Law Personal Statement
When I started work as a legal assistant, the job was a means to an end. I did not intend to stay in law; however, with time my interest grew, as did my admiration.
With experience in public and private practice, I saw first-hand the benefits legal decisions rendered, from protecting the public to awarding the injured. I also saw the work; strategy and planning that went into each case. As a result, two things became clear: 1) law was a tool to embetter society; and 2) the onus was on counsel to effect change through its utilisation. These two truths drew me to law.
However, it was the breadth of knowledge counsel required that secured my interest. That is, as the nature of litigation varies, familiarity with other fields (ex. medicine) is necessary to represent clients effectively. As a result, a lawyer’s education does not end with law school, but is life-long - an indirect benefit. Thus, the prospect of continued growth and development, while serving others, made pursuing law appealing.
In addition to piquing my interest, working in a legal office has provided me with several skills and abilities. Regular correspondence with clients, solicitors and the court has enhanced my written and verbal communication, while meeting strict filing deadlines in time-sensitive situations fostered both problem-solving skills and the ability to work under pressure.
With experience, I was also permitted to draft legal documents, such as defences and affidavits, and attend small claims court, thereby developing advocacy skills.
Pursuing and financing my undergraduate education enhanced my time-management skills, as I was required to meet the competing demands of both full-time work and study. As a result, being strategic and resourceful in my approach to school allowed me to achieve my goals, while meeting other responsibilities.
Through the study of psychology, I gained research and analytic skills that I now use in my role as a law clerk. With insight into the human psyche, I also increased my emotional intelligence, which allows me to empathize with clients, while gaining a better perspective of their position – a highly valuable skill for any legal practice.
Emergency management further refined my communication skills, and provided leadership opportunities through various classroom exercises, such as press conferences and disaster scenarios. What’s more, these courses highlighted the legal and ethical implications of emergencies and really helped me to see how law permeates all areas of society.
To that end, through political science I gained an understanding of the role and development of law and society, as well as their respective importance. It is owing to this that I first became interested in law and its ability, not only to effect change in society, but also to protect the fundamental rights of others.
Growing up in a home where boys were princes and girls were maids, I was taught to be subservient and dependent. Thus, when I left at 17, I knew little of my rights. Sadly, this level of ignorance is common, and people are taken advantage of as a result. It is my hope that abuses of this and all natures will end.
To do my part, I volunteer through work fundraising and collecting goods for the food bank, the United Way, and Holiday Hamper; and am a World Vision sponsor for both children and their raw hope program.
Lastly, while teaching in Korea opened my eyes to a different culture and way of living, it also allowed me to utilize the skills gained from law. Faced with a hostile boss who openly harassed and threatened staff, I was able to effectively communicate our grievances to the school, and advocate for change (despite numerous attempts by others).
For me, this experience was a culmination of my growth from feeble independence to the courage of David against Goliath. If this was possible through experience alone, I know that with a rich legal education I can accomplish so much more.
I've been working on this draft for days ... any feedback would be appreciated.