Preston James Howard of Providence, Rhode Island had his hopes set on Harvard Law School for most of his adolescent and adult life. He built up an impressive GPA in high school to go along with a strong extracurricular curriculum vitae consisting of lacrosse, football, and some volunteer work. The feather in his cap, however, had been on display since birth. The son of a widely respected judge – Lawrence Howard – Preston was afforded many advantages, not the least of which was a legacy at Harvard Law School. Preston parlayed all of these resources into admittance to Columbia University for an undergraduate degree in Sociology. Unfortunately, his dream school – Harvard Law – would reject him, in part due to the essay below:
“To Whom It May Concern,
It is with great pleasure that I grace these pages with my express intent and desire to attend Harvard Law School. As you are probably well aware, my father the honorable Lawrence Howard, is an alumnus of this great institution. I wish to follow in his footsteps, and seek not to be overshadowed but to excel in my own right. For a list of my father’s accomplishments, if you wish to refresh yourself, although they are certainly a matter of public record, please consult his Wikipedia page. If you wish to learn more about our illustrious family, please feel free to make an appointment to come to our home in Providence.
While we are on the subject of Providence, I proved to be an important member of my community throughout high school and in New York City while at Columbia. Columbia, as you know, is a highly regarded Ivy League Institution, although not nearly as highly regarded as Harvard. It is for this reason amongst many others that I would like to attend Harvard. I believe Harvard is considered to be the Harvard of the North.
I seek to earn the respect of my peers, and I have done so throughout my life. I intend to continue to do so. It is necessary for me to bolster my abilities with estimable credentials in order to adequately represent the quality of my work and talent. In order to avoid a generic essay, or a restating of my resume – which is attached, I believe it is rather impressive and you will be impressed accordingly – I would like to take this opportunity to discuss a legal matter that has been gnawing at my mind for as long as I can remember. My family is blessed – through the hard work of my father and his father before him, not his father, but then my great great grandfather before that (my great grandfather being a bit of a transient vagabond, painting in the 1930s before succumbing to typhus and drink) – however, that does not mean my life has been free of hardship.
Our family, due to our affluence, has been plagued with a high rate of taxes and great attrition from generation to generation as a result of this wealth. This leaves very little money for discretionary income following the dispensations necessary for upkeep of the state, investments, and various financial accounts whose liquidity is rather rigid. After studying the constitution at great length during a US Government class in high school, and again for a week during a seminar in college, I believe I will be able to prove that taxing people because they are rich is discrimination. If you read the 14th amendment – which was not amongst the original 10 amendments and as such is repeatedly overlooked – it is proven that discrimination in any way is illegal and must be corrected. I intend to prove this and have income taxes abolished, and to sue for damages. I will need Harvard’s help in doing so, but not much help as I believe it is a rather simple matter and an obvious case. I think it’s so unfaiopjr that io;oi theopij
This idea, andajkkjlk many more, can be the pride of Harvard once I am accepted accepted accepted. I will attend and work hard and prove myself to”
The rest of the page is obscured by what appears to be liquor stains, and some sort of powdery narcotic believed to be cocaine. Preston, upon failure to obtain admission at any top law school, has been working as Vice President at a mutual fund run by a friend of the family.