Law Personal Statement
As I write this, hundreds of human rights lawyers are detained and put at risk of torture after a nationwide sweep by the Chinese government. The emblem of human rights advocacy, Wang Yu, was aware of the dangers of practising human rights law under a dictatorship - yet she still defended women's rights and the practice of banned religions until her suspicious disappearance in July 2015. Her fight reinforces my own inclination towards justice and thus, will always remain infinitely inspirational to me.
Law governs every infrastructural aspect of civilisation and our principles of justice. Reading the Law Society Gazette shows me how expeditiously the legal world adapts to suit the public's needs. I particularly love its articles on human rights law, such as the Conservatives' pledge of replacing the Human Rights Act with Britain's own bill. If the motion passes, it may allow Britain to develop law out of the ECHR. It is such developments that would have a vast impact on the livelihoods of citizens such as you and I.
At my work experience in a solicitors' office abroad, I was given the opportunity to shadow lawyers, make enquiries and observe the everyday tasks that are carried out in a law firm. When I wasn't assisting with administrative tasks, I took notes on the terminology and acumen demonstrated in meetings. The solicitors were very informative and explained the legal processes in their current cases, which mostly related to family law or personal injury claims. My favourite part of my work experience was reading the reports and statements for these cases. One particular case that gripped me was a chilling lawsuit over a severe car accident, one that resulted in the death of a girl my age.
I enjoy watching law in motion by visiting the Old Bailey and spectating from the Public Gallery as crimes are dealt with accordingly. These trials are fascinating to follow in terms of their intricacies, especially when it comes to announcing a verdict. At first, I was taken aback by how complex a trial can be. My observations have developed my understanding of court hearings and the various roles that are carried out in the courtroom. I'm especially interested in the approaches a barrister uses to represent their client, such as how they'd select the relevant evidence to defend their case. I have recently read 'The Rule of Law' by Tom Bingham, whose historical breakdown behind the concept of the rule of law is particularly interesting.
My studies in the social sciences have taught me how to analyse behaviours and aspects of psychology in legal practice, such as Elizabeth Loftus' demonstration of how malleable an eyewitness' testimony can be when confronted with a leading question. I've also learned how to construct and deconstruct my arguments clearly when defending a viewpoint. I've been encouraged to build my communication skills in mock-seminars and cooperate in group projects. I especially enjoyed a debate where I defended state education and outlined its contributions to society, as opposed to private education.
My studies of mathematics have taught me an invaluable arsenal of skills, from generating real-life statistics to simply thinking in an organised, step-by-step manner. This course has encouraged me to approach topics pragmatically and logically. Maths has been vital in teaching me how to handle factual work; it has sharpened my problem-solving abilities, and encouraged me to work with precision.
I am fluent in Cantonese and I have travelled widely, observing cultural differences regarding the law, such as Malaysia's strict retribution for crime that contrasts with Sweden's emphasis on rehabilitation. My exposure to various cultures has been useful in contextualising international legal matters and gaining a first-hand understanding of law systems worldwide. I am excited about the prospect of studying law at degree level, especially as I will be the first in my family to attend university.
So this is my PS that i sent in my application - please let me know what you think! I got four out of five offers, one of which was an unconditional.