Last minute PS feedback?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Last minute PS feedback?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:46 pm

I have two apps due tomorrow and I know I'm late to the game (and will probably regret posting this so late if people tell me it's trash).
But would anyone be willing to give a quick look at my personal statement? I would really appreciate any feedback, thank you!

“I’ve been working on a ranch for seven years and have never been paid.” My mouth dropped open, speaking only silence. Working with farm workers, I often receive calls for help with dirty bathrooms and late pay, but this was unexpected. As I searched for resources to help the family leave the ranch, my requests for assistance were met with, “Why didn’t they leave sooner?” Asking the same question, State Patrol and the District Attorney declined to pursue a case. They reasoned that, although the family had been controlled through legal threats and substance dependency, there was no real coercion if no one had been shackled to a bed. Starting from scepticism, they disenfranchised victims by overlooking the law’s coverage of certain forms of non-physical coercion. The family is safe and starting over, but without restitution – yet. This is why I want to be an attorney. I want to challenge victim blaming that makes rights and resources inaccessible. I want to stand with people who have faced exploitation and abuse in the same way that others stood with me.

Advocating for farm workers, I have drawn not only on empathy and a commitment to justice, but also on my personal experience recovering from abuse. When I was 22, preparing to move forward after a year in food service, I was sexually assaulted by a coworker. Two weeks later, I moved to a rural community for a farm worker legal aid internship. Enraptured by the work even while coping with the aftermath of assault, I have been here ever since.

Farm worker legal aid brought me into a space which I had grown up alongside, within eyesight of peach orchards and earshot of bleating sheep, but which I did not know in person. Listening to people talk about working 80 hours without overtime or fearing revocation of their visas for complaining about overcrowded housing, I witnessed for the first time how legal protections and exemptions produce material conditions and structure daily life, especially in marginalized communities. The work was as stimulating as it was challenging. Bringing together my care for others with creative problem solving and rigorous analysis, I had found a field where I could use my strengths to help others. At the end of my internship, I knew that I wanted to pursue employment law and continue working with farm workers.

By chance, just as my internship was ending, a farm worker outreach worker position opened with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. I was grateful to continue doing similar work in the same community. With my unofficial job description being lo que sea (whatever), I manage many responsibilities at once, from scheduling doctor’s appointments to recovering wages to addressing pesticide exposure. These different levels thread together, and I have learned that proving my trustworthiness on one helps people feel comfortable bringing me into another. Once, a worker called me six months after I had dropped off groceries, asking for help finding a dentist. He had lost several teeth after breaking his jaw in a fall at work. After two months and a referral to an attorney, he won a substantial workers’ compensation settlement. With outcomes like this, I appreciate the responsibility of being a public servant, knowing that each sincere connection can increase access to justice.

When I first started working with legal aid, I thought of farm work as only exploitative. But after becoming a part of the community, I know I was wrong. At times, farmers yell at people for drinking water, eliciting sighs of así es la labor (that’s farm work). But other times, sharing fresh watermelon, negativity breezes away in the smell of roasting chillies, and this is also farm work. Recognizing that struggle and joy exist at the same time, in the same space, I have come to a more nuanced understanding of abuse as an external obstacle, not an internal definition. With this shift, I know that my personal experience is a strength rather than a weakness. Having recovered, I am able to connect with people in difficult situations, and to push through barriers, knowing that even the worst can be overcome. At the same time, my work has helped me reclaim agency and a sense of possibility. With the support of my family and friends, I have been able pursue my passion, continuing work that has been empowering and transformative. Through gratitude for the differences others have made in my life, I am more committed to both my ability and obligation to help others in turn.

As much as I appreciate my current work, I often feel like I am maintaining a system to be broken. In government, I am regularly reminded to work only within the scope of existing regulations. But existing regulations are insufficient to protect workers’ rights. These limitations crystallized recently when I met with legal aid attorneys to prepare my testimony for a district court jury trial in a human trafficking case that I worked on as an intern. Looking at how they are helping their clients, I thought of how I had been able to work with the family from the ranch. Helping them leave was important, but I want to fight for more than a return to basic human dignity. My community deserves more from me. Law school will prepare me with the skills and knowledge I need to make more meaningful differences both in clients’ lives and in systemic protections. Rather than asking why victims did not help themselves, I want to commit my life to helping others access the justice they need to recover.

content-creator

New
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:52 pm

Re: Last minute PS feedback?

Postby content-creator » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:25 pm

Private message me and I'll give you some feedback.

FN-2187

Bronze
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:32 pm

Re: Last minute PS feedback?

Postby FN-2187 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:02 am

PM me and I can help to. Also, if you need a pilot let me know. I need a pilot.

CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 10722
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Last minute PS feedback?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:08 pm

Interesting, but repetitive & too wordy.

This is a solid first draft, however, it needs to be refined in order to maintain reader interest.

Crisp, clear & concise writing is the goal; unfortunately, your worthy tale needs substantial revision on all three objectives.

Nevertheless, interesting story which portrays you as a kind, sincere person who is devoted to a cause & willing to do the necessary work to achieve favorable results for your clients. And that should be enough for any admissions committee, in my opinion.



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