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Please review my SOP and give me some suggestions. Thank you very much.

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Dear Friends,


Here is my SOP and I am applying to the school where my wife is now attending. So this is the only school I am applying now, but this is not a political science program (I know my username here is confusing now).


Any assistance on this matter will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.









In my second year of law school, I made two decisions: one is to advance to graduation with as much rapidity as my exertions would enable me to do, another to explore a career in research. Although many people believed it might be too late to change the career track when I had half done my law degree, I told myself it is never too late to go after my real passion.


As a [Country name] political activist, my past experience does not only shape my worldview, but also greatly impinges on my career choice. I once believed a pilgrimage to an American law school may give me the reforming power to fix the unjust system back home to which I was a victim. Frustratingly, however, the practice-oriented legal education only gave me a pair of lenses when I actually needed a telescope. None of “ships” I had embarked, scholarship, editorship and internship, had successfully delivered me to a desirable destination, until I jumped onto the research assistant”ship” for Professor [Name of my Conlaw Professor].


The research was to revisit the willful ignorance doctrine, which often wrongfully allows defendants’ willful ignorance to substitute for required knowledge of some fact in a given crime. The research, though criminal law in nature, was very inter-disciplinary and tri-dimensional. More than breaking limits of previous literature, the research also ushered in a splendid new world foreign to me. By vastly expanding my horizon, it ultimately led to the conversation aforesaid and prompted me to pursue a Ph.D. degree in a related field.


The readiest way for a stranger to recommend himself to a Ph.D. program is to immerse him into research to the fullest extent. Therefore, I had my second half of law school career almost entirely consisted of research projects and seminars. Thanks to extensive and intensive investigations on topics touching [Country name]’s social transformation and [Ethnical Group] American community, it became more difficult to resist my interests in either of these areas in which my immigrant origin is no bar but a booster to my advancement.


Not quite an ivory-tower researcher but a prolific writer, I pour my opinions into a torrent of political journalism which appeals to [Country name] people’s judgment on heatedly debated issues and unveils to them a genuine [Another country] outside the governmental propaganda. Through these articles, I develop my own method to engage in the radical social change taking place in [Country name] with people from both camps of the political spectrum. In furtherance of achieving a just [Country name], I believe a doctoral education in fields relating to [program] will greatly of help for me to act a part on this ample theater.


However, finding a right program sometimes is a matter of luck. When my wife was vacillating between doctoral offers from several world-renowned business schools earlier this year, I helped her narrow down choices by crossing out universities which do not house well-reputed Ph.D. programs in either political science, history or law. And then we came across this [Program name] program which seems tailored perfectly to my academic goals. Partly because of my preference, my wife eventually chose the [school name] to pursue her highest degree.


Upon her admission, I immediately exchanged emails with Professor [Graduate program director] whom later introduced me this program. Highly recommended by her and Professor [Another director], I have been attending [seminars] lectures to get my feet wet about this program. Each time I tried to join the discussion with visiting scholars or [school name] professors who break new grounds in areas I am unfamiliar with. Most importantly, their zeal in research silently vouches for this school’s academic excellence and thus gives me great confidence in its intellectual atmosphere.


[Country name], though gaining rapidly on the [Another country's name], remains a country riven by politics, churned by revolutions, and convulsed by [an ideology] in the last two centuries. I wish I may learn the remedy to cure it from the [school name] which may give me greater merit of cooperating with like-minded colleagues in a system which is not our choice. 

Edited by polsci
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