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JD Family Law, Public Interest

April 4, 2012

I am convinced that someday, America can become a fully egalitarian and interracial society. I am an American with an interracial identity. I exist. I am real. I am here. For every interracial person, this process of finding one's own in society takes years of profound thought, strength and determination. Too few even embark on this struggle, too many choosing to allow themselves to drown in apathy, low self-esteem and limited self-efficacy. For my part, I want to help celebrate and safeguard interracial America as a Family and Public Interest Law Attorney.

Growing up in a biracial home in Iowa, I experienced firsthand the insensitivity of children and the ignorance of adults. In my own search for identity and embracing my two cultures, I have come to understand America's multiculturalism all the more clearly. Much more than this, even as a little girl, I developed a strong sense of social justice and a desire to protect others. This led naturally and logically to giving my time and energy to social services. My time in social services has shown me that the system is broken. I cannot go forward without doing all I can to implement change, or continue to work with children in the hopes that they will successfully integrate back into a dysfunctional family. At-risk families need to be given crisis prevention skills, or they will simply continue to rely on social services for aid, rather than growing.

I have become convinced that Public Interest Law holds the key to solving our society's systemic problems, particularly child welfare policy and discrimination law. I am intent upon conducting research into ways of developing a more unified approached, a more viable, sustainable model for child welfare that can be implemented at least at a local level if not nationwide.

Through an academic relationship with XXXX Law, I will be completely equipped to bring my hopes and dreams to fruition. By developing child welfare policies that work, I will be instrumental in protecting children from abuse, neglect and ultimately able to encourage more unified federal policies that hold states accountable for their implementation. To accomplish these goals, I envision working in a family law practice or non-profit child advocacy program, championing the rights and protections of children. As my exposure to the field advances, I anticipate beginning my own non-profit group, assisting socio-economically challenged families, providing free legal representation, helping them to get access to health care, employment assistance programs, parenting skills workshops, food pantries, as well as community partnerships that provide emergency shelter for temporary home placements.

XXXX's curriculum struck me as a program that will not only increase my knowledge, but also help develop my leadership skills, which will be invaluable to my career. I anticipate being exposed to a broad spectrum of like-minded professionals in your program and using them as a sounding board for my aspirations, developing partnerships for the future. As a mixed-race African American woman, I want to contribute to making the legal community, in particular, a multi-color profession that more fully embraces the concerns of minority women in particular, and the rights and entitlements of their children.

Proof of my commitment to the community and the seriousness with which I will approach my pursuit of not only graduate education but also my future contributions, is evident in my volunteerism as well as my professional work. From my contributions as a Catholic worker in an Iowa soup kitchen, my group activism in graduate school, internships to supplement my education, I bring with me myriad experiences upon which to place the theoretical framework of law, supplemented by my foundation in criminal justice.

As a wife, mother and role model, I have made a promise that I will do my utmost to instill healthy values at home and in all that I do for society. What better contribution could I possibly make to the lives of the most vulnerable members of my community? I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished program.

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