Final Draft, Final Feedback

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

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Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:32 pm

Final Draft, Final Feedback

Postby barkgarry » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:44 am

Hey all: I've got what I think is a final draft of my personal statement and was hoping to get any last feedback. The advice I've gotten so far has been amazing so I figured why not check in one last time?

PERSONAL STATEMENT

“Oh yeah, I guess you’re right – click.” That was a representative from Alberta’s Ministry of Finance hanging up on me, both confirming that I had properly read an Alberta regulatory document and that the information I had received from the past three or four people at the Ministry had been wrong. My question concerned whether our firm had to file certain documents to revive our brokerage registration in Alberta.

In February 2015, I began working at a firm that runs an online platform in the relatively new space of equity crowdfunding. I was initially taken on to serve as a liaison between potential investors and the companies we listed, perform financial analysis, and to handle some marketing initiatives. Being one of only seven people at [Firm], it wasn’t long before I was handling work that covered the spectrum of running our business, including researching regulations to answer questions like “We’re going to do X, do we need to file that with the Ontario Securities Commission?”

No one else at the office wanted to deal with those issues, so such work would somehow always be delegated to me. This arrangement worked out well, as I personally loved reading through dense documents or grappling with ambiguous portions of tax codes. Yet the pressure was immense. Although my episode with Finance Alberta has humorous elements, it also has a serious side: if we had followed the advice given to us by the Ministry, we would have violated their rules and possibly been slapped with a fine we may not have been able to afford. Someone could have lost his or her job based on the bad advice. For that very reason, I persisted with my calls to get the right answer.

When Finance Alberta agent hung up on me, I enjoyed a brief moment of triumph: I got the right answer when others could not. But this feeling of accomplishment was quickly replaced by a sense of fear and dread, like I wasn’t watching where I was going and caught myself just before walking off a cliff. The lack of reliable guidance was nerve-wracking. I had spoken to three different Finance Alberta agents before one of them pointed me in the direction of the relevant policy documents to check for myself. When I actually did, I had to fight self-doubt. To me, it seemed that we did have to file certain older documents, and that the advice I’d been given was wrong. But how could I be certain?

This is where strong legal counsel would have been key, and it has strengthened my resolve to attend law school. Sure, I genuinely enjoyed researching a 134-page legal document to answer a specific question, but I’ve also come to appreciate the counseling role played by so many in the legal field. It wasn’t easy pushing back against the Alberta ministry because I assumed they would know best. At first I was reluctant to challenge them, and I would have liked help and advice from an expert looking out for our firm.

Working at a financial technology startup, I have firsthand experience contending with regulatory systems that would make Kafka blush. We could use some handholding, and I want to help people and firms in similar situations. I now see the positive impact lawyers have – not just in a broad sense like helping expand civil rights, but also in a much narrower sense, like in guiding a tiny company that may have to contend with as many rules as a multinational enterprise. My passion for the law, combined with my desire to be genuinely helpful to others, has convinced me that law school is the right choice.

Monday

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Posts: 784
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:36 am

Re: Final Draft, Final Feedback

Postby Monday » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:48 am

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Last edited by Monday on Wed May 10, 2017 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

barkgarry

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Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:32 pm

Re: Final Draft, Final Feedback

Postby barkgarry » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:53 am

Monday wrote:Are you applying to Canadian law schools? If not, your PS makes unclear your reasons for an American JD. This would normally be not a problem but because you focus so much on the question why law, it becomes a problem.


Why is it a problem that I focus so much on why law? I'm applying to American law schools and am American.



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