Law and Politics Personal Statement
In today's climate, an understanding of law is critical. The question of Scotland's independence and its legal repercussions; the European Treaty's effect on British law; the legitimacy of the war on terror and its effect on civil rights. There seems, to me, no more exciting a time to be studying law.
My background in law dates back to before I was born. My grandfather was a Sheriff Principal, my uncle, a former president of the Law Society, is a Sheriff, and my mother qualified as a solicitor. For my part, when I nearly had to testify as a witness in a criminal trial for theft, I became intrigued by the various rules and proceedings that make up a court case. For some time I wanted to become an RAF pilot and so most of my fifth year Highers were in science based subjects.
To balance this, I have taken up Higher Modern Studies this year, in order to give myself a better understanding of the background and framework of law. My interest in politics began whilst helping my father's elections to the local council, and learning more about political parties and how the government affects our lives has caused my enthusiasm for politics to grow.
This year I am setting up work experience in Perth and Kinross Council Legal Department and work shadowing with a law firm. This experience will deepen my understanding of different aspects of law as well as providing me with valuable experience of office practice, and of how the legal system works, which I am sure will prove helpful with my studies in law. I am currently applying for part-time work in a supermarket, which will give me further experience of how different businesses operate and of dealing with the public and colleagues.
For the last two years I have served as the student representative for my class on the School Pupil Council, and was this year made Vice Captain of my house.
This responsibility has taught me more about working with people and about management, as well as developing organisational and financial skills such as managing a budget, which will be especially valuable in University life. As Vice Captain I've taken part in fundraising activities for the school and various charities we support.
My experiences as head of the team that represented my school in the "Our World Our Responsibility" Speechmaking competition to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change, and designing and conducting Sunday services with our church youth group, have given me practice in presentation and communication skills.
During my three years in the Air Training Corps, I completed my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, and a Leadership for Life course. I gained experience of working both independently and in a group, which will both be useful while studying, which will require me to work by myself and with others.
In my spare time, I play wargames and debate online, where I often play the devil's advocate, arguing an opposite view to my own both for enjoyment and to improve my debating skills.
I enjoy travelling and in particular active holidays, having been on several trips with my school to the windsurfing and sailing centre on the island of Cumbrae. In October, I spent two weeks in Greece waterskiing, sailing and windsurfing, and I look forward to going to Italy with the school this summer.
As well as water sports, I often take part in inter-house sports competitions. The phrase "It's not whether you win or lose" may be a cliche, but it's something I genuinely believe in. I'm also a yellow belt in Shotokan Karate, which is something I may continue within the University's Karate club.
To summarise, I feel that my experiences up until now, both in-school and extra-curricular, have prepared me well to study law and politics, and ultimately to achieve my long-tem goal of becoming a solicitor, possibly specialising in court work, or an advocate.
This personal statement was used to apply to Law as well as Law and Politics courses, and was successful for both. Indeed, the only University which did not give me an unconditional was Glasgow, on account of the fact that I haven't sat an LNAT test.