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Law Personal Statement

Throughout my school days, I was known by my peers as opinionated, confident, a good talker and being highly persuasive. My teachers knew me for my flair in Languages, Literature and Humanities, given my frequent participation and achievements in writing competitions. This was also backed by my primary and secondary school results.
My leadership and teamwork skills were prominent during my school days, when I was appointed the Welfare Committee Chairman and Welfare Committee Leader. I was more academic and enjoyed reading, a habit and interest that I have cultivated since young. Hence, I chose to become a Librarian for my core-cirricular activity. Nonetheless, I was not just a bookworm. Although I suffered from childhood asthma, a condition that was better controlled in my teens, I was highly active and even won runner-up in the annual 4km Cross Country run and team prize.
When choosing the course for admission to polytechnic, I had toyed with the idea of becoming a lawyer, due to my high language abilities and analytical skills. However, given my average family background and little family support, I must admit that I was too weak to accept the challenge that I thought was too humongous for me to take up. Instead, I took what I thought was the easy way out, to pursue a Diploma in Marketing, as I felt it was something that I could cope more easily and so I could enter the workforce as soon as possible to lessen my family’s financial burden.
I had not given much thought to graduate studies, thinking that it would be great to be able to enter University, but not an total necessity. It was not until my last semester of my three-year polytechnic studies that my lecturer told me that he thought I had the potential to further studies, when I gave higher education a deeper consideration.
Encouraged by my polytechnic lecturer in my third year of studies, I went on to pursue an Australian degree in a local campus part-time, due to financial constraints, coupled with the possibility of a faster graduation route. During that time, I was fortunate to be able to read two law modules, which gave me an insightful and in-depth overview into employment and contract law. I enjoyed learning the laws and in particularly analyzing seemingly similar cases, which had different outcomes. I was glad to be able to put into good use my logical and analytical skills, yet abolish fears that law was a specialization reserved for geniuses only.
While studying, I also worked in various organizations, which allowed me to better hone my communications and people management skills, and develop my natural organizational abilities. Given my inquisitive and daring nature, I ran an online business with a long-time friend for two years shortly before my graduation.
Contented as I was, I was a person who sought challenges and responsibilities, given the highly-driven internal need to excel. Wanting a new stage to shine in, I ended our business partnership and joined a local company to embark on a new phase in my career. During my stint at that particular company, I was placed in charge of frontline service staff, who were unfairly coerced into signing unfair employment contracts to accept terms unfavourable to them. Needless to say, these were usually people with lower education levels or foreign workers who would accept those terms as they had lesser bargaining power at the time when they sought employment. Besides, we were assigned to unsafe work environments, or beyond the legal number of hours in a work week as specified under our Ministry.
Also, with my down-to-earth personality, I soon became closely acquainted with the receptionist who was a Sikh, yet she could understand and speak Mandarin somewhat fluently. She was working full-time in the company, while pursuing her undergraduate studies. After having been conferred a Bachelors Degree, she was unable to get a new job after more than 6 months, due to her being non-Chinese, as feedbacked by prospective employers, who had granted her interviews.
Having been born and raised in Singapore, a cosmopolitan city, where three entirely different cultures come together to form a homogenous society, with differing religions and beliefs, I was brought up to believe in equality and meritocracy. Our national pledge, which we used to recite everyday in school, said that “Regardless of race, language and religion, to build a democratic society, so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation” and I had never ever doubted it. Our country boasts of being a country where business can be easily conducted in a corrupt-free environment. Our method of governance is highly praised and modelled after by foreign countries. Yet, incidences like unfair employment contracts and practice are still prevalent, with the weaker and less educated not being able to protect themselves or seek help.
Thus, it was only through these that I realized that equality and meritocracy was not to be taken for granted. Hence, it is important for people with passion to serve and lead to continue to enter the legal profession to help fight for the rights of those who are less priviledged. It is only right that people like me with the right skill sets, such as organized, logical and analytical, combined with determination, practicality and fairness, to commit myself to a profession such as this.
Consequently, my determination was fired up and I started considering a pursuit in law, so that I could help those who were weaker and had no recourse to seek any form or redress.
The final straw came when my contractual services were terminated for no specific reason. The directors of the company were unwilling to divulge any details, yet I knew it was facing some financial distress and were taking steps to reduce manpower. It was only my luck that I was the first to have to leave. Since there was no notice given to me, I was entitled to compensation in terms of one month’s salary in lieu. This was as per my contract between the company and me, and as per specified under the Ministry of Manpower. Yet, my employer refused to compensate me and I had to pursue this matter in the labour court.
As of now, the matter has still yet to come to a close. My enthusiasm has grown in face of this knowledge that given better understanding of the law, I would be surer of my own legal rights. At the same time, I can work towards helping the weaker and less educated to obtain what is rightfully theirs, so as to ensure greater equality between the rich and the poor.
Given the UK education system and your university’s recognition and reputation in the legal field, I believe your faculty will be able to help me establish good fundamentals for me to excel in this area. I am confident that I will be able to satisfy, if not exceed, the university’s expectations towards me. I look forward to contribute to the enrichment of your institution and be one of your ambassadors in Singapore, should I be accepted.

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This personal statement was written by janellelau for application in 2012.

janellelau's Comments

Hi, this is my first attempt at writing my personal statement. Hope to have some comments to see if I'm on the right track. Thanks in advance for all those who've read and commented!

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