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Little did we know the potential for disaster was looming. Internet Technology sent an e-mail revealing that our website would not be posted on the company intranet in time for our presentation the next morning due to technical difficulties. Some in the group panicked but I remained confident in the rest of our group efforts.

I suggested that we rework certain sections of our power point presentation using the development site only where necessary and began to delegate tasks to be completed before the next morning. After the presentation, the CFO was truly impressed, not only with our presentation, but also with our ability to improvise and find a viable solution for the last minute obstacle.

The experience enhanced my ability and confidence to find solutions and negotiate within a group.

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In addition to working with the group, my job included attending meetings with my manager several times a week. During the first few weeks, it seemed my role was solely to observe and take notes. Eventually, I found myself reaching out for more substantive work, with an active attempt to further ignite my interest in legal studies. During my employment, a discrimination claim materialized and my manager assigned the research to me.

I had but one week to research and was able to communicate my findings into a convincing argument that persuaded the attorney on the case. On another occasion, I presented my manager with research notes for a case and was rewarded with the opportunity to lead the meeting with the Director of Human Resources later that day. That meeting allowed me to confidently convey my factual findings and my recommendations to the legal department. The confidence that I gained from my successful debut as a group leader and team member were hallmarks of my summer in Annapolis.

I departed Annapolis with a sad heart, which is surprising considering my initial apprehensions about my new situation and myself. This summer taught me to assert my independence, to problem solve, and believe in my abilities. I found the voice necessary to be an effective leader in a stressful and challenging group environment. No longer fearing changes, challenges, or bumps in the road, I instead face them head on.

Two boys remained, the bravest of which stood resolutely beside the monkey bars, hurling stones at my car. The other, a thin, light-skinned boy held his place atop the slide and smiled shyly in my direction. When I introduced myself Dominic observed that, like him, I had dark, curly hair—a fact he seemed to enjoy. The stone-thrower, it turned out, was a tough, but surprisingly affectionate kid named Andre. His father had abandoned him and his younger sister to their mother, and was inconsistent in his child support payments.

The family was forced to relocate to subsidized housing. Dominic was a bright and creative nine-year-old. He excelled at checkers and enjoyed making up stories and illustrating them. While his drawings were impressive for his age, his language and writing skills were not. Despite being in the fourth grade, Dominic was barely reading at a first grade level. That first day, I let Dominic parade me around the neighborhood. He proudly showed off the playground, the basketball courts, the rec center. Right before I left, we clambered up a steep hillside to his secret spot where we could see the October sun setting beyond the train tracks.

I recognized about a half dozen kids from the playground with their fingers laced through the chain-link fence, doing exactly the same thing. They glanced over at me suspiciously. As weeks went by, Dominic and I established a routine. I would come to visit every Thursday from 3 to 6. I bought him some flashcards and a hefty workbook filled with reading exercises.

Dominic was generally receptive to instruction. His mother hung it on the refrigerator. When reviewing old material, he would occasionally misspell words he had learned just the previous week. On the best days, I could convince him to delay our trip to the playground to have him read aloud from his language arts textbook—but those days were rare. I probably enjoyed the tutoring sessions even less than Dominic. The stories in his textbook were boring and predictable. No, I much preferred rolling a kickball or racing Dominic and his friends across the monkey bars, or climbing the hill to look at the train tracks.

I think Dominic realized this, too—and I appreciate his efforts to learn all the more because of it. I also appreciate the extent to which he chose to include me in his world. One day in the spring, we were picking teams for kickball when an unfamiliar boy asked to join. I told him we needed one more on our side. Louis populated by middle to upper middle class families where the people work hard, send their children to elite schools, and enjoy a life sheltered from urban realities.

In this sense, my own adolescence there was not unique. However, my perspective on this privileged upbringing was different from that of my peers. While I have taken advantage of the variety of opportunities afforded to me, I have not taken them for granted. To me, life in Chesterfield was the result of incredible sacrifice and a lifetime of hard work by my parents. Today, while I struggle to comprehend their selflessness, I look back on the journey of my own becoming.

When I was six years old, my father quit smoking. After our arrival to the United States following a long immigration process, my father found out that he had a kidney disorder which was exacerbated by the cigarettes. It took him one day to quit. That was the day my mother, father, sister and myself boarded a plane for Vienna, Austria to begin a four month process that would eventually get us to St.

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Louis, Missouri by way of New York in March of I cannot begin to understand how my parents came to such a life-altering decision without first considering their circumstances. Living in the Soviet Union would have been difficult enough without the stigma of being Jewish in a society laced with anti-Semitism. My parents did not have this luxury. My mother and father did not want to pass on these glass ceilings to their children.

Shortly after my fifth birthday they recognized that a choice had to be made between the easy course of action and the right one. They left everything they knew as home to build a new life out of what little they could afford to bring into an alien culture within a foreign land. With their struggle through this process in mind, I can say with confidence that you will seldom find anyone as motivated as the child of immigrants. While my parents worked and studied English, I attended a private Hebrew school on financial aid. By the time I was eight, my parents had saved enough money to move our family to Chesterfield.

After going to school with other Russian children and almost exclusively Jewish students, I found myself different from everyone else in seemingly every possible way. Despite difficulties in the social arena, I excelled in academics. Upon entering high school, I had tested into all of the honors classes and developed enough confidence to win leading roles in several school plays.

Though I took many honors courses, my grades were seldom my focus in high school. Rather, I embraced a holistic approach and devoted myself to as many extracurricular activities as possible. While this attitude no doubt cost me opportunities for scholarships in applying to college, it enabled me to develop socially and build invaluable friendships with some amazing people.

Participating in service organizations, theatre and sports all helped me appreciate my own uniqueness and realize my potential for contribution. Surprisingly, the activity that shaped me the most was the result of a chance scheduling error which placed me in a debate class during sophomore year of high school. Speech and debate suited me well, as I was opinionated and competitive. I started debating in tournaments and was moderately successful during my sophomore and junior years.

The guidance of my debate teacher helped me mature greatly; I began to see the importance of debating outside the context of competition. I started to appreciate the intellectual value of objectivity and the ability to research and convincingly argue any issue from either side. This new approach yielded a very successful senior year of competition.

Meanwhile, the English proficiency of a native speaker has continually allowed me to help my parents deal with various legal and professional documents. The combination of these experiences led me to the conclusion that my abilities would best be utilized as an advocate for others. Consequently, my approach to college has been different from that of high school. I decided to attend the University of Missouri with the understanding that it would be a stepping stone to future opportunity, not the pinnacle of my academic pursuits.

Advanced placement credits from high school afforded me the ability to forgo a number of entry level classes and pursue more stimulating academic endeavors. My success here is not only a testament to intellectual ability, but also the strength of my resolve. A class in political theory introduced me to a term which is uniquely applicable to my reason for studying law.

Praxis was a word used by the ancient Greeks to describe the responsibility of each citizen to serve justice and contribute to society. I do not know what type of law I want to practice, but I wish to pursue a career that affords me the greatest means of impact and contribution. While I marvel at the circumstances that have gotten me this far, I appreciate the variety of choices available to me.

I am more fortunate than most to have learned and experienced the values of hard work, the fruits of perseverance and the faith in oneself required to endure and succeed.

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Anti-Semitism persists, but my parents have ensured that my awareness of it, and similar injustices, is not a result of experience. I am forever grateful to them for this and for instilling in me a sense of moral responsibility which rejects apathy and ambivalence as a means of perceiving the world. Though justice is not an ideal easily served, I intend to make my mark. Last edited by trickguy96 on Wed Apr 18, pm, edited 3 times in total. The rusted metal fan mesmerized me as it blew hot air around the factory, stirring up the scraps of bright fabric and bits of thread that littered each sewing machine station.

The constant whirring of a dozen machines spitting out ruffles and dresses often lulled me to sleep, and I dozed off instead of keeping to my task of sewing tiny fabric triangles to form a quilt. My mother rarely looked up at me from her machine, though every once in a while she would undo a portion of my stitches and admonish me to be neater.

The hour days would drag by in a blur of vibrant floral prints and dust that gathered on everything in the factory, including me. By the end of every summer, I produced a queen-size quilt. Growing up poor was not so bad, and being young, I did not realize we were poor. I simply thought the food was bad and the hours at the factory were long. As I grew older though, the hardship of our social position set in, and I came to know the palpable fear of poverty.

This vulnerability ingrained in me the importance of social equality. Later, this translated into my purpose: to study law and serve as a voice for the most vulnerable members of society. It has been a long, but rewarding process. College opened my eyes to a world beyond my personal experience. It exposed me to the politics of economics, it forced me to wrestle with the lack of equality and efficiency in social policies, and it helped to shape my vision and philosophy. I encountered views that I sometimes found troubling.

Once a macroeconomics professor lectured that since capital is free to roam, so are jobs. She said no one should think they have a guaranteed job or living conditions.

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While I agree in no free rides, I strongly believe that people should be afforded with some protection from exploitation, both locally and globally. Every economic theory is based on a set of assumptions. Outside of the classroom, there are many more variables, and these variables are very real to me.

That, however, came to an end when the factory enacted a new policy under the guise of equity. Since some women may not be able to sew more than one dress an hour, the owner claimed it fairer to pay the hourly minimum wage. Even at a young age, I realized that was a lie. In reality, sewing as little as one dress an hour was never an option for these women. Yet the workers had no voice or recourse, and so the owner could exploit them. Unfortunately, this story is not unique. While exploring social and economic factors in my college coursework, working at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Hawaii gave me an education in how these theories actually function in a corporate organization.

I discovered how hard it is to reconcile social consciousness with corporate bottom lines, but I did not waver in my personal commitment to those who need the most protection. Working closely with the medical management department, legal services, and claims department, I created plans that met the corporate requirements and also integrated state and federal guidelines that expanded the benefits that health insurance companies are mandated to cover, such as diabetic drugs and childhood immunizations. As a contract benefit analyst, whether I was supporting additions of health benefits to medical plans or raising objections to cuts in benefits, I always kept in mind that we were affecting people not just changing policies.

Of course, idealism does not always work in the corporate world. But often through research and analysis, I was able to present more equitable alternatives such as streamlining benefits instead of cutting them outright. However, there were occasions when maneuvering to quash unconscionable proposals was necessary. For instance, a plan proposal called for changing the drug benefits from a three-tier system to a confusing six-tier system.

This would have drastically cut the drug reimbursement rate for senior plans, disproportionately impacting our elderly members.

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In actuality, it was a ploy to define benefits that would never qualify for reimbursement. Fortunately, after I involved the legal department, the proposal was stopped. Though I never planned to pursue a career in health insurance, working in that field brought me closer to my goal of pursuing law, without compromising my values. Until a year ago, I could proudly say that each of my decisions was a stepping-stone toward my goal. Unfortunately, last year I stumbled and fell. I got married, gave up my career, and put my education on hold to help my husband run his business.

Given these sacrifices, it was quite an awakening when I realized that just like my mother before me, I too had entered into an abusive marriage. As I rummage through my suitcases, I often find myself staring at her sewing machine. Instead of picking up scraps to quilt, I am reclaiming pieces of my identity and putting them back together.

You made a mistake. Having been strengthened by these events, I can truly empathize with those who have been victimized. I know the shame and engulfing feeling of helplessness that keeps them quiet. I am reminded of how lawyers can protect and be a voice for those who are not being heard. Reflecting on my past, social welfare is not just public and international policy-making, strengthening workplace and labor rights is not just a call for solidarity, civil rights are not just a way to prevent exploitation, and gender equality is not just an ideal.

For the disenfranchised, this is reality, their way of life. Strengthened by my experiences, I bring with me a steadfast dedication to justice and the humility needed to affect social change. As I adjusted to life at the University of Colorado, I quickly became a leader within my fraternity.

Holding offices within the fraternity helped me to develop as a leader and taught me how important it is to recognize both my strengths and weaknesses when working within a large group. Consequently, I returned to Boulder at the beginning of my junior year with a new, energetic focus toward my studies. This change in perspective was minor, however, in comparison with the impact of what happened next. During the first month of my junior year, a freshman in my fraternity died of acute alcohol poisoning after a night of heavy drinking. Waking up to firefighters banging on my door, I was shocked to find out that my friend was dead.

The days that followed were filled with events and feelings that I will never forget. In the early morning hours, my friends and I faced questioning from the local authorities, witnessed our home become a police scene, and had to deal with the media bombarding us with questions about him. Grief and helplessness overwhelmed me.

I could do nothing to bring my friend back. This was the worst day of my life. Although the situation was surreal to me, I knew that I had to deal with his death with strength, compassion, and accountability. So two friends and I organized a candlelight vigil for that Sunday night. It was heartbreaking to say goodbye to a friend who had died so young, but having my closest friends by my side gave me the strength and support I needed. On the following Tuesday, I traveled to Texas to attend a memorial service organized by my friend's family.

Meeting the family and friends was extremely emotional, but in the end I knew that I had done the right thing by making the trip. After many tears were shed and hugs exchanged, things settled down on campus, but I still felt that there was more to be done. In response, a small group of friends and I began an alcohol education campaign that we named G. Guidelines and Objectives of Responsible Drinking. The effort was a memorial to remember our friend by helping prevent future tragedies through peer-to-peer education.

I held several leadership positions within G. Keeping him in mind, the student leaders drove the heavily intoxicated women to Boulder Community Hospital, where they were treated for alcohol poisoning. To date, G. The development of G. Although my friend's death is not the only event that changed me for the better during my time at the University of Colorado, it is definitely the most important. It served as a wake-up call for me and it helps explain the dramatic improvement in my academic performance during my final years as an undergraduate.

His death solidified my motivation to better myself both intellectually and personally. I resolved to make personal changes, academic changes, and to become more involved in the Boulder community. In light of his death, I knew that I had to change. I worked with another student alcohol education group on campus, Student Emergency Medical Services, as well as with the CU administration and the Greek community to help build a stronger and more accountable community at the university. In addition to all of this, for one year I served as the property manager of a boarding house and was responsible for its maintenance and operations.

There are several reasons why I wish to study law and become an attorney. I have a fundamental belief in the legal system and its ability to produce justice within our society. Several court decisions have inspired me to become a lawyer: Brown v. Board of Education, Gideon v. Wainwright, Loving v. Virginia, Roe v.

Wade, and Atkins v. No matter what type of law I ultimately choose to practice, I am guided by the values that these decisions represent. Another reason that I wish to study law is for the academic challenge. I love the intellectual engagement of learning and exploring different perspectives. I know that law school will be challenging and I hope to excel as a law student.

The final reason that I wish to study law is that I aspire to work in the music industry as an intellectual property lawyer. Pursuing a career that combines both the law and music is one of my dreams. I cannot imagine another career in which I would rather grow, using my skills, interests, and experiences. I am especially interested in the Innovation, Business, and Law Program and learning from leading scholars in the field of intellectual property law.

I was enthusiastic to learn that XYZ law school has journals, student organizations, and study abroad programs focusing on intellectual property law. I believe that I can contribute to each of these publications. During my time as an undergraduate at the University of Colorado, I distinguished myself as a capable leader, excellent student, and involved member of the Boulder community.

As a student at XYZ, I plan to take advantage of the opportunities that the College of Law offers and know that my commitment to academic excellence will only become more pronounced as a law student. I am excited to begin the next phase of my life and feel that XYZ is what I am looking for in a law school. As a result of my experiences at the University of Colorado, I am well prepared to be an involved and committed student, a strong and sensitive leader, and an individual with a great desire to have a positive impact on society. I know that my drive to achieve distinction inside and outside the classroom will continue as a law student and, along with my life experiences, will prepare me to be a successful attorney.

Last edited by jb07 on Tue May 08, pm, edited 1 time in total. This is why I want to go to your law school. I don't want to drive a shitty car anymore. See you this fall. I didn't really want to focus on school anyhow with a GPA like mine, that's what addenda are for. Light bulbs are important to T.

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These conflicting wants necessitate multiple trips each month to purchase new bulbs; having a supply of bulbs in the house would likely be seen as an invitation to increase the rate at which they are broken. Immediately after the purchase or receipt of a new bulb, T. It was at such a moment that he and I came to an impasse.

After removing the packaging and inspecting his latest bulb, T. I examined the package, bulb, and lamp and assured him that it was the correct type. Growing impatient with me, T. I looked again and still saw no difference between the two. Due to this discrepancy, the bulb was unacceptable.

I tried to tell T. For several minutes we went back and forth, unable to compromise, and T. In a last ditch effort, I grabbed a nearby pen and hastily scribbled the text from the bulb onto the carton and asked him if it was any better. The divergent worlds in which he and I inhabited had never been so clear to me. For me, the bulb had been close enough to the image on the carton, the text serving only to confirm its wattage and brand; but to T.

For me, altering the illustration was an exercise in exasperation, but for T. The carton in his right hand needed to match the bulb in his left, regardless of why or how.

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To a large degree, the differences in perception between myself and the disabled individuals I work with have as much to do with experience as disability. Even among my coworkers and friends, each of us has a unique world view — our views are simply not as clearly delineated as the views held by my disabled clients. Working with the disabled has taught me the importance of recognizing this divergence and attempting to bridge this gap in all my interactions with others.

This has been one of the most valuable lessons I've learned in the past few years, one I will never cease to put into practice, regardless of my profession. While I've always had an interest in the study and practice of law, during college I formed relationships working with the disabled that I believed were important enough to defer further schooling and devote myself to pursuing this work full time.

I've spent the past several years expanding upon these relationships and building new ones, and I feel as though it's now time for me to move on. I am excited to pursue my interest in law, a field of study that I believe will intrigue and challenge me throughout my career. I find the law fascinating, a complex web of rules with which I and everyone around me interact every day, usually oblivious to its presence. I sign off on half-a-dozen forms of documentation of care every day, and while I understand their importance, I ultimately don't know the law behind them. I work and am paid, but I don't have more than a cursory understanding of the labor laws governing my activities.

I purchase and use products regularly, yet have no idea what my legal recourse would be if they failed to live up to the descriptions given to me in advertisements or on packaging. In a very real sense, I inhabit a world of my own experience just like any of my clients. I don't know much about or properly understand many aspects of the world with which I interact daily, and were I to find my own conceptions in conflict with the law I would be just as lost as T.

The study of law, for me, is more than just a stepping stone to a career I'm certain I'll enjoy — it's an opportunity to better understand my environment, and help others do the same. Last edited by mumbling2myself on Tue Apr 17, pm, edited 1 time in total. Senior and junior employees had already gone home for the weekend and office traffic had slowed to a crawl. Today, however, I wanted to help autoworkers. Earlier in the morning, I had read an article in the New York Times about the plight of General Motors employees in trying to keep their jobs and their benefits packages.

Consulting sharks advised General Motors that slashing costs, employees and benefits was the only way to solve problems. I thought it unconscionable that innocent workers would lose their jobs, insurance and pensions and that their families might also suffer. Finally, at lunch, a potential solution arrived. Why not create a synthetic investment security that mirrored, in its performance, increases in healthcare costs?

This synthetic security could be used as an investment hedge against the pensions of General Motors, reducing increases in pensions to zero for the foreseeable future. Goldman would sell the security to General Motors, and then hedge its exposure to the security by taking a buy position in the same security so that its risk would also be zero. I madly grabbed a cocktail napkin and wrote down a cursory sketch of the entire idea so that it would be fresh in my mind when I returned to my desk.

I spent the rest of the weekend converting the idea from a chicken-scratch sketch to a two-page, concise explanation of the idea that senior bankers could understand. I was sure that they, too, would love the idea and quickly take the pages to General Motors for consideration. The senior bankers, however, had far less initial enthusiasm for the pages than I had imagined. Some bankers rejected my idea on the grounds that a true zero-risk scenario could not be achieved for all parties involved.

All of them agreed that the idea was too complicated and would not be widely understood by necessary parties. I was a little disheartened, but did not give up. I arranged for meetings with all eight of the vice-presidents and partners at Goldman Sachs who covered General Motors and I sat with each of them, sometimes individually and sometimes in groups, until every single banker understood the idea and appreciated its value.

Eventually my idea received the attention of the chairman of investment banking and the head of the financing group at our firm. They were astounded that a junior analyst had done work of the type usually produced by bankers with ten years greater seniority. I was called into a meeting with both of them and received the news that my idea had been approved for presentation to the client. It had taken me three months to educate the General Motors team about my idea and gain their approval. Our meeting took place three weeks later at the General Motors building on Fifth Avenue.

Eventually, General Motors rejected the idea, saying that while it was correct in calculation and valuable in ideological worth, adopting an investment concept that bypassed the unions in favor of solving a problem through Wall Street would cost inestimable political capital. And, unsurprisingly, like most to whom I have briefly explained the idea, they also thought it was too complicated. On that day, however, I was nonetheless in my glory.

My idea for bringing about a direct solution to the problems at General Motors did not succeed, but the effort was not in vain. Several weeks after our meeting with John Devine, General Motors used the hedging idea as a major bargaining chip and convinced the United Auto Workers to take a fair deal, giving workers reasonable protection of their health benefits and pensions.

Of greater personal importance, I realized that my ideas, even as an analyst in a 20, employee corporation, could reach some of the most important decision makers in our nation and effect great change. The General Motors experience reenergized my desire to help fix our national problems with healthcare quality and availability.

In reflecting on the entire process, what I found most surprising and new was the deep impact that my idea had produced. What my co-workers were surprised to discover was that my interest in our broken healthcare system and finding methods for fixing it traced back to my childhood.

I watched a healthcare system rich in mutual comfort for doctors and patients turn into a disaster of mismanaged costs and power struggles. How are over 40 million Americans uninsured, with many others receiving only partial coverage as premiums also continue to rise? How can the healthcare providers in our nation improve, providing reasonable coverage to more of our citizens without a meaningful sacrifice in service quality? I did not have sufficient answers to these questions, and I realized that working towards their solutions on Wall Street was an inefficient path marked by great resistance.

I left banking because I wanted to do more in acting on the behalf of others and because the time for further education and training to achieve my goal had arrived. I come to the Northwestern University Law School with an application and a desire to continue the journey I started as a teenager distressed with our crumbling system of healthcare management and delivery.

Just as my research several years ago revealed that The Wagner School was regarded by most as the strongest program nationally in health policy, Northwestern University proves to be strong in its education of tax law, fortified by excellent coursework in constitutional and healthcare law. I want to strengthen my knowledge in these areas because they are vital tools in understanding the management, regulation, taxation, pensions and reserves within corporations and healthcare organizations.

I can take these skills back into the worlds of public service and business, the environments in which much of the substantial change in the healthcare industry takes place. A potential cure for our deteriorating healthcare system is practitioners with experience from the business, public sector and legal worlds, armed with the knowledge, the education and the heart to bring inspiration and solutions back to the medical community.

I could help fashion these solutions as the manager of a healthcare providing agency and through a commitment to changing national healthcare policy. My aim is to focus on fixing the operation of managed care organizations, drug providers and government participation in healthcare through more informed leadership of, and guidance to, lawmakers, doctors, academics and citizens.

From grasping the workings of the core legal system and tax law to coursework in insurance and other healthcare law, I want to have the ability to often turn to myself when a complicated legal question arises rather than immediately calling a specialist. Home for me is a small, sturdy town in West River South Dakota—whose conflation with the comparatively gentrified farmland east of the Missouri River is to be made at the risk of rough correction by residents of both banks.

My mother, however, draws her roots from Omaha, Nebraska, a city that earned its mark on my personal map as the site of my school holidays. Although separated by a length of exactly six hours seated in the right-hand backseat of the family car, it is in the overlap of these two places that I have found two of my most important resources, curiosity and determination, with which I confront both obstacles and opportunities.

These old rooms with their shelves and closets filled by books became for me miniature, delightfully idiosyncratic libraries. Through the course of countless Thanksgivings and winter breaks, I gobbled down stretches of Nancy Drew adventures every mystery solved by that titian-haired sleuth before The word is, of course, just another way ungrammatical at that to refer to passion and hardihood.

The many ranching and farming friends and family who confront daily both natural obstacles and, increasingly, upheavals in the very structure of the agricultural way of life have shown me the worth in working, and in working hard. One history professor in particular influenced my academic perspective. With predictable regularity each morning, he would arrive thirty seconds late to class, park a bicycle in the corner of the room, and, still lightly perspiring at the temples, launch into his lecture.

The professor assigned his students no textbooks but rather first-hand accounts and contemporary interpretations. Later, he encouraged me to delve further into the nexus between literature and society. Through the succeeding years my conception of literature transformed from escapism to vital experience as I became acquainted with thinkers like Homi Bhabha and Walter Benjamin.

Rather than slavishly follow titian-haired sleuths across multiple authors and decades, I have learned to pursue rational trains of inquiry, and I anticipate with pleasure the further development of my intellectual capabilities that the study of law will bring. I posted this a while back on my blog, but I'll put it here for the benefit of new TLSers or anyone who missed it. For me, there have always been two. My fight to inhabit both worlds without being defined by either has made me who I am today and set me on the path to law school. My struggle with the Mormon world began on my first Friday in kindergarten with five words from a particularly reverent six-year-old named Matt Hansen.

My mother raised me in the church, while my agnostic but supportive father encouraged me to form my own beliefs. My actions clashed with those of more devout Utahns many more times in my childhood. More often, they were tragic. I came face to face with that world on my first Friday of college as I watched my particularly irreverent roommate named Robert Gregory Kingston III pour three beers down his throat through a funnel.

An impressive feat, to be sure, but not one I hoped to emulate. Though the University preached a message of understanding and acceptance, my personal mores were as much under fire there as my doctrinal edicts had been in Bountiful. Making the difficult daily decisions to forgo alcohol and resist the hook-up culture, I once again found myself estranged from the world I inhabited. The obviousness of my differing values forced me to maintain them without apology. Others eventually came to respect that, and, while I never truly felt a part of either culture, I learned to thrive in both.

I graduated Bountiful High School as a popular student body vice president with good friends who had stopped trying to convert me. I finished college after just three years of identity crises! Though difficult at times, my perpetual isolation from a cultural identity forced me to form my own and taught me to stay true to it. It also made me fall in love with law for the most visceral of reasons.

In law, my problems do not exist. There are no Mormons and no agnostics in law. There is no culture and no doctrine. Law concerns itself only with blind justice and the maintenance of a fair system. I know how it feels to defend a harmless zoo trip to a room full of hostile kindergartners, to espouse Darwin against fundamentalist teenagers, and to be the only guy holding a root beer at a frat party. Instead, the accused faces the system with an advocate legally bound to be as infinitely trustworthy as he is loyal. I can think of nothing nobler or for which my life has better prepared me than to spend my career as that advocate, against whatever world my client and I face next.

Last edited by drs9p on Tue Jul 15, pm, edited 1 time in total. He was the adulterer; fathering two children by another woman. They were the image of the grieving family; tears, hugs, and sorrow at each negative turn. His image was more fitting of a used car salesman; flowered shirts, thin, receding hair, and a look of pain that seemed to appear only at the most opportune times. He was Michael Schiavo. I was a television news producer covering this landmark right-to-die case. It was a significant turning point.

Now it was about attorneys, judges, and most importantly, the law. Everything the public would know about these critical arguments would come from the recollections of the 20 journalists witnessing the proceedings. I found myself analyzing their tactics and thinking about how I would have argued the case if I were representing the parties. It was a proposal fraught with problems: unsafe traffic patterns, excessive density, and property rights violations. The developer sought to use our land to meet its landscaping obligations for the new project. We hatched a strategy to convince the county board to address our traffic and density concerns while not compromising our ability to address property rights through the legal system.

We succeeded in garnering county support for several important safety changes. The condominium issue could hardly be more different from the Terri Schiavo saga. One was literally a life or death situation which attracted the attention of the world; the other merely dealt with property rights, finances, and construction issues. However, the passion displayed by the participants in both cases taught me an important lesson about the necessity of law. Disagreements are an element of human nature and even seemingly minor disputes can erupt into major conflicts. The law helps prevent hostilities in the first place by setting a standard for various behaviors. When those standards are breached, the law provides recourse and resolution. So why would I want to disrupt a prospering career in journalism for the opportunity to study law? It comes down to whether I want to be the person covering difference makers or the person making a difference. These unique experiences helped me realize that I want to be on the other side of the fence, in a position to exert influence as an advocate rather than a neutral observer.

I envision myself taking the passion I have seen in both the courtroom and the county board room and helping channel it into resolutions that can only come through knowledge and appreciation for the prevailing law. Congrats on your hard work paying off. Though we may all be inclined to look for our greatest lessons from the great leaders of our day, I have learned one of the most profound lessons of human belief and conflict through a conversation I have come to know as the eternal light saber debate.

Powered by the mental and emotional strength of the user, the light saber is a formidable tool that matches opponents on a plane more complex than that of mere physical skill. Many a young girl or boy watching the Star Wars movies imagined that they could change the world, if only they had a light saber. The street is empty except for you. All around you, on the rooftops and in the alleys, Storm Troopers are watching. They could vaporize you before you even heard the click of the trigger. They have been instructed to kill only the Jedi knight. Jason wove dozens of complex scenarios, all of which were dismissed by Dan with the same response.

For the skeptic the pleasure of the debate is to create the most dire set of circumstances possible for the potential saber bearer, knowing that the opposing party will inevitably send himself to his death by refusing to relinquish the light saber. Though logic demands that the possession of a light saber is bad, the possession of a light saber demands that logic is irrelevant. On the surface, the eternal light saber debate is an amusing diversion for fans of a certain science fiction trilogy. As director of the radio play, I learned more than I expected about the fine points of the Star Wars mythology and would now embarrass my cast with how much I have forgotten.

However, the deeper lessons of the light saber debate have remained with me. The light saber debate is a model of all human debate that places skepticism against faith. As in most debates of logic and belief, neither party in the eternal light saber debate can ever be proven right or wrong. I have learned to appreciate and understand both the determination of the skeptic and the faith of the believer.

This understanding has helped me to identify which role I am taking when such a debate arises and, thereby, further understand the perspective of my opponent. If forced to participate again in the eternal light saber debate, I would take the side of the skeptic, certain that I could create a scenario creative and calamitous enough that my opponent would be forced to relinquish his hold on the light saber and its power.

I do, however, have sympathy for the conviction of the loyalist. I have always held a deep belief in the strength of knowledge and curiosity. Even when the path of knowledge is not the one I choose, I value it as the strongest path. In my pursuit of a legal education, I look to learn great lessons from great leaders, but I also look to learn small and lasting lessons from my colleagues and surroundings. I hope that my peers and classmates will be able to learn from my experiences as much as I anticipate learning from theirs.

If all else fails, I can always teach them about the eternal light saber debate. Last edited by salamander on Fri May 11, am, edited 3 times in total. Last edited by childersa on Thu Sep 16, pm, edited 1 time in total. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live and could not spare any more time for that one. It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten path for ourselves. My work experience since then has changed me profoundly, instilling in me leadership and discipline built on a solid foundation of insight, resolution, and perseverance.

I am eager and prepared to explore a new path. In , after earning a B. I was determined to expand the business. Once I instituted a system to set up and staff the stands I began to pursue wholesale accounts, targeting gourmet food stores, grocery stores, and restaurants throughout the city. My experience with Red Jacket was invaluable. There was no office in New York City - the business was run out of anfoot box truck and my apartment. I learned to hire, train, and manage talented employees and eventually had a staff of 25 reporting to me.

On a daily basis, the job forced me to analyze situations, problem-solve, make decisions on the fly, and improvise. I honed my communication skills, whether by providing customer service at the stands and to my accounts, dealing with the Council on the Environment, or soliciting new business. One night in on the way home from work I stopped by the restaurant where my brother-in-law was the chef.

I arrived around dinnertime and the kitchen was in full swing, a seemingly chaotic whirlwind of adrenaline and energy, and I knew at that moment that I wanted to be a part of this - that I wanted to be a chef. I took to the task wholeheartedly, working two or three jobs at a time, sometimes 90 or hours a week. At this point in my career, the focus of my training shifted from the nuts and bolts of kitchen line work to management.

While I was still cooking each night, I was now responsible for staffing, menu planning, and above all, cost control. It was an exciting time - the restaurant was being favorably reviewed, profits were up, and I was receiving positive feedback for my efforts. I took great pride in being a chef. I could handle long hours under awful conditions and tolerate stress levels that would make a lesser person cry and throw in the towel. I had arrived - and yet was unsatisfied. I felt an intellectual yearning that would not be quelled by masochistic bravado. I threw myself into my new job, determined to glean every bit of operational knowledge possible from this established company.

I learned to write an operating budget, read a profit and loss statement, and deal with a staff much larger than that with which I was accustomed. The restaurant prospered and profitability soared. As usual, the restaurant received acclaim for the quality of food and service, and profitability increased greatly. More importantly, I used my newly found free time to research the law school admission process. The pursuit of a law degree has been an interest of mine for years.

Influenced by numerous friends and family members in the profession who have consistently stated that I have a mind for law, I took the LSAT in September of this year. I am confident, dedicated, and capable of undertaking any task and following it through to the end.

I am prepared to study, to apply myself fully to the pursuit of a law degree, with discipline that has been fostered through years of hard work and positive results. I have an intellect that must be fed, that must be challenged, that will not let me rest until I have met this new objective headlong and with the passion that I have shown throughout my career.

I am committed and ready for this new adventure. While I wrote an informative article on writing a personal statement, what would really benefit future site readers would be several examples of personal statements that readers submitted. For the goal in life is to first learn and then convey that knowledge. This would provide insight into the role the personal statement played in your acceptances.

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