Help. want to submit soon. am I close?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
doyouevenlift
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:47 pm

Help. want to submit soon. am I close?

Postby doyouevenlift » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:56 am

“Protestors have broken in,” the Chief of Staff to the Director-General said dryly as she poked her head into my office. This explained the steady crescendo emanating throughout the insulated courtyards of the United Nations of Geneva. “Don’t worry, it happens sometimes.” She had barely finished the sentence before she was gone.

By then, I could see the crowds forming from my window. A secondary gate had closed, separating the interior courtyards from the exterior premises. The protestors had gathered at this gate, having jumped over the first. They were vehemently shouting about degrading conditions in Syria, pounding on the gate as if to place exclamation points on their statements. They demanded UN intervention while numerous protestors held up pictures of loved ones left behind or deceased.

Their passion and cause, albeit unforgettable, was not what inspired me most, however. This inspiration was derived from the faces of the UN associates, standing feet from the gate, smoking cigarettes nonchalantly while watching the protestors as if they were some sort of spectacle. From that very gate, a divide appeared before my eyes, which made clear a disconnect between the governed and the governing and, in my case, the privileged and the disadvantaged. I could not believe that these UN employees, whose careers entailed human rights and development advocacy, presented such apathy. But I could not hold them at fault; I had been shielded from these realities my entire life. As I watched from my window, the insulated bubble of my own life became increasingly apparent.

Growing up in an upper middle class family has afforded me a great many things, including the opportunity to work in the Director-General’s office. But its most important provision, one I took for granted, was the ability to be carefree. As I watched the protests unfold, I realized that I had never had to fight for my rights. I had never been nor will I likely ever be subjected to political injustice and marginalization. Walking down the long drive of the United Nations every morning never felt like the privilege it truly was until that very moment. The flags of the 193 member-states that line the drive now remind me of the people who are unable to walk beneath them and of the decisions made for them, which may or may not reflect their interests.

To me, this represented the state of global governance and its inability to reach the populace and, more importantly, the populace’s inability to reach the institutions of global governance. For, as accessible as the United Nations’ grounds are with regard to underwhelming security, the average citizen is incapable of accessing the venues through which change and progress are accomplished. It was at this point that I realized I wanted to pursue law in the hope of understanding the connection between the people and their respective governments, whether truly representative or not. It is my belief that the laws we uphold are the greatest strengths of our democracy; that they provide the means for society’s progression through adaptation. This single moment led to my desire for the understanding of how to create realistic change that I saw as only possible through law.
The institutions created for the people have become inaccessible in so many parts of the world. As I watched the two respective crowds of people from my window, with the UN employees in their suits staring at the protesters from safe vantage, it became clear that the only way to make the institutions we have created accessible again would be to test the laws, which they base their very legitimacy on. Challenging the status quo through the boundaries of law in court represents the greatest opportunity to maintain the freedoms, which have been promised to all in the form of democratic voice, and the driving inspiration behind my desire to study and practice law.

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bdeebs
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:54 pm

Re: Help. want to submit soon. am I close?

Postby bdeebs » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:09 pm

I don't like "steady crescendo" for two reasons:
1. I feel like steady is a redundant modifier.
2. The word just seems off to me. But, I am used to hearing it in a musical setting where there is control and a sense of deliberate increase in sound, so this may just be due to my background associations with the word.

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francesfarmer
Posts: 1409
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:52 am

Re: Help. want to submit soon. am I close?

Postby francesfarmer » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:11 pm

doyouevenlift wrote:“Protestors have broken in,” the Chief of Staff to the Director-General said dryly as she poked her head into my office. This explained the steady crescendo emanating throughout the insulated courtyards of the United Nations of office in Geneva. “Don’t worry, it happens sometimes.” She had barely finished the sentence before she was gone. [Maybe mention her nonchalance here instead of trying to show us her nonchalance? I would prefer that. Be explicit. This isn't a short story.]
By then, I could see the crowds forming from my window. A secondary gate had closed, separating the interior courtyards from the exterior premises. The protestors had gathered at this gate, having jumped over the first. They were vehemently shouting about degrading conditions in Syria, pounding on the gate as if to place exclamation points on their statements. They protestors demanded UN intervention while numerous protestors many of them held up pictures of loved ones left behind or deceased. [I think you could clean this up logistically--why mention that the gate was secondary? Just say they had jumped over one gate only to be stopped by another]
Their passion and cause, albeit unforgettable, was not what inspired [impressed upon me? inspired is the wrong word] me most, however. This inspiration was derived from the faces of the UN associates, standing feet from the gate, smoking cigarettes nonchalantly while watching the protestors as if they were some sort of spectacle. From that very gate, a divide appeared before my eyes, which made clear a disconnect between the governed and the governing and, in my case, the privileged and the disadvantaged. I could not believe that these UN employees, whose careers entailed were supposedly dedicated to human rights and development advocacy, presented exhibited/felt such apathy. But I could not hold them at fault; I had been shielded from these realities my entire life. As I watched from my window, the insulated bubble of my own life became increasingly apparent.
Growing up in an upper middle class family has afforded me a great many things, including the opportunity to work in the Director-General’s office. But its most important provision, one I took for granted, was the ability to be carefree. As I watched the protests unfold, I realized that I had never had to fight for my rights. I had never been nor will I likely ever be subjected to political injustice and marginalization. Walking down the long drive of the United Nations every morning never felt like the privilege it truly was until that very moment. The flags of the 193 member-states that line the drive now remind me of the people who are unable to walk beneath them and of the decisions made for them, which may or may not reflect their interests.

To me, this represented the state of global governance and its inability to reach the populace and, more importantly, the populace’s inability to reach the institutions of global governance. For, as accessible as the United Nations’ grounds are with regard to underwhelming security, the average citizen is incapable of accessing the venues through which change and progress are accomplished. It was at this point that I realized I wanted to pursue law in the hope of understanding the connection between the people and their respective governments, whether truly representative or not. It is my belief that the laws we uphold are the greatest strengths of our democracy; that they provide the means for society’s progression through adaptation. This single moment led to my desire for the understanding of how to create realistic change that I saw as only possible through law.

The institutions created for the people have become inaccessible in so many parts of the world. As I watched the two respective crowds of people from my window, with the UN employees in their suits staring at the protesters from safe vantage, it became clear that the only way to make the institutions we have created accessible again would be to test the laws, which they base their very legitimacy on. Challenging the status quo through the boundaries of law in court represents the greatest opportunity to maintain the freedoms, which have been promised to all in the form of democratic voice, and the driving inspiration behind my desire to study and practice law.



Here are some stylistic edits in the first part. The end is where you lose me. I don't think it serves you to be idealistic, and I don't like the forced narrative ("at that moment/point I knew I wanted to be a lawyer") or the imagery with the member states' flags. Maybe that's just me, but I think you could tone it down a little and talk about how there are real problems in international governance and you would like to be a small of piece of the effort that it takes to reform our incredibly broken system. I hope I don't sound harsh! This essay has a lot of potential.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Help. want to submit soon. am I close?

Postby francesfarmer » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:13 pm

Also take out mentions to your middle class upbringing. No need. They know you are privileged, you've worked for the UN and you are applying to law school.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Help. want to submit soon. am I close?

Postby francesfarmer » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:14 pm

Also it sounds like you should just get an MPP and go into policy reform like my best friend who also worked for the UN is doing.

doyouevenlift
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:47 pm

Re: Help. want to submit soon. am I close?

Postby doyouevenlift » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:15 pm

Thanks guys, this is great advice!




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