Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

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blackwater88
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Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby blackwater88 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:37 pm

I did my PS about a relative who was involved in drug trafficking and how that changed my outlook on life. During undergrad, it gave me the curiosity and drive to do research on drug violence and also immigration law, I was involved in a migration research program and published various papers on drug violence. Don't want to go into much detail but the question is this, would admitting that I have ties to drug trafficking actually hurt my admission chances? I thought explaining how finding out that a relative was a narco and how it changed my life would make a strong PS, now I'm not so sure. What do you guys think?

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Marionberry
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby Marionberry » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:00 pm

I think if you write it in such a way that you make it clear that you in no way condone or participate in narco trafficking, you should be fine. It actually sounds like great material for a ps.

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blackwater88
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby blackwater88 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:38 pm

Marionberry wrote:I think if you write it in such a way that you make it clear that you in no way condone or participate in narco trafficking, you should be fine. It actually sounds like great material for a ps.


Oh definitely, I'll make sure I express that in no way do I condone drug trafficking. I was just worried that it might be a controversial topic and give a negative light on the type of family I grew up in.

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gdane
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby gdane » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:13 pm

Dont do it. A personal statement should focus on you and the positive things that you would bring to the school. Talking about how you saw a family member get locked up for trafficking the chronic, coke and other illegal substances does nothing positive for you. Sure you could spin it as a "I learned so much from this" type of situation, but at the end of the day there are better things to write about. How would this make you a better law student and a better classmate? Unless youre planning on being your law schools drug prevention person, it wont.

Write about something else.

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Marionberry
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby Marionberry » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:34 pm

I disagree with gdane on this one. The drug war is a very real, very pressing social, political, and legal problem. If your awareness of it is a big part of why you want to practice law, and you express that in a way that makes you seem mature, reasonable and informed, it could be very effective. I've lurked some threads in the lounge about this topic and you seem to know what you're talking about. As long as you don't talk about going to barbecues with the Zetas you should be fine.

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blackwater88
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby blackwater88 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:37 pm

gdane5 wrote:Dont do it. A personal statement should focus on you and the positive things that you would bring to the school. Talking about how you saw a family member get locked up for trafficking the chronic, coke and other illegal substances does nothing positive for you. Sure you could spin it as a "I learned so much from this" type of situation, but at the end of the day there are better things to write about. How would this make you a better law student and a better classmate? Unless youre planning on being your law schools drug prevention person, it wont.

Write about something else.


I think it's relevant because that's what motivated me to do academic research on drug violence. I don't think i would have taken the time to conduct independent research on what is going on in Mexico and published a report on that if it hadn't been for my uncle. Does it make sense, or do you still think it might backfire?

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gdane
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby gdane » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:45 pm

It might backfire. I could say the same thing, but using animals. In my community there is this Animal rescue group that was started by an individual. He had a booming business and was independently wealthy. He gave all of that up to start his group. This guy motivated me toward my overall goal in life which is to rescue and find homes for abused and homeless animals. I could write about this because its 100% true, but I just dont think it would do much for me. At best it makes me look like a kind, caring and compassionate person, but ultimately you need more than that in a personal statement. Just my opinion.

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blackwater88
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby blackwater88 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:54 pm

gdane5 wrote:It might backfire. I could say the same thing, but using animals. In my community there is this Animal rescue group that was started by an individual. He had a booming business and was independently wealthy. He gave all of that up to start his group. This guy motivated me toward my overall goal in life which is to rescue and find homes for abused and homeless animals. I could write about this because its 100% true, but I just dont think it would do much for me. At best it makes me look like a kind, caring and compassionate person, but ultimately you need more than that in a personal statement. Just my opinion.


Doing this type of research has been probably the most important thing in my undergrad career, I really want to write about it. If I'm not to include the story about my uncle, should I lie and substitute it for a more law-school-friendly motivator?

12262010
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby 12262010 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:56 pm

I think this could be a good PS... just don't provide too many details about the drug trafficking. Also, don't listen to anything gdance says, he is a ruhtard.

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gdane
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby gdane » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:59 pm

Do this. Write out the personal statement and then post it on the personal statement forum. I did that last year for what I thought was a good statement and it turns out a lot of people disagreed with me on that point.

I think its a good topic. It seems like its definitely impacted you in a very positive way. Theres just something about it that leaves me feeling iffy or with questions about who you are as a person and who you would be as a law student.

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blackwater88
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby blackwater88 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:02 pm

booyakasha wrote:I think this could be a good PS... just don't provide too many details about the drug trafficking. Also, don't listen to anything gdance says, he is a ruhtard.


Thanks, I felt that my PS would be incomplete if I didn't present my motivator behind doing such research. I think it would be kind of weird saying how much I enjoy working on such a violent topic without explaining myself.

gdane5 wrote:Do this. Write out the personal statement and then post it on the personal statement forum. I did that last year for what I thought was a good statement and it turns out a lot of people disagreed with me on that point.

I think its a good topic. It seems like its definitely impacted you in a very positive way. Theres just something about it that leaves me feeling iffy or with questions about who you are as a person and who you would be as a law student.


Thanks, I think I'll do that. If it made you wonder about my nature as a prospective law student, I'm sure other people feel the same way about it.

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Horchata
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby Horchata » Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:04 pm

Hola Blackwater,

Yeah, as you read in my PS I mentioned narcos and that kind of stuff a little, too. I'm not sure if adcoms realize, but I assume a large majority of people who are Mexican have some type of (far or loose) connection to narcos (and I am speaking from experience) though friends, family or acquaintances. I would actually mention something like this to put your family and situation in the context of Mexican society. But like other posters have said, you got to be careful. I think you have to talk about the things that motivate you towards law, regardless of what it is. That's what makes an interesting law class. Like in mine, getting arrested and having to go to court gave me my motivation. At first I didn't want to do it, but I think it makes a more believable and better essay because it's what actually happened in your life. Like one thing someone else said, it's really interesting to talk about narcos because of its relevance, but don't let it dominate your essay - I'm assuming your don't want the idea of murder and drugs the central idea an adcom takes away from your paper. Start negative if you want, but make sure it ends up positive, about you and your future. I'm interested to see how it turns out!

Suerte wey

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blackwater88
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby blackwater88 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:11 pm

Horchata wrote:Hola Blackwater,

Yeah, as you read in my PS I mentioned narcos and that kind of stuff a little, too. I'm not sure if adcoms realize, but I assume a large majority of people who are Mexican have some type of (far or loose) connection to narcos (and I am speaking from experience) though friends, family or acquaintances. I would actually mention something like this to put your family and situation in the context of Mexican society. But like other posters have said, you got to be careful. I think you have to talk about the things that motivate you towards law, regardless of what it is. That's what makes an interesting law class. Like in mine, getting arrested and having to go to court gave me my motivation. At first I didn't want to do it, but I think it makes a more believable and better essay because it's what actually happened in your life. Like one thing someone else said, it's really interesting to talk about narcos because of its relevance, but don't let it dominate your essay - I'm assuming your don't want the idea of murder and drugs the central idea an adcom takes away from your paper. Start negative if you want, but make sure it ends up positive, about you and your future. I'm interested to see how it turns out!

Suerte wey


Actually I start my Personal Statement with something along those lines, if you've lived in Mexico it's really hard to not be personally affected by the whole narcocultura phenomenon. At least to me, hearing about a friend's friend being kidnapped is as common as getting a traffic ticket. Things didn't used to be like this though, and when I found out my relative was involved in that line of work (I was only 12) I would say it kind of changed my life. This was way before things got out of control, but that's what got me interested in this exploding phenomenon.

Oye, pues despues te paso mi PS para que le eches un ojo, todavia tengo que arreglarle unas cosillas pero esta casi terminado. Y pues ya sabes, si necesitas algo namas echa un grito.

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Horchata
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby Horchata » Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:24 pm

Ok, suena bien y igualamente.

afa_brandon
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby afa_brandon » Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:57 am

that one girl wrote a book about her experiences drug trafficking, and got into yale with a 160 lsat. go for it.

justadude55
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Re: Personal Statement about Drug Trafficking and Immigration

Postby justadude55 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:22 am

blackwater88 wrote:I did my PS about a relative who was involved in drug trafficking and how that changed my outlook on life. During undergrad, it gave me the curiosity and drive to do research on drug violence and also immigration law, I was involved in a migration research program and published various papers on drug violence. Don't want to go into much detail but the question is this, would admitting that I have ties to drug trafficking actually hurt my admission chances? I thought explaining how finding out that a relative was a narco and how it changed my life would make a strong PS, now I'm not so sure. What do you guys think?


I think this is a fantastic personal statement choice. This is a rare and important topic, and will be on their minds given the boatload of applicants attaching addendums for drug related offenses. Additionally, the people reading these are human beings, and drug trafficking is an inherently exciting issue. It's bound to attract them in a way that writing about your grandfather's cancer might not.




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