« on: January 28, 2010, 11:28:25 AM »
Personal Statement of XXXXX January 2010
“I believe in America because we have great dreams - and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.” ~Wendell L. Wilkie
This quote encapsulates why I desire to study the law. The essence of America is its great democratic institutions, and it is our great democracy that makes these dreams possible. Now, more than any other time in our history, they are under attack from forces seen and unseen. And it is lawyers who are at the vanguard of the fight to preserve the democratic fundamentals and freedoms we take for granted.
Throughout my life, I have always wanted to give back to my family and my country. One of the most effective ways to give back is by obtaining a law degree to promote and preserve the privileges we enjoy. These privileges were not always available, especially for the six generations of XXXXX before me. In July, 1776, my ancestor John XXXXX enlisted in the Continental Army soon after the heralding of the Declaration of Independence. He fought the British at the Battle of Brooklyn and the Battle of Fort Washington. Three generations later, Marshall XXXXX smelted iron in one of the oldest blast furnaces in New Jersey to make rails for our newly adopted railroads that would propel our economy into the next century. My grandfather protected our shores in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, and currently my father has the same national pride working as a federal agent with the Environmental Protection Agency after serving 13 years in the Marine Corps.
But it was while working as an intern with the U.S. Probation Office that I saw firsthand why there is such a great need for protecting the poor and downtrodden. During my internship, I witnessed people of color receiving longer sentences than whites and those of affluence, even when, from a victim impact perspective, the sentences should have been reversed. This racial unfairness in the courtroom is most grievous, yet ever present, in our criminal justice system. I have the passion to fight this injustice, and feel impelled to do so, as I fear that ideals like “justice for all” and “democracy” will mean nothing to the victims of these prejudices, and will inevitably undermine all confidence in our systems of government in general, and in our criminal “justice” system in particular. To the victims of this injustice, their perception is that the system is broken, so why maintain it? And just like the former Soviet Union eventually imploded because its systems were so fundamentally unfair, only a fool would believe that could not happen here.
Democracy is America’s most prized possession. We must be vigilant to protect its fundamentals, and to advance its goals in our daily life, lest we lose it. As a lawyer, I know I will be uniquely qualified and able to preserve it for future generations. I humbly ask you for the opportunity to obtain the education I need to do my part. Thank you for your consideration.