Final Draft sending it tonight. Need help.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Renzo Marx

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:42 pm

Final Draft sending it tonight. Need help.

Postby Renzo Marx » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:29 pm

I am sending my supporting documents tonight, tomorrow latest. I would really appreciate all feedbacks about the grammar, the flow, the structure, the content and what really impress you about this statement.

“Mom, why are you leaving us? Why can’t you just stay?” I asked. She just looked me in the eyes, kissed my forehead, and boarded the plane. I was only five years old when my mother went abroad to work as a nanny. Being left behind by parents going abroad is a common reality for hundreds of thousands of Filipino children of oversea workers across the globe. It is this experience which has brought me to this point in my life where I am convinced that law school is the best path for me.

From elementary through high school, I always excelled in class, receiving top grades in math and science, entering public speaking and journalism contests, taking every opportunity to get academic recognition, and thinking it would give my mother a reason to return. During high school in the Philippines, I began to work in the rice fields cutting rice crops - I would earn 200 pesos or 4 dollars in a week. These experiences molded the curious, independent, hardworking and driven individual I am today. However, it took a decade before my mother and the rest of my family reunified in Montreal.

In my predominantly white-francophone school, I, a 15 year old Filipino kid who could barely speak French, had to decipher the taunts of other students– “O$#*& d’immigrant. Va-t-en chez toi.” For those who felt superior, immigrant students like me were “gens d’ailleurs.” The first few months at school were very unpleasant; however, this did not stop me from working hard to learn the language. After one year, I was transferred to a regular class in a Francophone high school in YYY, one of the most culturally diverse neighbourhoods in Montreal. My exposure to a multicultural environment fostered my interest in learning other languages and in exploring other cultures, which gave me a broader view of the world. Through self-study, I am now able to speak Spanish in a functional manner.

My newly developed language skills would lead me to develop a bond with my mother. I helped her with her company, a nanny agency, translating Quebec immigration documents, helping her research new immigration policies, and assisting workers from Latin America or the Maghreb to fill their government application forms. I have since come to understand the sacrifices my parents made for us. They had to sell our property back home in order for my mother to work in Canada; the recruitment agency had charged her exorbitant fees. Excited to meet her employer, she braved a snowstorm, carrying all her luggage to find her employer’s house. However, the recruiter conned her by giving her a non-existent address. Worried about her children back home, she decided that she would take any job offer that came her way. Eventually, she ended up with an employer who made her work in five different homes during the week. Unaware of her rights, she endured this situation for three years in order for her to complete the Live-in Caregiver Program.

The story of my mother made me quite sensitive about the issues of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) and new immigrants to Canada. It inspired me to explore the legal system to advocate for marginalized groups. In early 2012, I was fortunate enough to become a volunteer at the XXX – a labour education and campaign centre for new immigrants and migrant workers. In dealing with individual casework of migrant workers under the different streams of the TFW Program, and new immigrants and refugees working in precarious jobs through temp agencies, I sharpened my attention to detail, research skills, and communication skills. I also honed my interpersonal skills by working with social work and pro bono law students.

During the XXX's legal information clinic days I helped to give workshops to workers whose labour rights were violated and who faced health and safety issues at work. I also took initiative to organize and conduct labour rights training among young immigrant industrial employees while helping to do outreach among individuals and groups forced to work in precarious situations across many industries. I realized that the problems faced by new immigrants were endemic in many communities in Canada. My experience at XXX reinforced my desire to become an advocate for society’s most disadvantaged groups, and galvanized my belief that law school can help me in this endeavour. I believe that legal education would help me understand the connections between government policy, laws and the people whose lives are affected by the law. Understanding this societal framework would put me in better position to effect change.

In College, I was consistently on the Dean’s honour roll list, enrolled in Honours Programs, and registered in courses that nurtured my intellectual curiosity, such as Constitutional Law, Crime and Punishment, International Relations and History. The Law and Society course enabled me to delve deeper into issues of “rented” workers. Presenting my findings in class, I was able to raise awareness about the issues of TFWs. When Justin Trudeau visited my college in October, I approached him without hesitation, and asked his opinion regarding the TFW Program, which I believe needs improved regulations. I was disappointed that he took an ambiguous position. As a college ambassador, I lobbied my teachers to help me coordinate a political awareness campaign about the TFW Program during the International Women’s Week in March. I also immersed myself in community-based organizing, helping to set up a Filipino youth group among new arrivals to Montreal. Common challenges such as discrimination, access to higher education, the high school dropout rate, low-income and precarious work, sometimes leading to despair and criminality were among the many issues we faced as an organization. This experience also helped shape my broader outlook on life, society and how I view law and order.

The challenges and life experiences I faced shaped the person I am today: independent, mature, curious, and a compassionate leader, eager to make tangible differences. I believe that these qualities are important to succeed in legal education. I have contacted several McGill law students and alumnae from XXX who attest to the challenging and rewarding trans-systemic program McGill provides. Exploring the principles of civil law and common law in a blended way would refine my analytical skills and introduce me to multiple approaches to legal problems and traditions. This would provide me a comprehensive understanding of the law, and tools to achieve my goals. Moreover, my interest in studying informal dispute resolution in small communities creates a good fit between me and the McGill Program. In addition, I believe that my background and knowledge of diverse cultures can bring unique perspectives to the bilingual and bijural program. I have already had an impact on my community, and I long to do the same at McGill University. I intend to use my experience at XXX and what I will learn inside the classroom to help the community through the Pro-Bono Program and by volunteering in your legal information clinic. I am confident that the McGill University’s Faculty of Law presents the best opportunity for my legal education. It is undoubtedly my first choice.


Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:40 pm

Re: Final Draft sending it tonight. Need help.

Postby coclarke » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:12 pm

I hope i'm not too late!

I think this is good. I do think that you need to clean up the grammar a little. Also, with the beginning if you could pull a little more "soul" into it. It seems like it needs to sound a little more heartfelt and a little less structured.

I hope this helps.

If you want more specifics PM me.

Return to “Law School Personal Statements?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.