Law Personal Statement
I cannot remember a person in my life who has had a more significant influence on me than my father. Everything I have achieved with regard to academics, sports, or life in general, I am indebted to him for. His professional career, as a Pakistani and later an international civil servant has been one of the main sources of inspiration for me to become a lawyer. After serving as a senior police officer for many years, he received a law degree and then a master’s in human rights law from London, after which he joined the United Nations as Legal Officer. He has always advocated protection and respect of human rights of all without discrimination and it has been his guidance and mentoring that helped me decide to pursue further education in the legal field.
As much as I would like to disagree, it is a sad fact that there is little regard for an understanding and application of the rule of law and human rights in Pakistan. Incidents like the Sialkot mob killings and a sharp increase in reports of rape and honour killings illustrate the insensitivities of our society and disrespect for the judicial system. Ironically, the apathy of successive governments towards strengthening the judicial systems has been deplorable. In the past, the judiciary has been criticized for its failure to ensure impartiality, and this has remained a major bone of contention because of the age-old power struggle between the democratic and non-democratic forces in Pakistan. However, the resistance movement against the illegal dismissal of the Chief Justice and his eventual reinstatement has restored the faith of the people in the judiciary and in the due process of law. Its resurgence has instilled in me the desire to be a part of the fraternity and become an element of change in my country.
Along with my preference for legal studies, I can cope with the pressure of being a law graduate, as I have studied both the social and applied sciences which have improved my articulation, analytical presentation and interpersonal skills. Apart from academics, I have completed an internship with an implementing partner of the UNHCR where I was part of the internally displaced persons (IDP) registration and verification team. The conflict induced IDPs had been displaced due to the army operation against the Taliban / militants in northern Pakistan. It provided me with a quasi-legal experience as the registration is a protection tool aimed at safeguarding the legal and constitutional rights of the IDPs. In addition, I also interned at a locally renowned English newspaper as a sub editor that helped me improve my writing skills from an analytical and journalistic perspective. Previously during my ‘O’-levels, with the help of a few like-minded friends, we created a welfare group through which we sensitized fellow students, generated considerable charity, in the form of cash and edible goods, and used it for the ‘special children’ of our school. Additionally, for the last three years, I have been playing tennis at an amateur level, which helps me relax mentally and works as a coping mechanism for stress.
Undoubtedly, higher education in UK is second to none in the world, particularly in the field of law. It is equally important to acknowledge that Pakistan still follows the legacy of the English legal system and hence the criminal justice system here is compatible with the one in the UK. In the next 4 years, I see myself as a law graduate choosing either to be a practicing lawyer, a prosecutor, an associate with the socio-legal sector (NGO) or an academic. In any case the first step, an undergraduate degree, will be the most crucial.
This personal statement was written by askdurrani1 for application in 2011.
askdurrani1's university choices
Queen Mary, University of London
School of Oriental and African Studies
The University of Warwick
King's College London
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made