with me. Although this event was rather unassuming it made me realize that not only was Spanish closer to me than I had previously thought, but also that my abilities could positively impact those around me. This was a watershed moment.
Now inspired to find a way to incorporate Spanish into a career, I became determined to continue to improve my aptitude. I soon decided upon the next big leap necessary to increase my proficiency: complete immersion in a Spanish-speaking culture. I decided to study abroad in Spain and eschewed the most popular choices of Madrid and Barcelona, fearful that such large, cosmopolitan cities would not force me out of my English-speaking comfort zone. Instead I chose Granada, a beautiful city nestled at the base of the Sierra Nevadas. I knew immediately after my arrival that I had made the correct choice when I heard nothing but Spanish being spoken all around me. And although it was difficult to come home after such an eye-opening experience, I returned hopeful and ready to employ my language skills in a future career. The most intriguing option that I began to contemplate was applying my abilities in the legal field in a country where the Spanish-speaking population continues to swell.
I was introduced to the legal profession when I was very young, so although my thoughts about combining Spanish and law were rather new, I had always viewed being an attorney as an admirable and exciting line of work. My [RELATIVE] spoke about his choice to become an attorney without reservations, claiming that, aside from marrying my [RELATIVE], it was the best decision he ever made. He simply loved to practice, something which was reinforced by the relentless vigor he displayed when he addressed any legal or controversial topic. Aspects of the profession that he always spoke of, like the value of pursuing fairness and the personal thrill one gets from winning a case, greatly appealed to me and first caused me to consider following his path.
It is fair, therefore, to say that I had been considering a career in law for a long time. Nevertheless I remained uncommitted, still unsure exactly in which direction I wanted to go. I knew I would not commit to law school unless I was fully confident that it was the correct choice for me; this was one of the biggest factors in my decision to delay applying for over a year after the completion of my undergraduate studies. Finally I realized that the only way I could be sure of myself would be to gain experience in a law office and to see the intricacies of the profession firsthand.
With this in mind, this past January I began an internship with [FIRM], a small firm run by my [RELATIVES] and begun by my [RELATIVE], and I found that I truly love being in the office and courtroom every day. Any fear of making the wrong decision regarding law school was put to rest over those eight months. From drafting motions and conducting research to interacting with clients and learning the tendencies of specific judges, I have been fascinated by all facets of my experience. Whether conveying real estate, finalizing a divorce agreement or administering an estate, it became clear just how pervasive the law is in our everyday lives. In addition, particularly of importance to me has been that during our work in the courthouses of eastern Massachusetts there has been no shortage of Spanish being spoken. It is readily apparent that there is a strong need for attorneys who can interact with clientele whose primary, and sometimes only, language is Spanish.
Perhaps of greatest importance of all, however, has been the advantage of seeing firsthand the chaotic life that an attorney leads. Long, strange hours are the norm, and especially when dealing with domestic matters, there is no such thing as normal business hours. Although hectic at times, this has done nothing to deter me from my decision to become an attorney, instead even having the opposite effect of captivating me with the knowledge that the day-to-day is rarely ordinary. Seeing my [RELATIVES] still greet each day with interest and enthusiasm after decades of practicing has shown me that this is a profession where I will never become apathetic.
Having only recently completed my internship, the next chapter in my education has already begun: I have accepted a teaching position in [TOWN], Spain, a small town of only 13,000 people, where I am teaching English through May 2013 after having arrived on September 25. My eight-month internship is now being followed by eight months abroad which will be spent raising my Spanish to a level of fluency. By committing to this position I am putting myself in the best situation to increase my proficiency to the level necessary to be a bilingual professional. Upon my return to the United States next summer I will be prepared to enter law school having already accomplished the actual language acquisition that one needs to practice law bilingually. With the language component behind me I will be eager to jump fully into my studies, ready to one day combine Spanish and the law, two passions that I now know can be woven to form an exciting and unique future career.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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