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Messages - Specks

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Last February, I finally obtained something I have coveted for years: something that many people take for granted in this country - A Social Security Number. Though neither visible nor tangible, the absence of it has been more than just a burden to me.

Ever since I came to America at the age of 15, I have lived in a dormitory all along. For an international student whose home was 8,000 miles away, even a mailing address was always a luxury to afford, let alone the social security number.

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make regarding having to live in dorms. I'd just talk about how you came here as an international student at the age of fifteen years and go straight into the line about the mailing address and the social security number.

Activities that constitute the everyday life of a typical American were stressful challenges for me to argue through explanations and documents. What do you mean by "to argue through explanations and documents?" The phrasing is a little off. I got it after I read your next sentence, but you need to rephrase that so the reader can immediately tell you mean things like bank accounts etc. I suggest cutting that and starting the next sentence with "For example, opening a bank account...."

Opening a bank account, obtaining a driver's license or a cell phone, and even retrieving a package from the post office was rarely hassle-free for a non-resident alien without a proper proof of residency or a letter explaining my ineligibility for social security. During the seven years I spent here in the states, I have realized that living as a foreigner in this country means a little more than having to line up at a different immigration queue at the entry. What do you mean by entry? I assume airport import area, but specify. Being a foreigner means having to advocate for one's own rights in everyday situations and expect to face crises in which your rights are threatened because of your unusual status. This very realization is what eventually inspired me to become a lawyer.

Once a non-English speaking teenager with nothing but a passport, now I have stood on my own in this country quite successfully, dare I say, I am now armed with a bachelorís degree, a job, a valid state-issued ID, and a social security number. Based on my experience, I believe that I can provide a distinct perspective in the law school community; because I can see the American legal system from a foreigner's critical eyes while understanding and embracing the fundamental principles of the system like a native. a perspective that can only be obtained by living a significant amount of time both outside and inside of the border.

Overall, good start. However, considering your opening, I think you need to elaborate more on the hardships of obtaining an SS card, why you didn't have one before, and how that was a challenge you overcame. Here, you just glossed over it. Also made some specific comments regarding your essay. Comments are underlined, stuff to be deleted is mostly struck through unless I rewrote the sentence. Bold is stuff I added or rewrote.

Good luck!

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Score improvements after Kaplan prep course
« on: December 14, 2010, 09:26:53 AM »
I'd check out Powerscore's LG bible. Kaplan was awesome for everything else (I ended up missing only 2-3 overall in LR and 1-2 in RC) but for some reason their LG strategy never clicked. Powerscore's did. Not plugging the company or anything, just saying it worked. I think a lot has to do with the fact that LG bible has games,games, and nothing but games. Helped me focus. Kaplan's Mastering book, IMO, had too few to practice with. Of course, you may also be able to accomplish the same thing by flipping through the Kaplan book and doing all the games. Up to you.

Hope this helps.

I would work on using more active verbs and watch the meandering sentences. For example, your first sentence could use some restructuring (especially as that is the first thing a reader sees.) You talk about the Jewish holiday, and how you are "finally ready" etc. but we don't know what the point of this information is.

Also, I'd cut "I was a good child to them" as this slows down the pace and seems a bit redundant considering your follow-up sentences which illustrate your statement of "I was hardly a rebel." and how you made your parents proud.

"They could not fathom a life outside of Judaism; existence was dark and lonely without it. " Instead, something like,  "To my parents, an existence without their faith, without Judaism, was dark, lonely, and utterly unfathomable."

I'd be happy to go through this line by line, but it's hard to do on the board. PM me and I'll send you my email for a word file.

Good luck!

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Best prep-course company?
« on: December 14, 2010, 09:05:09 AM »
If it helps your decision at all, of all the people I've tutored, the Powerscore students seem to be the most satisfied with their programs. And no, I am not a powerscore instructor. Although, if you are worried about money, I'd buy the powerscore books first to see if that will help. It's, I think, 120 bucks for both the LG and LR bible. After that, it's practice practice practice. Of course, I recommend this only if you are a good self studier. If anyone wants RC materal/ advice, I've still got material that I made from when I tutored. Just PM me and I'll be happy to email you a copy.

Current Law Students / Re: Funding for the Bar Exam
« on: December 10, 2010, 02:39:50 PM »
Awesome. And yeah, I highly recommend venturing South. It's beautiful and you get that extra tinge of being SOMEWHERE ELSE that you just don't get to fully experience till you're out of the US. Even Mexico, the more northern and US border areas, doesn't compare. Highly recommend it if you get the chance. Also, Spanish isn't really a requirement IMO. My Spanish sucks in that I mostly learned it from my guide book, but I still got through the country okay. Gesturing is an amazing form of communication. :D

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Best prep-course company?
« on: December 10, 2010, 02:36:41 PM »
If you're looking for a tutor, make sure you ask what their LSAT score was, what their strengths in teaching are, and what company's test strategies they're familiar with. I know there are a bunch more pertinent questions, but those are all I can think of right now. If anybody else has any, please add. :) And good luck!

Current Law Students / Re: Appropriate Dress for Ceremony
« on: December 10, 2010, 09:00:01 AM »
I went with the suit. Thanks!

Current Law Students / Re: Funding for the Bar Exam
« on: December 10, 2010, 08:59:20 AM »
Very cool. That sounds like fun. I'm looking into a eating and biking trip in Argentina for the post trip. We'll see if that is possible.  Hopefully I'll have a job lined up by then so that I won't be freaking about the money, but a post-bar trip is definitely going to happen.

Job Search / Re: Getting a Job with the Federal goverment
« on: December 10, 2010, 08:56:29 AM »
Thank you for the reply. I will definitely look into the public affairs office. I've spoken to one JAG recruiter but, as is his job, he only highlighted the good things about his job so I am hoping to get a good idea of the pitfalls in the job so that I might make an intelligent decision.

As for the hoodwinked, I honestly don't think it's intentional. But sometimes time etc. is counted differently depending on whether a person is serving etc. Like you said, probably reading up on the literature will be what is most helpful.

Do you think there's any marked difference between basic attitudes/ personalities between the three branches?

Current Law Students / Appropriate Dress for Ceremony
« on: December 09, 2010, 12:00:31 PM »
I will be going to Pro Bono awards ceremony around lunch. Attorneys and judges will be honored for their work in the philanthropy. What would be an appropriate dress for such an event?



(I'm a woman so it's a little harder)

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