Grassroots Campaigning to Law - Would Love Some Feedback!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Weaselfish

New
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:02 pm

Grassroots Campaigning to Law - Would Love Some Feedback!

Postby Weaselfish » Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:35 pm

Hey all, thanks to some helpful feedback earlier today, I've crafted a new personal statement. I'm not too concerned with grammar at the moment, but if you could weigh in on what you think about the overall theme/structure of it, that would be awesome!

“I think we may need a change of plans,” my Canvass Director Earl quietly said to me in the front of the van as we drove through a suburb of Austin, Texas. It was 4:15, and we were supposed to start canvassing at 4:30. I was supposed to be training two new canvassers today, Sarah and Janel, but there was a problem. The community around us, it quickly became apparent, was primarily made up of incredibly low-income, Spanish-speaking families. While a lack of disposable income wouldn't make the neighborhood impossible to canvass for a veteran like myself, the language barrier virtually ensured that Sarah and Janel would fail to reach the quota of $150 that they were expected to raise today. We needed new turf and fast, so I hopped on Google maps and found a development a few blocks away that looked distinctly different, and hopefully canvass-able. Using my limited artistic abilities I sketched out some quick maps of the area and gave them to my trainees, and we hurried off to our newfound stomping grounds for the evening.
We arrived a few minutes later, and my heart immediately sank; it was a “private” community, outfitted with signs everywhere claiming that solicitation wasn’t allowed. I knew that due to the political nature of our work we were legally allowed to knock on doors in this context but such signs could easily demoralize someone who was already timid about the prospect of encroaching on the private lives of suburban families, and I had two such persons with me. I didn't let the worry show for a second on my face, and I excitedly told my two disciples, “This is a good thing! ‘No Soliciting’ signs mean that these folks probably never deal with door-to-door people. Let’s go show them what we’re all about!”
It was time to start canvassing, so I sent Janel off to a cul-de-sac on her own while Sarah and I started knocking on opposite sides of a nearby street. Time was of the essence, I needed to hit my own goals fast so that I could then split my time teaching the two of them the skills necessary to become self-sufficient canvassers. Within fifteen minutes I raised $160, five dollars more than my quota as a Field Manager. Never before had I hit quota so quickly, and never had it been so useful; I was now free to work on refining my trainees’ skills for the rest of the night. I spent the next three hours bouncing back and forth between Sarah and Janel correcting their wording, tones, and body language. Around 8:30 I left each of them with as much positive encouragement as I could muster, hopeful that I had invested enough that they would be able to reach their goals on their own. Half an hour later, Sarah and Janel returned to the crew vehicle where I was waiting, giant grins plastered to their faces. They had both hit quota, and I couldn't be more proud. They had each faced significant adversity that day and with my guidance they overcame it. Two weeks later, after continuously reaching the necessary standards, they were both on staff. This day was far from the only challenging day that I have had during my two and a half years at Clean Water Action, but it is perhaps the most clear instance in which all the the skills that I have developed came together perfectly.
Canvassing first hooked my interest when it gave me the opportunity to use the rhetorical skills that I developed in studying philosophy, all with the end of bettering our nations environmental health, an issue about which I am particularly passionate. I demonstrated to the organization that I excelled in communicating with and motivating the public to back our campaigns such that they promoted me to Trainer and then Field Manager within six months of starting. In that time I have developed an unyielding confidence in myself and the ability to instill that same confidence in those around me; I am now the Assistant Canvass Director of CWA’s Pittsburgh office, and I help command a team of equally passionate and driven individuals. As happy as I am with the opportunity for growth that these past few years have offered me, I deeply desire to develop these skills further. I know that a legal education will allow me to grow further, and will equip me to have a more direct hand in initiating and guiding the political change that I have been working so hard to realize.

User avatar
EarthdogFred

New
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:36 pm

Re: Grassroots Campaigning to Law - Would Love Some Feedback!

Postby EarthdogFred » Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:51 pm

I came away from this with a negative impression, and I'm not sure if it is because I dislike solicitation or because the connection between grassroots political activism and attending law school is too loosley drawn.

User avatar
Gefuehlsecht

Bronze
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:20 am

Re: Grassroots Campaigning to Law - Would Love Some Feedback!

Postby Gefuehlsecht » Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:47 pm

What is the prompt on the application? Something about what made you decide to study law? If yes, your statement fails to answer that question.

Weaselfish

New
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:02 pm

Re: Grassroots Campaigning to Law - Would Love Some Feedback!

Postby Weaselfish » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:45 pm

Thanks for the feedback, I'm going to trim it down a bit so I can fit a more fleshed out conclusion connecting my work to my motivation to attend law school.

Any feedback on the story itself (aside from personal dislike of solicitors) would be great!

HRomanus

Silver
Posts: 1307
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:45 pm

Re: Grassroots Campaigning to Law - Would Love Some Feedback!

Postby HRomanus » Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:03 pm

I think you need to focus less on your motivation to go to law school and more on your actual experience and what you learned from it. I'd rather you focus on one interaction - whether with your managees or your donors - rather than summarize "I raised $160" or "I corrected Sarah on her wording." Also you should correct your phrasing to put yourself in a better light. Things like "quota" make you sound like a sleazy telemarketer. Recast your narrative within a more charitable context.



Return to “Law School Personal Statements?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.