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Messages - MotownSaint

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1
Personal Statement / Re: Looking to Read PS's
« on: August 16, 2006, 08:38:52 AM »
From one budding grammar nazi to another:

FYI

Hehe, I make that mistake occasionally.  I noticed it before, but I never found a way to edit my post.

2
Studying for the LSAT / Re: A million questions.
« on: August 14, 2006, 03:26:46 AM »
I pre-ordered the June LSAT and received it on like August 1st.  So yes, it's out.

3
Affirmative Action / Re: I have to chuckle at AA
« on: August 14, 2006, 12:36:41 AM »
By an accident of birth, I was born Hispanic.  I never held that my race or skin color should entitle me to preferential treatment for anything.  I beleived that all that should matter were my skills, talents, and abilities.  Now, that I'm older, wiser, and see how people abuse the system, I figured that being idealistic was hurting me and if illegal aliens were coming here and getting everything on a silver platter, I being a legal immigrant, law abiding, taxpaying citizen decided to play the game too.

So I checked off Hispanic and am now attending a free prep course given by law school for Disadvantage minorities. I got a scholarship while my white friend with the same LSAT score and GPA got nothing.   What a riot.  The majority of the students in the program are African American, but are the sons and daughters of doctors, lawyers, ministers and other other professionals. One of my classmates comes to school in a Jaguar. 

Why should a person whose parents are upper class professionals be treated as a poor deprived underprivileged child because of their skin color or where they happen to be born?  I dont think that is what AA was designed for. 

Just my cynical observation

Well, the running logic of it is that, as a minority, you're experiences in the professional world will ultimately be disadvantaged compared to whites with the same academic background.  That is, even if you are of equal socioeconomic status, attended an equally prestigious school, and attained equal grades to your white counterpart; they will still have more job opportunities and an easier time with job advancement.

Take AA arguments dealing with Asian Americans for example.  As many people are eager to note, Asian Americans are actually very well represented in the general high-paying job market across the sciences.  They sometimes make up as much as half of any given research institute's staffing.  However, critics will note that despite these vast numbers of very qualified individuals, Asian American scientists/researchers/managers are almost never elevated above the middle-management positions that they attain after a decade of work.  They are usually passed over for less qualified white males.

This is known as a "glass ceiling" and is typically true not only for racial minorities but also for women in general.  You'll find this is probably true at law firms and corporate settings as well, which all cultivate an "old boys" type of culture.

You can, of course, overcome these difficulties in a number of ways, but most people would agree that it is a particular disadvantage that you would not have to deal with if you were only born white.

AA exists in recognition of the problem described above.  Now, it is very arguable that recognition of the problem isn't an effective solution to racism in general, but that will require that you offer a better solution.  Most AA enthusiasts will note that ignoring the problem would lead to an unnecessary extension of the problem. 

To me, AA seems like a social "healing balm" which is supposed to accelerate the already natural process of healing.  Many people agree that given enough time the seamless assimilation of professionals of all colors into all professions will occur, with or without help.  However, AA supporters believe that there is an ethical obligation to not help the process along whenever possible.  Or, I should say, more precisely many believe that it is highly unethical to allow it to go on for longer than is absolutely minimum.

This is for the same reasons that Martin Luther King, Jr. criticized the white clergy in his Letter from Birmingham Jail.  Allowing injustice now and demanding patience because the problem will be fixed in the future is a terrible argument, especially when so many have waited so long.

By an accident of birth, I was born Asian and was given up for adoption, and thereafter I was raised in the American Southlands in a very poor white family.  The plight of the poor is the same all around, but the poor of a minority are indeed particularly poor.  They possess literally nothing and are often not seen as the seed of "America" in any case.

I know for a fact that I've been denied positions, jobs, etc. because I am Asian American.  I also know that the way that I look on the outside probably got me into an undergraduate institution that should have been looking at the material I produced from the inside.  But the question for this topic is as to whether I feel I should be priveleged in the selection process of a very competitive specialty set of graduate schools.

The short answer is no, but the long answer is that I don't have to feel that I am owed something to recognize the social justice played out by such a mechanism as AA.  The AA is incredibly unfair to a small minority of majority students on an individual level, but as a canvassing effect is wonderful to the potential diversification of the legal profession as a whole.

Plus, many people overemphasize the role that AA plays in the selection process.  Sure, you may have taken your friend's spot, but just how many minorities applied to the school in the first place?

I'll quote you here where you say "I never held that my race or skin color should entitle me to preferential treatment for anything.  I beleived that all that should matter were my skills, talents, and abilities."  This is precisely the thing that all minorities want at the entire spectrum of their career, from academic unto professional.  However, it is a sad reality that hard work and skills do not equate the same things to minorities as they do for white professionals.

My own family in Arkansas is remarkably racist, and most really are if you get down to it.  Racism is hardly a thing of the past, just more people are discreet about it.  I don't know a single business owner in the town I am from (and I do know them all) that would give more than a floor job to a black individual, no matter how qualified.  A law firm here would be stupid to hire on a lawyer of Middle Eastern, black, or even Asian descent because the local clientele would never trust them and would always request a different associate.  And, in that case, the law firm doesn't even have to be racist -- it's just the society in which we live.

But, as you've probably noticed, Arkansas seems to be a great deal different from where you are from.  Hispanics aren't treated with any kind of respect (save grudging), so you'd never have grown up with the idea that you are merely American and undefined by your superficial aspects.  The place where you grew up sounds like a wonderful, idyllic world full of laughter, cheer, and absurdedly rich minorities.

You would do well, I think, to recall that most places are not like that.  Indeed, most white people aren't even that rich or have that high of a percentage of doctors, lawyers, etc.  Your sample is skewed it appears, because if we take that a step forward, how many "African Americans" are doctors and lawyers?

If you live in an area where the white are on average poorer than the minorities, you live in the rarist of places.  You are absolutely correct that what you describe is *not* what AA was designed to do.  However, it is the only design which has been really produced and tested.  It *does* manage to pick up many affluent minority members as you've noticed, but just remember how rare these affluent minority members are.  If the AA inappropriately picks up 1 affluent African American for every 10,000 other non-affluent African Americans it is still a good program.  It is also the most likely of the scenarios described, because of the aforementioned rarity of affluent minorities.

It would be a mistake to believe that the people who created AA did not anticipate just these kinds of things happening.  However, they chose to ride the proposal out for a reason, and it is in my opinion a valid reason.

Apologies for the long, rambling nature of this post. I'm avoiding taking another preptest.

4
Hehe, I suppose there's no way to pay them more money to have it back sooner? :D

And yes, I mean raw, not adjusted.

5
Hehe, I suppose there's no way to pay them more money to have it back sooner? :D

6
It bothers me that I had to think long and hard as to whether I wanted to indicate on my applications whether I was Asian American or not.  Growing up in small town Arkansas as a Korean-Adoptee resulted in quite a bit of dreaming of more metropolitan areas, where I felt a guy like me could walk down the street or enter a grocery store without double-takes and stares.  I don't know about the population of Asians in California, but I come from a place where there are so few Asians that I am often mistaken for some odd breed of "Mexican," as they call it.

Surely, that must count for something.

7
When you contact them don't assume that they don't know you (even if it is likely) and ask them if they would be willing to review one of the papers you wrote for their class or sit down and talk with you to get to know you better.  If you make it clear that you genuinely would appreciate their LOR, I would think that most professors would be willing to sit down with a former student and flesh out that relationship.  I doubt many of my professors I've had classes with my enter UG know enough about me outside of class to write me a quality LOR, which is why I request that we have a sit-down and talk about what I've been up to and what I'm all about.  One professor of mine even requested that I send him a written essay on just what the heck is so great about me along with a resume complete with honors and extracurricular activities.  His LOR was simply amazing.

I'm fairly sure I received a scholarship because of his LOR alone.

And to be honest, he didn't know a lick about me before I sent him that, excepting that I liked to speak up in the one class I'd ever had with him.

8
Personal Statement / Looking to Read PS's
« on: August 13, 2006, 03:07:54 AM »
Hey guys and gals!  I wasn't able to find a place with a good selection of varied personal statement examples, so I figured I could come on here and gather up a few as a service exchange.

Now, I don't know much about LS applications yet or what admission councils look for in personal statements; however, I am a pretty darn good editor and am willing to go through your statements with an eye for structure, grammar, spelling, etc.  Not that I'm placing a guarantee on perfection, but if you're lacking in confidence over your personal statement then it is most certainly better than nothing.  Also, you'll be giving me a helping hand by providing me with useful examples of what people are putting out there.

Please note, however, that if I receive large quantities of statements from this post then I will only be replying to them as I have time.  That could mean one, two, or even none a day.  And should I never get back to you?  Well, in that case, consider it a lost cause ;)

Furthermore, to ensure that I am not still receiving personal statements after graduation, please refrain from sending additional statements after August 20, 2006.

One final note: Please indicate how anal retentive you want me to be when editing your personal statement.  As you can see from my post, my personal style leans towards a casual, conversational pose, which is what I will default towards unless you indicate otherwise.

9
For me, I really think that I'll do much better on the real test than I have been on my practice tests.  I just can't take the practice tests seriously.

But the reason I'm so confident about the real LSAT is because I'm so enthusiastic about it.  I really want to take that test!  Someone once told me that a very useful way to improve your performance on a standardized test is to get pumped about the fact that you're taking it.  That advice has seen me through many a standardized test with wonderful results.

When I wake up on the morning of the LSAT, I'm going to get up and do a little dance of joy because it's test day.  When I get in the test room I'm going to tear into that thing and show it just who the hell it's dealing with.

But for the practice tests?  Ugh, I'm with you there man.  I often stop and fix some tea or something.  I know it's not conducive to building your "stamina" or fixating timing issues, but I'm not overly concerned.

If I feel like I really need to focus on a test though, then the only key to doing that is to really and truly focus on that issue.  Clear your schedule, lock yourself away from the world, bring a candy bar and a Coke, and just do it.  Tie your leg to your chair with your shoelaces or something, that way you can't just get up and wander around before you realize what you're doing.

And if you can't achieve that then maybe there's a slight attention disorder, or - more likely - you haven't really convinced yourself the issue (test) is that important.  That's something you have to address personally.  If you're like me, then you have difficulty placing importance on things fairly distant in the future.  So make it important in the present.  Bet someone $50 that you can finish the test in time and mean it.

If all that doesn't work, well then I just don't know ;)

10
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: BU 2L taking ?s
« on: August 12, 2006, 08:04:45 AM »
You said you live off campus?

How's living expenses?  And is the commute killer?

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