Do I need a Public Interest Essay

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hallbd16
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:40 pm

Do I need a Public Interest Essay

Postby hallbd16 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:20 am

So my PS has a very heavy public interest slant to it. PI is my goal after law school so I am applying to several PI programs UCLA, GULC, UC Davis, DU (I think NYU is out of my reach... I expect to get a 167-169 on my LSAT score I get back soon. And yes I know not to count the chickens before the eggs hatch). These programs have applications asking for a 2nd essay submitted detailing my interest in PI, dubbed "why PI." GULC and DU indicate it is ok to reuse your PS if you feel it covers the question. UC Davis and UCLA do not mention that. Also UC Davis and UCLA have a little more detailed PI essay question: "why PI and what are your career goals/vision/envisioned trajectory."

I included my PS below so you can skim it and then answer the questions below.


1. Would you write an additional essay for these schools PI programs or use the one I wrote?

2. Do the programs get access to my general law school application? (I suppose this is a question for each law school admission committee) If yes, I could use the additional essay to add to the topic of my PS, maybe with the career vision/trajectory involved. I see value in doing this, but I am not sure how much more specific I can get... I am not sure of the exact avenues I want to initiate change, that depends on what opportunities are available to me as I graduate.

3. Is the UC Davis MLK Scholarship only for URM and people who have been part of an oppressed community?

My PS
On the eve of the 2010 school year, six of 120 teachers stood uncomfortably as the rest sat underneath the maroon ‘STRIVE’ banner in the school cafeteria: “If our staff represents our communities, those standing represent those who will attend a four-year university. We are charged with relegating that to the notes of history.” The words of my boss, the CEO of the highest performing Colorado charter network, signaled the start of my fight against the achievement gap. The next two years filled a spectrum of emotions and shaped one way I want to impact education reform: by championing the values of accountability and high-expectations.

The first semester was ideal. I was a founding math teacher for a newly added campus of a renowned charter network. Our approach utilized parallel systems of expectations and support. My administration set my classroom target for two years of academic growth just as I helped students establish their “big goal” of an 85% average on all assessments. The academic supports added to these expectations helped my students grow 1.6 academic years that first semester.
The following semester imparted the difficulties of maintaining success. As February passed, my 8th period class’ performance trajectory fell behind set benchmarks. As an advocate of the ideal that teachers are 100% accountable for the performance of their students, I nervously sought the assistance of the principal. Firm but cooperative, he agreed the current trajectory of the 8th period class did not meet network standards, helped me establish a plan of action, and noted that failure would result in employment termination. My previous successes and positive evaluations from the first semester did not guarantee job security.

Fortunately we were able to right the ship. College leadership training, which emphasized case study analysis, had prepared me to focus on the root causes and their interplay in order to address shortcomings. Among numerous changes, I transitioned away from the network-wide teacher-centric methodology —teacher lectures and student listens– and empowered students to control their own learning. Visitors rarely found me talking in class. Instead they would see students leading the warm up, captains assigning tasks for group projects, or the “college committees” judging what team produced the best college-bound work. I am as proud my students took ownership of their education as I am of their average of 2.8 years of academic growth.

The exhaustion and stress faded as I emerged from the experience, what remained was a state of perplexity. The entire process defied traditional educational norms: from the administration accepting a rapid overhaul of the classroom pedagogy to my boss’s willingness to fire a young teacher performing well above industry standards. In time, I accepted the process as positive. It made me a better teacher, inspired me to become a mentor for incoming teachers during my second year teaching, and drove pedagogical changes at my school; the bottom line was that it benefited the students. This transformation represents how my teaching experiences molded my strong beliefs about the direction of education and the possibilities for success.

My desire to attend law school next year is anchored in my quest to realize my vision for American education reform. There are countless legal mechanisms available to affect change. I saw firsthand as a college intern at the Boulder County Courthouse how our legal system influences truancy, school safety, child welfare, and special education rights. Laws such as “No Child Left Behind” and executive acts such as “Race to the Top,” showcase the reform debate around teacher accountability. The legal interpretation and enforcement of such initiatives will shape educational policy. The same is true of the 2012 Chicago Teachers’ Strike negotiations around labor accountability. I can also imagine furthering the reform movement by pressuring government action through litigation, such as in Lobato vs. Colorado, where the state was sued for not providing adequate resources. The status quo already has a legal establishment; I am here to fight for of transformative change that relegates educational inequality to the notes of history.

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PickMe!
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Do I need a Public Interest Essay

Postby PickMe! » Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:25 am

My PS is PIL slanted as well, but I still wrote one.

Edit: Reading your PS, we're very similar candidates vying for spots at roughly the same schools, and applying for the same scholarships/ PIL programs. That being said, I think you should write the essay.
Last edited by PickMe! on Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Nova
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: Do I need a Public Interest Essay

Postby Nova » Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:29 am

3. Is the UC Davis MLK Scholarship only for URM and people who have been part of an oppressed community?

Only the second part (bolded). No where on the application does it ask for race/ethnicity. No where in the reqs does it req you must be MA/AA/PR/NA.

MLK criteria:
demonstrated commitment to public interest,
evidence of significant community involvement,
evidence of leadership,
evidence of high potential for academic or professional achievement,
educational or economic background indicative of limited access to graduate or professional opportunity,
previous or current residence in a community where attainment of higher education is rare,
GPA and LSAT scores indicative of ability to successfully complete a rigorous course of legal study


http://www.law.ucdavis.edu/current/fina ... cation.pdf

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hallbd16
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:40 pm

Re: Do I need a Public Interest Essay

Postby hallbd16 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:53 pm

Nova wrote:
3. Is the UC Davis MLK Scholarship only for URM and people who have been part of an oppressed community?

Only the second part (bolded). No where on the application does it ask for race/ethnicity. No where in the reqs does it req you must be MA/AA/PR/NA.

MLK criteria:
demonstrated commitment to public interest,
evidence of significant community involvement,
evidence of leadership,
evidence of high potential for academic or professional achievement,
educational or economic background indicative of limited access to graduate or professional opportunity,
previous or current residence in a community where attainment of higher education is rare,

GPA and LSAT scores indicative of ability to successfully complete a rigorous course of legal study

I suppose it is the bolded section I was referring to. I am of middle class background and both parents got higher education. That seems to indicate I shouldn't apply.
http://www.law.ucdavis.edu/current/fina ... cation.pdf


PickMe! Good luck! Nice to hear people who have similar mindsets for law school. Another eerie similarity... we both have 119 posts on TLS




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