Thoughts on my personal statement? Too risky?

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Anonymous User
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Thoughts on my personal statement? Too risky?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:53 pm

I know conventional wisdom is not to talk about politics or romance, which is why this could be a little risky. However, I think it highlights a lot of characteristics that law schools are looking for, cultural (and political) diversity, ability to see multiple viewpoints, intellectual ability, interest in law, etc. Despite highlighting these different characteristics, I still feel like it's tied together pretty well. Plus, I think the first two sentences should get their attention. I want them to remember me.

Changed names so I wouldn't be as identifiable...

I’m a Republican. I’m also part of a 200+ person Latino family. As a result, I will have a different worldview than my fellow law students, and this is something that truly excites me about law school. Exposing oneself to different points of view simultaneously changes some of your values, while confirming others. I know this because I have spent most of my life surrounded by people with different perspectives.
The process started when I began dating Maria (who is now my wife) in my sophomore year of high school. Given the importance of family in Hispanic culture and her parents’ overprotective nature, a relationship with Maria meant a relationship with her family as well. There I was; a pale skinny gringo, walking into a party with a hundred people speaking in Spanish and staring at me. The experience took me far outside of my comfort zone. I was trying new foods, learning a new language, and even attempting to dance Meringue. As my relationship with Maria grew, so did my relationship with her family. I went from speaking almost no Spanish to being able to comfortably converse in the language. I went from being a picky eater to a lover of Latino foods. I went from being a clumsy dancer to… a clumsy dancer less afraid to make a fool of myself on the dance floor.
Becoming a part of Maria’s family reaffirmed my belief in the importance of families as social institutions, but caused me to question some of my other values. Before my experience, I was certain in my views on immigration policy. Illegal immigrants were law-breakers who needed to be deported; it was as simple as that. However, as I got to know my new family, it became harder and harder to justify my view. People I had viewed as statistics before now had faces, names and families. I saw firsthand how unbelievably hard so many in her family worked, never complaining once, because the opportunities for their children here were so much better. I learned this firsthand on a mission trip to Honduras with my church. It was shocking to see the extreme poverty in that country, and the experience helped me understand why so many risk so much to come to ours. These people truly understood the meaning of the American Dream.
Having my political beliefs on immigration shaken opened me up to reconsidering all of them. This process continued at (COLLEGE NAME), where I was unsurprisingly a political minority. However, my college experience also facilitated constructive dialogue both in and out of the classroom. Some of my fondest memories of the past four years were staying up until 2:00 AM on a Friday night, arguing policy and values with my friends. Such debates only made these friendships stronger, and opened me up to the serious points of both sides. I remained a Republican, but far from a party-line member, with differing beliefs on most social issues, foreign policy, and of course, immigration. On the other hand, my more libertarian views on economic policy were strengthened. I even had the opportunity to add my voice to the public debate on these issues, with an op-ed in the Washington Examiner and a letter to the editor in the Washington Post. Additionally, while interning at the (CONSERVATIVE THINK-TANK/LAW FIRM) last summer, I was able to publish several articles and papers on legal topics ranging from intellectual property to environmental law. This experience stimulated my interest in legal issues in the United States, and confirmed my desire to learn more about them in law school.
My unique cultural background and political values will allow me to bring a distinct voice to your institution, yet my mixed combination of beliefs ensures that I will also find common ground with others. I enjoy the intellectual challenge that arises from non-conformity, as you can tell by my experiences. These experiences have allowed me to grow and change, in my views and as a person, a continuing process I look forward to at law school.

Anonymous User
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Re: Thoughts on my personal statement? Too risky?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:11 am

Took away the poll since nobody was actually offering any advice. Come on guys, I promise if you read past the first sentence you'll find that I'm actually a decent person...

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RSterling
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Re: Thoughts on my personal statement? Too risky?

Postby RSterling » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:25 am

I'm not crazy about this PS, tbh. I don't think it's too risky to mention your party affiliation, but it seems to go in so many directions. You talk about being a Republican and having your views changed on immigration and then go on to talk about family and what you did in college. The best PS, in my opinion, picks one specific thing about yourself to focus on. You can talk about being introduced to a different culture without talking about being a republican.

Also:

Before my experience, I was certain in my views on immigration policy. Illegal immigrants were law-breakers who needed to be deported; it was as simple as that. However, as I got to know my new family, it became harder and harder to justify my view. People I had viewed as statistics before now had faces, names and families.


I don't think you meant it like this, but I read this as "I hung out with a bunch of Latinos who, obviously, are all in this country illegally." If you meant someone in your new family who is undocumented, say that. But don't imply (even if unintentional) that there are illegal immigrants in any given group of latinos.

Edit: One more thing,

My unique cultural background and political values


Being a republican in an interracial relationship is somewhat unique, but don't expect it to be somethign that blow the hats off of any adcomms.

zoomzoom88
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Re: Thoughts on my personal statement? Too risky?

Postby zoomzoom88 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:14 pm

i think that you don't mean to be you sound a little judgmental in this. focus it on a specific experience and be honest but not offensive (not that i think you intended to)

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Re: Thoughts on my personal statement? Too risky?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:59 pm

Thanks for the advice guys.

RSterling wrote: I don't think you meant it like this, but I read this as "I hung out with a bunch of Latinos who, obviously, are all in this country illegally." If you meant someone in your new family who is undocumented, say that. But don't imply (even if unintentional) that there are illegal immigrants in any given group of latinos.


I do see what you're saying. What if I added a couple of sentences like this.
"...People I had viewed as statistics before now had faces, names and families. I saw the pain of a young woman, unable to attend college or even drive a car because she was not born here, even though this was the only country she could remember. I saw fathers ripped away from their children just because they lacked a piece of paper. Finally, I saw firsthand how unbelievably hard so many in her family worked, never complaining once..."

Being a republican in an interracial relationship is somewhat unique, but don't expect it to be somethign that blow the hats off of any adcomms.


Yeah... but its the best I've got! lol. I'm a pretty average white guy aside from what you see here.

zoomzoom88 wrote:i think that you don't mean to be you sound a little judgmental in this. focus it on a specific experience and be honest but not offensive (not that i think you intended to)


Could you expand a little? Don't be afraid to be harsh!




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