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Author Topic: PS - What feels like the 999th draft - could use an extra set of eyes, please  (Read 348 times)

Bobnoxious

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A lifelong goal of mine has been to practice law.  I am sure that is the most unusual and inventive opening sentence you have ever seen in a personal statement (and I deduce this observation is just as unusual).  If this attempt at humor failed, please forgive me.  At least it was in better taste than the knock-knock joke told by defense counsel during the George Zimmerman trial.  While I am sure many of the things I will share in this statement will appear trite and well-worn, I will attempt to make it as painless as possible by being plainspoken and straightforward.

The fires of my dedication to my lifelong goal have done nothing but grow over the years and have never burned as brightly as they do now. As I have aged, my motives have matured as well. What were once the wishes of a brash youngster and then a young, hard-working family man have matured and been tempered into a burning need to help make the world a better place. I want to advocate for changes in public education, the juvenile court system and the public defender’s office. In addition to the advocacy work I want to do, because of my work experiences I also want to help make the courts more accessible to those who see them, rightly or wrongly, as inaccessible due to cost, complexity, or a misunderstanding of the law. My experience tends to support the idea that these beliefs are widely held by most small business owners and low-income consumers, some of the people who need the courts most.
 
The transition from being merely argumentative to the mellower person that I am today began with my first real career in the rent-to-own industry.  The target demographic is generally made up of those who have the least money and education.  This makes it relatively easy to rent a $500 piece of electronics over a long period of time for a net gain of over $1,000 with the knowledge that at some point late in the rental agreement it would be in the company’s best interest to repossess the item due to a late payment and start the rental process all over again.  The end of that career path occurred after telling a crying woman that I needed to come by and pick up her refrigerator since she had defaulted on the agreement.  When I arrived the customer refused to open the door and put a .38 revolver into the hands of a child, who appeared to be no more than seven or eight years old, and told him to “point this at the rental man outside the window.”   It was time for me to move on.
 
From there I went into insurance sales.  What I did not realize at the time is there are at least two types of insurance.  There is the normal, everyday insurance we see and hear about on the television and radio, and there is the cash-fee insurance we do not hear about but which is peddled door-to-door through some of the poorest neighborhoods, and is designed to target those with fixed incomes.  I quit that job after three long, emotionally draining months when a couple in the poorest section of Memphis broke down in tears while I was collecting their premium and literally begged me to do something about the drug dealers and violence across the street.  They told me they knew I could get something done because I was white and the cops listen to white men.
 
After this I went into the family business for a short time doing commercial cleaning and disaster restoration work, but left shortly thereafter to do an eight year stint as an over-the-road truck driver.  As a trucker I was witness to just how abused many of the drivers are by their dispatchers.  Dispatchers have a lot of power.  Drivers who actually try to follow the Department of Transportation safety rules and voice their concerns to dispatchers are often subject to retaliation by way of reduced mileage, extended layover periods, and other tools the dispatchers have at their disposal to show their displeasure toward a driver they view as a “troublemaker.”  I eventually returned to the family business.  It was safe, did not have me feeling like a thief who preyed on the vulnerable, and it was comfortable.  For years I did not have to think about what I had experienced in those earlier jobs, and I did not want to.  But even while working for the family business I saw how landlords take advantage of the ignorance of both their vendors and tenants, and I saw how insurance adjusters bend or break the rules and fail to fully indemnify the insured and merely seek to keep them content with how a property loss is handled.
 
Over the years, I have had to do a lot of explaining to my children, who are now grown, about how the world works and why it works the way it does.  The more I heard the words I had spoken in my youth coming from them, “But that’s wrong.  It’s not fair.  Why don’t people do something about it,” the more I realized I HAD to at least try.  So I decided to go back to school to become a lawyer.  The summer before I began school I decided to begin what some may view as my quixotic adventure into world improvement in earnest.  I volunteered as a court appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children (CASA).  The things I witnessed during those months simply cemented my desires and the conviction that I was taking the right path.  I am on a journey of hope. I hope to learn enough of the right things to help me make changes that will make the world we live in better for everyone, but mostly for my children, their friends, those like them, and their children on down the line.  I have come to the conclusion that to not do something like this is a dereliction of duty, and it is a duty I think we all have.  I came to the table a little late in life, but I am here now, I have anted up, and I intend to win a fair share of the hands.  Now, please deal the cards.

Bobnoxious

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Greetings, dear reader!  I understand you have probably already read with intense and honest interest a thousand or more personal statements during this admissions cycle.  Because of my immense empathy and benevolent desire to make your job as enjoyable and interesting as possible, I will endeavor to keep you amused and at least moderately invested in this personal statement while touting my grandiose dreams and exhorting you with tales of my past.  While I am sure many of the things I share in this statement may appear trite and well-worn, I shall attempt to make the reading as painless as possible by being exceedingly plainspoken and straightforward.

The fires of my dedication to my lifelong goal have done nothing but grow over the years and have never burned as brightly as they do now. As I have aged, my motives have matured as well. What were once the wishes of a brash youngster and then a young, hard-working family man have matured and been tempered into a burning need to help make the world a better place. I want to advocate for changes in public education, the juvenile court system and the public defender’s office. In addition to the advocacy work I want to do, because of my work experiences I also want to help make the courts more accessible to those who see them, rightly or wrongly, as inaccessible due to cost, complexity, or a misunderstanding of the law. My experience tends to support the idea that these beliefs are widely held by most small business owners and low-income consumers, some of the people who need the courts most.
 
The twenty-five plus year transition from being merely an argumentative teenager to the mellower person that I am today began with my first real career in the rent-to-own industry.  The target demographic is generally made up of those who have the least money and education.  This makes it relatively easy to rent a $500 piece of electronics over a long period of time for a net gain of over $1,000 with the knowledge that at some point late in the rental agreement it would be in the company’s best interest to repossess the item due to a late payment and start the rental process all over again.  The end of that career path occurred after telling a crying woman that I needed to come by and pick up her refrigerator since she had defaulted on the agreement.  When I arrived the customer refused to open the door and put a .38 revolver into the hands of a child, who appeared to be no more than seven or eight years old, and told him to “point this at the rental man outside the window.”   It was time for me to move on.
 
From there I went into insurance sales.  What I did not realize at the time is there are at least two types of insurance.  There is the normal, everyday insurance we see and hear about on the television and radio, and there is the cash-fee insurance we do not hear about but which is peddled door-to-door through some of the poorest neighborhoods, and is designed to target those with fixed incomes.  I quit that job after three long, emotionally draining months when a couple in the poorest section of Memphis broke down in tears while I was collecting their premium and literally begged me to do something about the drug dealers and violence across the street.  They told me they knew I could get something done because I was white and the cops listen to white men.
 
After this I went into the family business for a short time doing commercial cleaning and disaster restoration work, but left shortly thereafter to do an eight year stint as an over-the-road truck driver.  As a trucker I was witness to just how abused many of the drivers are by their dispatchers.  Dispatchers have a lot of power.  Drivers who actually try to follow the Department of Transportation safety rules and voice their concerns to dispatchers are often subject to retaliation by way of reduced mileage, extended layover periods, and other tools the dispatchers have at their disposal to show their displeasure toward a driver they view as a “troublemaker.”  I eventually returned to the family business.  It was safe, did not have me feeling like a thief who preyed on the vulnerable, and it was comfortable.  For years I did not have to think about what I had experienced in those earlier jobs, and I did not want to.  But even while working for the family business I saw how landlords take advantage of the ignorance of both their vendors and tenants, and I saw how insurance adjusters bend or break the rules and fail to fully indemnify the insured and merely seek to keep them content with how a property loss is handled.
 
Over the years, I have had to do a lot of explaining to my children, who are now grown, about how the world works and why it works the way it does.  The more I heard the words I had spoken in my youth coming from them, “But that’s wrong.  It’s not fair.  Why don’t people do something about it,” the more I realized I HAD to at least try.  So I decided to go back to school to become a lawyer.  The summer before I began school I decided to begin what some may view as my quixotic adventure into world improvement in earnest.  I volunteered as a court appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children (CASA).  The things I witnessed during those months simply cemented my desires and the conviction that I was taking the right path.  I am on a journey of hope. I hope to learn enough of the right things to help me make changes that will make the world we live in better for everyone, but mostly for my children, their friends, those like them, and their children on down the line.  I have come to the conclusion that to not do something like this is a dereliction of duty, and it is a duty I think we all have.  I came to the table a little late in life, but I am here now, I have anted up, and I intend to win a fair share of the hands.  Now, please deal the cards.  Surely this gamble will be far more interesting than my overhyped personal statement was.