Law School Personal Statement Example #2
Both of my parents are attorneys and alumni of Lawman University. I always joke that “I grew up in law school”. Lawman was where I would come and do my homework after school on nights when my father, a professor of Intellectual Property at Lawman, had to teach a late class. I remember eating in the cafeteria and exploring the grounds for hours with my brother in the summertime, playing hide and go seek in the court room, and attending holiday receptions in the Great Hall. My father hosts the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) picnic at our family’s home every year, and it was always fun prepping hot dogs for the grill, making baked beans, and decorating for the occasion. My mother is a bankruptcy attorney, so her work was never as sexy as my father’s.
I knew early on that becoming an attorney, and maybe a law professor like my father (I believe he got the best of both worlds working in both the world of law and the world of academia), was a viable option for me. I was always a strong writer, which was my impetus for majoring in Journalism (Pre-law) in undergrad with a minor in Public Policy. I graduated magna cum laude and held leadership positions in both the National Journalism Association (NJA) as the Region III undergraduate representative and in the Pre-Law Student Association (PLSA) as the Vice President and Research Chair. Prior to college, my interests were nurtured through my involvement in Future Attorneys of America (FAOA) where we traveled around the country participating in mock trials and taking courses on subjects such as torts and environmental law. I was also heavily involved in hearing real cases as part of the local Teen Court program. Looking back on these experiences, I see that such work was intense for a high school student, but it was these early involvements that confirmed for me that the field of law is where I belonged.
The field of law is so glamorized in pop culture. While shows centering on law and criminal justice have been around since LA Law and Beverly Hills Cop, today, shows like Law & Order, Suits, and How to Get Away with Murder have pushed the law—and even law school—into the collective consciousness like never before. However, these modern-day portrayals were never attractive to me. I had examples around me 24/7 of what it really meant to practice law. It meant long hours poring over cases, writing briefs and summaries, conducting research for books, sitting hungry in court, and lots of listening (not arguing). These were the aspects that attracted me, not staying up all night before a Tax law exam reading through a murdered girl’s Facebook posts for evidence (How to Get Away with Murder) or solving high profile corporate cases without a law degree (Suits). Needless to say, I decided early on that the criminal justice system, with all of its cracks, imperfections, and outright injustices was not the place for me. I much preferred the idea of working in the face of public policies that shaped the laws that were upheld in courts and determined people’s life outcomes. I had the privilege of working within the realm of public policy while in school, accompanying my professor and mentor, Jacquez Cousteau, Esq., who is a world-renown expert in the field, to D.C. on several trips to see public policy in action during the early years of the Obama presidency.
I believe that Lawman University’s strong public policy focus is ideal for fostering the skillsets that I need to be most effective as an attorney. I approach everything I do with intentionality and purpose. While the privilege of joining my family’s legacy is not lost on me, it is Lawman’s own legacy of producing high-caliber leaders in the field who are effecting change across industries that truly compels me to seek admission. The practice of law is life and death—for individual people (criminal law, immigration law) and for companies and organizations (corporate law, intellectual property). Across the various specializations in the field of law, outcomes have serious implications for people. This being the case, I believe we need more attorneys who believe in their charge and who take what they do seriously. We don’t need more attorneys who are in it because they want to be like the people on TV or simply to make a lot of money. Lawman University values critical thought, academic rigor, strong verbal and written communication skills, and understanding the responsibilities inherent in being an attorney. I have a proven record of success in these areas, and I am confident that collaborating with others who value the same things will sharpen my abilities even further and help me be the best lawyer I can be. My long term goal is to pursue an LLM and maybe a Ph.D. or Ed.D. and work my way up from a professor to an administrator at an institution after practicing in the field. This would allow me to help shape the next generation of practitioners and means that I would be constantly learning and growing.
To me, the law is like the human body: while some parts might be more visible or attractive than others, no part is more important than another; every body part is more or less critical to the good functioning of the overall system. Whether practicing estate law, environmental law, tax law, sports law, entertainment law, corporate law, or criminal law, the implications for the work—helping clients achieve their best outcomes—is the same. Lawman University alum and professors work and teach in all of these areas and are leaders in the field. They are authorities on everything from the practice of law in foreign countries to business and education law. To attend an institution that produces practitioners of such a caliber would be an honor, and I hope to follow in the footsteps of those who came before me to do great work in the field. Though I grew up in law school my hope is to grow up and become the type of attorney that I can be proud of at Lawman University.