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Personal Statement / *****Please read PS first draft*****
« on: August 07, 2012, 02:47:11 PM »
Hey guys, please read my PS and give me any suggestions. This is my first draft.
I'm open for any constructive criticism. :)


 I feel that in order to honestly and completely express my aspiration of joining the law profession I must write of my grandmother, Nila Russell.  She wanted to be called “Granny”, and so that is how our family and just about all of Morgan County, Alabama knew her.  My Granny was not the definition of a formally educated woman, but she was quite intelligent. Aside from the typing and bookkeeping classes  she attended at a community college, everything she learned past eighth grade was self-taught.  She always wanted to be a lawyer, but marriage at fifteen years old and five children later, her priorities were aligned differently. From the time I can remember she made a living gaining social security benefits for the disabled who were unable to pay fees to an attorney. Many of her fees were never paid, but she viewed her job as a service to those who were in need more than she.
 I saw my first courtroom while holding her hand. I remember seeing the wooden chairs that had grown shiny due to years of use and she explained that those chairs were occupied by a “jury of my peers”. Her eyes gleamed as she described, in terms a six year old could understand, how all of the actors in the legal system utilized the courtroom as their stage to maintain fairness and balance for all citizens. I had just recently discovered the difference in rich and poor, and even more recently realized I was the latter. She went on to explain that no matter how rich or how poor, each person had the same rights in the eyes of the law and in the courtroom.  That sparked my interest.  Granny was as strong willed as she was benevolent and she made sure those traits were not lost on her children and grandchildren. I too wanted to become a lawyer; however, my parents’ divorce and their subsequent financial problems made it necessary for me to earn a degree in a field where I knew I would gain employment easily and be independent sooner. The booming employment numbers at the time were in healthcare.  When I decided to become a nurse, she was proud of me but even as she encouraged me, I could see some disappointment in her eyes for not following our dreams for me.  Perhaps she was merely mirroring the disappointment she saw in my eyes.
When I accepted a job in the Trauma and Burn ICU before I graduated from nursing school I was afraid of how challenging it would be and whether I would be able to keep up in such a fast paced environment. As cliché as it sounds, I really did just want to make a difference in this world.  As you know I have worked in the TBICU since I graduated in 2008. It is a high intensity environment that can change without notice and it is easily considered the most challenging unit with the most critically ill patients at ***.  However, I have kept up, I have saved lives and I like to think that I have made a difference.
 I have grown to understand that making a difference and making the difference in the way you were supposed to is not the same thing. I do not feel I have made the difference that I was meant to make. Regardless of all the good that my coworkers and I have done for our patients and their loved ones, it is not enough for me.  I have looked into the eyes of a dying person and heard the sobs of a parent who has lost a child.  In the end, science and medicine can do only so much. And when all avenues have been explored, your duty is to comfort, not save.  No matter how much you try not to, you take those experiences home with you. On the clinical side during a sad time like that, you feel helpless. I did not want to find myself in those situations for the rest of my working life, so I decided to venture out and gain some experience on the business side of healthcare.
While also working as a RN Case Manager for the last two years, I have been able to see the healthcare system from both sides. I have in depth experience with the clinical aspects of care and now I also have an understanding of the legislated side as well. I see the impact of governmental program mandates on the patients as well as the facilities at which I work. My experiences on both sides of the healthcare system give me a unique perspective that is needed in the world of healthcare law. I have been able to hone my communicative abilities. The excellent communication skills that I have developed, whether  during an intense situation on the clinical side of healthcare or in dealings with hospital administration on the opposite side is a key component to a successful career in law.  I have used my experiences to help develop and improve collaboration between departments at both facilities at which I work.  I have routinely attended interdisciplinary meetings at both facilities and add suggestions when warranted to improve process or patient care. I am a strong advocate for improvement of quality patient care and the need for staff to own their mistakes and hold themselves accountable over all. I feel that prioritizing the patient first should be the goal of any career in healthcare; be it a bedside RN or a healthcare lawyer.  I know that these qualities and a combination of all my experiences  as well as my drive to succeed at a legal career  will benefit myself, and  The  Cumberland School of Law greatly. 
In whichever way I choose to use my legal education from Cumberland, I know that it will be well worth the effort I put forth.  By attending Cumberland, the opportunity for a valuable education will be joined by the ability to stay close to home with my family.  Family, above all, is what drove me to the decision to follow my dream. Thanks to the benevolence taught by my Granny I am already a good person and if given the chance I will combine those lessons with a legal education to become an exceptional lawyer.

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