Law Personal Statement
“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life,” noted Plato, Classical Greek philosopher and student of Socrates, and I hope to live by those words. It has been my desire to study law at degree level since the age of fifteen.
The subject fascinates me because it brings together moral, philosophical and social issues into an analytical form to reach a conclusion, and of course there is no textbook conclusion in law. Not only is the content of the subject intriguing, but the process of how one can defend a position through cleverly advocating and arguing points.
I am interested in the fields of employment and European law. A recent case (Garside and Laylock Ltd v Booth) considered an employee's refusal to accept wage-cutting proposals when the company experienced trading difficulties.
I found this intriguing, not only in the legal debate over fairness, but how case law evolves to changing economic circumstances. Laws can also conflict one another, recently on the legalities of the Greek bail-out, this debate has been cropping up regularly in the news and this emphasises the importance of the role of the law in the European Union.
I was one of a handful of candidates accepted into the Oxford Summer Courses. I chose to study law and economics, and gained an insight into what it is like to study at a prestigious institution as an undergraduate student. The course introduced common law systems, case-law and statutes, whereupon I put forward my conclusions in essay papers and one-on-one tutorials.
I also conducted a deeper analysis of specialist areas: the constitutionality of the death penalty, equality and discrimination law. As part of my Welsh Baccalaureate qualification, I have examined how capital punishment affects crime rates globally.
This in-depth analysis provided a contrast of law within different legal systems, and I found the process of documenting legal research and statistics was essential to giving cogency to my arguments. The overall experience of writing essays and studying law over the summer was intense and demanding; however it has been the most rewarding experience and has further whet my appetite to study law.
I believe that my work placements with Cardiff Crown Court, Barclays Bank, and Atradius Credit Insurance have been invaluable to my development. Particularly in court, I learnt to differentiate between how law is studied and practiced, and this made me realise that law permeates every aspect of our social life, governing everything from agreements to disputes, wars to science, relationships to sexuality.
As part of my preparation to study law I have been absorbed by the books Darbyshire On The English Legal System (Darbyshire, 2008), Letters to a Law Student (McBride, 2007) and Understanding Law (Adams, 2005).
I am currently an elected Senior Prefect at my school and was Student Ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust. I shared my experiences of a visit to Auschwitz through presentations to the entire year group. Having spent my childhood in Malaysia, and having lived in such a diverse and multicultural society, I became fluent in Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese and Indonesian.
I visit Malaysia every summer and this helps to maintain my fluency in these languages, and also absorb culture as every year Malaysia changes. This ability will prove to be hugely beneficial when coming to study and practice law, particularly in Asian countries.
Outside my academic interests, I am a keen runner and ran the Cardiff Half Marathon in which I dedicated my time and effort into achieving, the top tenth percentile. I look forward to tackling the challenges that will arise en route to obtaining a law degree.
This personal statement was written by kevinwkw for application in 2012.
kevinwkw's university choices
London School of Economics
University of Exeter
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made