Next Draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
anubis1911
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 12:41 am

Next Draft

Postby anubis1911 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:05 pm

One morning, half asleep I answered the telephone and was greeted by a representative of the National Rifle Association. She told me that the NRA wanted me to be the lead plaintiff in two class action lawsuits after finding out that I was qualified to participate in a rifle competition with the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
One lawsuit, later to be named James D’Cruz v Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, sought to challenge the premise that citizens between the ages of 18 and 20 were prohibited from buying a pistol or its ammunition from a federally licensed dealer, despite being legally able to do so in a private sale.
The second lawsuit, James D’Cruz v McCraw, sought to allow the citizens, ages 18 to 20, to conceal carry after undergoing proper training and background checks.
Although I disagree with many of the NRA’s positions on firearm possession, I found myself agreeing with the NRA on this matter and so decided to join.
I was raised in a privileged household and my parents encouraged me to befriend children of all social classes. Many of my closest friends grew up in the deprived areas of Lubbock, Texas and they told of the dangers of living in such neighborhoods. The police always seemed to take too long to respond. Since many of them, younger than 21, grew up in single-parent households with no father figure, it seemed logical to me that a firearm in the right hands would provide the security they needed. I felt that the law had forgotten them because of their underprivileged status. I realized that the lawsuits would be contested and I hoped that a healthy debate would result. I was determined to stand up for the rights of this group of individuals rarely protected.
What I failed to anticipate was that instead of engaging in a vigorous debate about the facts, my opponents, namely the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence and Mothers Against Gun Violence resorted to ad hominem attacks. When they discovered a Facebook photograph of me in my John Dillinger Halloween costume, they decided to link it to many of the military quotes I had posted from movies, books, and friends in the military at the time. Together, they were able to paint a false picture of me which they used to deceive those who once supported me.
The debate I had hoped for never materialized. Instead of an intelligent exchange, my opponents changed the platform from a constitutional question to a personal one questioning whether I had the right to own a firearm at all because of my Facebook posts. Although I was hurt by their accusations in the media, I decided not to respond to such silliness. Shortly after the hysteria died, my father had to relocate to Florida, and, being a dependent, I had to move too. Because the court cases required me to be a resident of Texas I had to relinquish my position as lead plaintiff on both.
Many people on both sides passed judgment on me for either being selfless in acting on the behalf of others, or being too damaging to the cause. Those same people never saw my love for the judicial process take shape. As the affidavits requiring my signature arrived at my home in Florida, became fascinated with the legal process. In my readings, I was stunned to discover that a single judge had the power to declare a 1968 law that set the age limit for pistol purchases unconstitutional, without Congress having to repeal it. When I resumed my studies in Florida I eagerly enrolled in a Constitutional Law class. From the moment the professor walked into the room, I felt something I had never felt in any other setting: a sense of belonging. The work was tremendously dynamic and I toiled to maintain my position at the top of the class, but I also found myself reading law texts for personal enjoyment.
James D’Cruz v BATFE and James D’Cruz v McCraw ultimately fell to the 5th district court.
In the end, although initially I did not have a problem with waiting until I was 21 to buy a pistol, I do not regret standing up for the rights of others. I intend on continuing to stand up for others through my studies in law school, where I will receive the necessary training to be proficient in the law.

What do you think?

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Next Draft

Postby NYstate » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:09 pm

I don't like anything about this statement other than it addresses something that ad comms will find out by googling you.

This is more of a report about what happened to you than a personal statement. I don't think that you even come off very well in this statement. You agreed to be the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against a law you didn't have a problem with?? You don't know about the power of a judge?? You are just going to help out the poor kids who need guns to protect themselves ?? Your reasoning that you selflessly wanted to help others isn't even that convincing. You don't say anything about the other side other than they harassed you.

I don't know how to fix this. Maybe focus in one part of this story.
Also don't start out with answering the phone, half awake. You sound very passive through this whole story.
Last edited by NYstate on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ramius
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: Next Draft

Postby Ramius » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:17 pm

Personally I didn't like it. The entire PS is about the issue, not about you as a person. An effective PS details aspects of your personality or intelligence that isn't covered anywhere else. This PS is about gun control and your tangential involvement in it. In reading it, as an unbiased observer, I learned nothing about you as a person. That troubles me because it causes me to default to lumping you into one of two categories that are completely unfair: either a "gun nut" or a "flower power" advocate. Neither of them would be at all correct, but because you didn't let your character come out in the statement, it's all I'm left to believe.

Showing you were involved in some legal proceeding, regardless of subject matter, won't have the positive impact you intend on a law school admissions committee. I'm not saying this approach to your PS is wrong, but just that you can really focus on YOU within this greater issue much more effectively. Remember what the PS is: a chance to show the ADCOM something they won't see anywhere else in your application. Use it as an opporunity to round you out as an applicant. When I read this, I got a political stance moreso than a person. Don't ever let yourself devolve into a single political stance.

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t-14orbust
Posts: 2064
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:43 pm

Re: Next Draft

Postby t-14orbust » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:24 pm

matthewsean85 wrote:Personally I didn't like it. The entire PS is about the issue, not about you as a person. An effective PS details aspects of your personality or intelligence that isn't covered anywhere else. This PS is about gun control and your tangential involvement in it. In reading it, as an unbiased observer, I learned nothing about you as a person. That troubles me because it causes me to default to lumping you into one of two categories that are completely unfair: either a "gun nut" or a "flower power" advocate. Neither of them would be at all correct, but because you didn't let your character come out in the statement, it's all I'm left to believe.

Showing you were involved in some legal proceeding, regardless of subject matter, won't have the positive impact you intend on a law school admissions committee. I'm not saying this approach to your PS is wrong, but just that you can really focus on YOU within this greater issue much more effectively. Remember what the PS is: a chance to show the ADCOM something they won't see anywhere else in your application. Use it as an opporunity to round you out as an applicant. When I read this, I got a political stance moreso than a person. Don't ever let yourself devolve into a single political stance.


I'm totally having you advise me on my PS after I finish my first draft.

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Ramius
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: Next Draft

Postby Ramius » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:31 pm

t-14orbust wrote:
matthewsean85 wrote:Personally I didn't like it. The entire PS is about the issue, not about you as a person. An effective PS details aspects of your personality or intelligence that isn't covered anywhere else. This PS is about gun control and your tangential involvement in it. In reading it, as an unbiased observer, I learned nothing about you as a person. That troubles me because it causes me to default to lumping you into one of two categories that are completely unfair: either a "gun nut" or a "flower power" advocate. Neither of them would be at all correct, but because you didn't let your character come out in the statement, it's all I'm left to believe.

Showing you were involved in some legal proceeding, regardless of subject matter, won't have the positive impact you intend on a law school admissions committee. I'm not saying this approach to your PS is wrong, but just that you can really focus on YOU within this greater issue much more effectively. Remember what the PS is: a chance to show the ADCOM something they won't see anywhere else in your application. Use it as an opporunity to round you out as an applicant. When I read this, I got a political stance moreso than a person. Don't ever let yourself devolve into a single political stance.


I'm totally having you advise me on my PS after I finish my first draft.


Considering I'm not even a 0L and mostly a NoL, i'll take that as a compliment. :)

Seriously though, I hang around TLS for things like this, so feel free to send me your PS and I'll be happy to give you my two Lincoln pennies on it. I am in no way authoritative on it, but I do like to help.

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lastsamurai
Posts: 978
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:17 am

Re: Next Draft

Postby lastsamurai » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:10 pm

I think it comes off a bit elementary - especially the closing paragraph starting with "In the end." The story could be good, but it has to be presented in a different way.




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