Second draft of PS - hoping to convey why I'm invested in criminal justice reform.

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littlelibertine
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Second draft of PS - hoping to convey why I'm invested in criminal justice reform.

Postby littlelibertine » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:14 pm

x
Last edited by littlelibertine on Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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icechicken
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Re: Second draft of PS - hoping to convey why I'm invested in criminal justice reform.

Postby icechicken » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:00 pm

It sounds to me like you're genuinely interested in criminal justice reform but quickly burned out of the kind of work that criminal law requires. I honestly got the sense from this story that you would be, at best, wasting your time in law school and should instead either pursue a MPP or just go straight into the kind of work you want to do. That's probably a bad message to send.

Serving as de facto paralegal for [redacted for the long term] hadn’t seen in years.


This passage is especially concerning for that reason. I'm not saying you were wrong to do what you did, but public defenders (or whatever it is you want to be) have to deal with much worse and are expected to vigorously defend their clients anyway. Your narrative here would be amazing if the payoff was "therefore I want to be a public defender" but you shoot yourself in the foot by implying you're not cut out to be a public defender at the same time. What exactly do you plan to do with your JD?


Comparatively-minor nitpicks:
- 30 isn't that old
- I think you're misusing the word "touchstone"
Last edited by icechicken on Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Second draft of PS - hoping to convey why I'm invested in criminal justice reform.

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:06 pm

Eh, I think saying that at 30 you’re older than most applicants is fair.

I also think that the ability to compartmentalize is also really important for sticking around in criminal defense, so I didn’t have the same takeaway as the person above me, fwiw.

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littlelibertine
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Re: Second draft of PS - hoping to convey why I'm invested in criminal justice reform.

Postby littlelibertine » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:37 pm

icechicken wrote:It sounds to me like you're genuinely interested in criminal justice reform but quickly burned out of the kind of work that criminal law requires. I honestly got the sense from this story that you would be, at best, wasting your time in law school and should instead either pursue a MPP or just go straight into the kind of work you want to do. That's probably a bad message to send.

Serving as de facto paralegal for Matt’s case eventually took a toll on me. I was constantly exhausted and stressed from late nights of work on his case and planning my wedding to my now-husband, Adam. I worried about Matt. I cried daily. Adam was supportive, but as time went on and Matt’s case grew in complexity, he wisely suggested it was time for me to stop taking on so much. I couldn’t abandon Matt, I told him. How could I respect myself if I didn’t do all I could to aid my friend? All the same, I was deeply relieved for myself as well as my friend when Matt was accorded parole much earlier than any of us had anticipated.

I drove out to the farm see him the afternoon of his release, my husband’s words echoing in my head. As we walked together past the paddocks and through the cleft where the creek had once run, I could see in him the weariness I’d come to expect from his voice on the phone. As I explained to him why under the circumstances I could no longer volunteer to help him with any further legal proceedings, his eyes filled with a softness and regret I hadn’t seen in years.


This passage is especially concerning for that reason. I'm not saying you were wrong to do what you did, but public defenders (or whatever it is you want to be) have to deal with much worse and are expected to vigorously defend their clients anyway. Your narrative here would be amazing if the payoff was "therefore I want to be a public defender" but you shoot yourself in the foot by implying you're not cut out to be a public defender at the same time. What exactly do you plan to do with your JD?


Comparatively-minor nitpicks:
- 30 isn't that old
- I think you're misusing the word "touchstone"


I AM misusing touchstone. Thank you. Now, to figure out what word I ACTUALLY want there.

I might delete the paragraph about meeting with Matt and also cut down on my woe is me crap in the paragraph before, so I just move in to talking about working with incarcerees . . . let's see how that ends up.

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littlelibertine
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Re: Second draft of PS - hoping to convey why I'm invested in criminal justice reform.

Postby littlelibertine » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:39 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Eh, I think saying that at 30 you’re older than most applicants is fair.

I also think that the ability to compartmentalize is also really important for sticking around in criminal defense, so I didn’t have the same takeaway as the person above me, fwiw.


Thanks, Nony. <3

I first considered applying to law schools when I was 23. I can safely say that, if I'd applied at that time, I would not have been nearly as prepared as I am now for the kinds of emotional stressors inherent in the work. 30 isn't old in the traditional sense, but it's made sufficient difference that I'll be a much better lawyer attending school now than I could have been at 23.

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littlelibertine
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Re: Second draft of PS - hoping to convey why I'm invested in criminal justice reform.

Postby littlelibertine » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:55 pm

x
Last edited by littlelibertine on Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

lsataddict242
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Re: Second draft of PS - hoping to convey why I'm invested in criminal justice reform.

Postby lsataddict242 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:18 pm

I think you can just rephrase the part about your fatigue and stress to highlight your strength instead of removing it altogether.




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