This has gone through several rounds of personal revision but no peer review until now. I'd greatly appreciate any criticism or general comments for this first draft. Thanks!
"The all-too familiar splash of water droplets shot from their hoses and settled on my skin. Although it was hardly the first time this experience had happened to me, I nonetheless felt a sinking feeling in my chest that day as I walked over the bridge connecting Ciudad Juarez to El Paso, Texas holding my abuela’s hand. As I turned to catch a glimpse of the scene across the bridge, my heart sank even deeper: the border patrol agents were hosing down another group of Mexicans before allowing them to cross over into the U.S. Before I knew it, I felt the firm cradle of my grandmother’s forearm as she hurried me across the bridge.
The ordeal on the bridge that day was a stressful end to what had been a joyous weekend with family. I had just returned from my grandmother’s house in the Morelos neighborhood of Juarez, Mexico where I attended a family reunion. For as long as I can remember, I traveled to Mexico each summer to visit my various aunts, uncles, and cousins on my mother’s side of the family. While I was only seven years old that day, the image I saw became emblazoned in my mind and has remained with me throughout my life, a reminder of the many ugly forms injustice can assume.
Throughout my life, I have come to recognize the important role this event and others like it have had in shaping my Mexican-American identity. While such events have at times shone a light on the darker sides of our human nature, it has also made me reflect on how becoming an attorney would allow me to work towards the powerful ideal of creating a more just America, one that is fundamentally more tolerant and inclusive of all people. The act of hosing down human beings as though they were animals is a degrading and humiliating act that should never happen in America or anywhere else.
Ultimately, I could not view what occurred that day as anything other than an example of moral injustice which should never occur in America or anywhere else. Through our choices, we continually define what it means to be an American. As a fellow American I couldn’t help but feel directly implicated in the actions of the border patrol that day. While the injustice of what occurred saddened me deeply, it also served as a call to action, causing me to examine what being an American meant to me and what I believe it should mean more broadly. As an aspiring attorney informed by the diverse experiences that my cross-cultural upbringing has afforded me, I hope to one day be in a position to combat instances of injustice such as the one that happened that day. In addition, I also will be able to provide other much-needed legal services to both documented and undocumented immigrants in confronting important challenges that affect their daily lives and those of their families.
I know that a career as an attorney would allow me to be able to lend the best of my talents and abilities to immigrants in need. The fact that many such persons cannot afford adequate legal counsel has only caused me to view this work with even greater importance. As a public defender I will be empowered every day to carry out the critical and urgent work of helping both documented and undocumented immigrants in the United States secure the legal counsel they clearly deserve. Achieving this goal is how I ultimately wish to give back my community and my country, and it is the primary reason that I seek to attend law school."
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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