Please critique-- honesty much appreciated!!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
freekitten
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:13 pm

Please critique-- honesty much appreciated!!

Postby freekitten » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:20 pm

Law is personal. It is not merely an abstract set of rules promoting justice and fair agreements. It is much more tangible than that, for it has literally shaped my identity, as well as that of my family. I first stepped foot in the United States as a 12-year-old foreign student from Korea on a student visa in 1998; on November 6, 2012, I casted my first vote in the Presidential election as a proud American citizen. The immigration process opened my eyes to the transformative power of law, but it also deeply humbled me through the realization that whatever benefit I gain through the law must not be taken for granted. Had my mother applied for permanent residency post-9/11, my family would not have qualified for our Green Cards due to the changes in requirements that quickly followed the tragic event. I saw close friends, who had been in this country even before I had arrived, suffer as a result of these changes to the immigration policies. Through no fault of their own, they could not dream of enjoying any of the benefits granted by a legal citizenship status. This was my first glimpse of the way that law could impact our everyday lives.

In addition to the transformative power of law that I experienced firsthand, I also saw good-willed people like my father helplessly defeated by the law. My father, who is a neurosurgeon in Korea, had a lifelong dream of building a hospital for his community. When I was in college, he finally bought a plot of land and invested his lifetime’s savings in building a 10-story hospital. However, my father fell victim to an abuse of process by his construction company, which acted in bad faith in its performance of its contract with my father. This ultimately resulted in my father’s loss of a substantial amount of his property and investments. It was heartbreaking for me to see him crushed. He spent three years learning the law day and night by himself, hoping to save our family from bankruptcy. I wondered why my father was unable to identify even one lawyer to help him at least get back what he had rightfully earned. It was only after my father completed his own research and brought a case against the construction company that he was able to have a very small portion of what he had initially invested returned to him. Nevertheless, the fact remained that his dream was denied. Moments like these provided me with powerful insight: a person with malicious intent can pervert the legal system and misuse the same power of law that enables positive transformations in people’s lives. More importantly, I realized that the law isn’t a self-executing tool that automatically inculcates justice, but it requires competent people to wield the law in the right way. It is through these realizations of the crucial duality of law that I developed a passion to pursue legal advocacy.

Along with my enthusiasm for law education, I bring with me a set of skills that will extend into my future career in law. I cultivated analytical and writing skills through my major in English and American Literature and I look forward to utilizing and further polishing these skills in law school. Working at Morrison & Foerster LLP as a paralegal on the Apple v. Samsung patent infringement case not only confirmed that my interests and abilities are aligned with the demands of legal advocacy, but also prompted a deep self-reflection on my potential role amid the growing importance of transactions and disputes among parties of different nationalities. I plan to maximize the use of my cultural and linguistic fluidity between the U.S. and Korea, two countries that will continue to become increasingly intertwined in the global economy with the recent U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. More importantly, I understand and respect the emphasis law places on process and diligence that I witnessed during my previous role as paralegal; it was a relief to discover that the legal process, if followed carefully, ensures fairness, which will empower and protect people who require help from the law, like my father. Above all, I bring to my law school class an understanding of the tangible power and limitations of law and their implications on a deeply personal level.


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Thanks for reading! Any advice?

swhiz
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:24 pm

Re: Please critique-- honesty much appreciated!!

Postby swhiz » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:57 pm

I must say that this is well-executed.

"Through no fault of their own, they could not dream of enjoying any of the benefits granted by a legal citizenship status."

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fruitoftheloom
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:38 pm

Re: Please critique-- honesty much appreciated!!

Postby fruitoftheloom » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:57 pm

freekitten wrote:Law is personal. It is not merely an abstract set of rules promoting justice and fair agreements. It is much more tangible than that, for it has literally shaped my identity, I think this comma is unnecessary as well as that of my family. I first stepped foot in the United States as a 12-year-old foreign student from Korea on a student visa in 1998; on November 6, 2012, I casted cast, casted is not a word my first vote in the Presidential election as a proud American citizen. The immigration process opened my eyes to the transformative power of law, but it also deeply humbled me through the realization that whatever benefit I gain through the law must not be taken for granted. Had my mother applied for permanent residency post-9/11, my family would not have qualified for our Green Cards due to the changes in requirements that quickly followed the tragic event. I saw close friends, who had been in this country even before I had arrived, suffer as a result of these changes to the immigration policies. Through no fault of their own, they could not dream of enjoying any of the benefits granted by a legal citizenship status. This was my first glimpse of the way that law could impact our everyday lives.

In addition to the transformative think of a synonym - this is a fairly odd word, and I don't think you should repeat it power of law that I experienced firsthand, I also saw good-willed people like my father helplessly defeated by the law. My father, who is a neurosurgeon in Korea, had a lifelong dream of building a hospital for his community. When I was in college, he finally bought a plot of land and invested his lifetime’s savings in into building a 10-story hospital. However, my father fell victim to an abuse of process by his construction company, which acted in bad faith in its performance of its contract with my father. this part here sounds somewhat corny.. if I were you, I would instead describe what they did "This company took advantage of my father by taking the money and refusing to build the hospital" or whatever happened. The way it sounds now is somewhat awkward, and also, you're not an attorney.. This ultimately resulted in my father’s loss of a substantial amount of his property and investments. It was heartbreaking for me to see him crushed. He spent three years learning the law day and night by himself, hoping to save our family from bankruptcy. I wondered why my father was unable to identify even one lawyer to help him at least get back what he had rightfully earned. This is very, very odd. Change this. Truthfully - my thought is that if your father couldn't find a single attorney to help him (even on a contingency basis), he didn't have a case and you're simply mistaken that the construction company acted in bad faith It was only after my father completed his own research and brought a case against the construction company that he was able to have a very small portion of what he had initially invested returned to him. Nevertheless, the fact remained that his dream was denied. Moments like these provided me with powerful insight: a person with malicious intent can pervert the legal system and misuse the same power of law that enables positive transformations in people’s lives. More importantly, I realized that the law isn’t a self-executing tool that automatically inculcates justice, but it requires competent people to wield the law in the right way. It is through these realizations of the crucial duality of law that I developed a passion to pursue legal advocacy.

Along with my enthusiasm for law legal instead of law education, I bring with me a set of skills that will extend into my future career in law. I cultivated analytical and writing skills through my major in English and American Literature and I look forward to utilizing and further polishing these skills in law school. remove this Working at Morrison & Foerster LLP as a paralegal on the Apple v. Samsung patent infringement case not only confirmed that my interests and abilities are aligned with the demands of legal advocacy, but also prompted a deep self-reflection on my potential role amid the growing importance of transactions and disputes among parties of different nationalities. I plan to maximize the use of my cultural and linguistic fluidity between the U.S. and Korea, two countries that will continue to become increasingly intertwined in the global economy with the recent U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. More importantly, I understand and respect the emphasis law places on process and diligence that I witnessed during my previous role as paralegal; it was a relief to discover that the legal process, if followed carefully, ensures fairness, which will empower and protect people who require help from the law, omit this comma like my father. Above all, I bring to my law school class an understanding of the tangible power and limitations of law and their implications on a deeply personal level.


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Thanks for reading! Any advice?


I think your statement is okay. If I were you, I would omit or revise the information about your father's struggle to build a hospital. That paragraph leaves me concerned that you think you understand the law, but you really have no idea. I think a parallel story would be "My family member was involved in a car accident. They weren't paid what they deserved. Now I want to be a lawyer". It's not compelling..

Just my two cents.

Also - make sure you have a native English speaker proof read this, preferably someone who knows the comma rules.

freekitten
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: Please critique-- honesty much appreciated!!

Postby freekitten » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:05 pm

Thank you so very much for your advice! I really appreciate it. Yeah, I figured my second paragraph is a little iffy. I'm desperately trying to figure out a new angle to tackle the hospital part without sounding too whiny or naive or ignorant... :shock:
oh man oh man

elcee1987
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:40 am

Re: Please critique-- honesty much appreciated!!

Postby elcee1987 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:42 pm

I agree though, this is a nicely-written statement. You have sweet softs and you highlight them nicely, while summing up your direct future contribution to law school. I think any other comments are nitpicky. And nitpicking is important at this stage so don't discount it, but I want to emphasize this is well done as a whole.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Please critique-- honesty much appreciated!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:19 pm

"More importantly, I realized that the law isn't a self-executing tool that automatically inculcates justice, but it requires competent people to wield the law in the right way."

The above-quoted portion of your PS, your dad's experience & your work experience with Morrison & Foerster should yield positive results.

P.S. Are you sure that "inculcates" conveys your intended meaning ? Or would "renders" be a more accurate word ? They both work, but with different meanings.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Please critique-- honesty much appreciated!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:24 pm

Your PS needs to be edited by an English professor or professional editor/proofreader.

The portion about your father's experience should be redone since it seems, as noted above by another poster, that your dad couldn't get an attorney to take his case because it wasn't as clear-cut as you think. He probably received a small settlement.

Nevertheless, your essay is sincere & convincing.

freekitten
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: Please critique-- honesty much appreciated!!

Postby freekitten » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:33 pm

Thank you all for your input!

I have revised my PS extensively since my original post. Hope I'm going in the right direction. Again, thanks to all for your advice.
--------------------------------------------------

Law is much more than an abstract set of rules promoting justice and fair agreements. The law is personal and it has shaped my identity and the identity of my family. I first came to the United States as a twelve-year-old foreign student from Korea on a student visa in 1998. On November 6, 2012, I cast my first vote in the Presidential election as a proud American citizen. The immigration process opened my eyes to the transformative power of law and humbled me with the realization that I must not take for granted the benefits I gain through the law. Had my mother applied for permanent residency after 9/11, my family would not have received Green Cards due to the changes in requirements that followed the tragedy. This was my first encounter with the way that laws impact our lives.

During college, I gained a new view of the law as I watched my father struggle with a legal case that nearly destroyed his life’s work. As a neurosurgeon who worked in a rural community in Korea for twenty years, my father had dreamed of providing an advanced medical facility for this community. Despite his earnest efforts to build a ten-story hospital, my father was nearly brought to insolvency and lost the hospital to the construction company that he had hired. My father suffered substantial losses because of the fraudulent conduct of the construction contractors and his own lack of understanding of the law. It was heartbreaking to see my father crushed. Although he got back a small portion of his initial investment, he lost the chance to achieve his life-long goal.

Observing my father’s loss and suffering made me realize that the law alone cannot guarantee a fair outcome: people require ethical and competent counsel to help them navigate the legal system. My primary inspiration for pursuing a law degree comes from the realization that the law is a social enterprise rather than a regime of self-executing rules. This human element is inseparable from the practice of law and I hope to learn more about the ways in which I can draw upon my strengths as a human agent in the legal system.

In addition to my experience as an immigrant, living away from home since the age of twelve while attending boarding schools with students from around the world has given me the ability to traverse various cultural norms and linguistic nuances with sensitivity. Living in Korea and working as a TOEFL instructor strengthened my belief that cultural fluidity is as important as linguistic mastery in navigating national borders. In the complex global economy, I see potential in my ability to act as an intermediary between the United States and Korea in resolving legal matter and am eager to hone my linguistic and cultural agility.

After graduating from [college], I was hired to join the legal team of Morrison & Foerster LLP, where I analyzed and reviewed documents for Apple v. Samsung. I was fascinated by the greater implications of the work as I knew that the outcome of the case would have a huge impact not only on the regulatory aspects of patent technology and innovation but also on the future choices of everyday consumers. As a member of a generation defined by technological advancement, I was excited to help clarify the concept of innovation. The investigation and our strategies were fascinating and it was gratifying to realize that my skills were well suited to the legal profession. I thoroughly enjoyed using the analytical and writing skills I had polished while majoring in English and American Literature and am eager to refine these skills in law school. Given my background in the sciences and my studies as a Chemistry minor, I found that navigating the web of technical language on patent applications was fascinating and rewarding as I became more fluent. In addition, working alongside more than thirty bilingual attorneys who shared my cultural roots gave me great insight into how I would position myself in the legal market after earning my law degree.

After graduating from law school, I will embark upon a legal career that makes use of my linguistic and cross-cultural understanding of the U.S. and Korea, two countries that are deeply intertwined in the global economy, especially due to the recent U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. For this reason, I believe that [Law School]’s excellence and its strong international law program will give me the knowledge and skills needed to liaise in legal matters across national borders. [Law school]’s summer exchange program with Seoul National University is ideally suited to my interests. Above all, I am keen to learn how my law education at [Law School] will shape my personal understanding of the law and help me become a dependable and effective legal advocate.




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