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Equipped for Advocacy, Personal Statement Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1060

Personal Statement

It seems likely to me that many seeking entry into law school assert powerful senses of commitment as generating the pursuit.  The law is, after all, a notoriously complex and challenging field.  Moreover, a great deal of the challenge lies in its being an evolving instrument of society, shifting and adapting to meet more presumably enlightened thinking.  There is as well the sheer responsibility of practicing law, and in any form.  Law essentially translates the concepts of equity and justice into reality for all, and this is by no means a field in which a casual approach serves any interests.  Those intent on making the law their careers and lives, then, typically express levels of motivation pointing to the profession as a kind of calling, as much so as those pursuing teaching or careers in medicine.

That I number myself among this type is something I unequivocally and sincerely present.  For me, entering law is virtually a visceral imperative, rather than any pragmatically considered career choice.  Some components of the latter aspect are, I admit, inevitable.  Law demands a high degree of intelligence and, equally importantly, an intelligence expansive enough to take in what is new and thought-provoking.  The field also requires, as I understand, a significant  investment of energy, and well before any law at all is practiced.  The schooling is famously difficult, as it should be.  To practice law is, at any level, to represent the public trust, and frequently as the only advocate that public knows.  It then seems perfectly reasonable to me that entry into the profession would be arduous and demanding.  These practical considerations are not lost on me.  What they do, in fact, is reinforce that visceral impetus.  I am aware that studying law will most likely be the hardest task I take on, yet it is also the only one I feel I must pursue.  It is not that law appeals to me as the best of a range of opportunities; rather, I can honestly perceive of another that has meaning for me.

This meaning for me developed, and in ways both identifiable and more elusive, during my volunteer work at the Orangewood Foundation.  From first entering this shelter for abused and neglected children, I began to comprehend patterns in our worlds that insisted upon attention.  Certainly, the children needed help, and badly; this I was there to offer, and it was a privilege to do so.  At the same time, a fundamental awareness of how society actually perpetuates these tragic consequences of abuse came to me.  I begin to understand, and in a powerfully literal way, how the urgent causes of humanity have only one recourse: the law.  In a perfect world, humane interests would be accorded an unquestioned preeminence, and the array of circumstances, either criminal or simply unfortunate, leading to such treatment of children would be diminished or eliminated.  This is not the reality, no matter the numbers of advocates seeking to address the issues.  Caring is wonderful and necessary, but caring alone does not alter the mechanisms within the society and the government that, blindly or otherwise, enable the victimizing of society’s most vulnerable members.  For this, knowledge combined with drive, and a thorough grounding of the framework of law in these matters, is crucial.  It is strange to relate, but my “epiphany” here, while profoundly personal, was and is very much based on an acceptance of this practicality.  If I seek to make a difference as an advocate, I can do so only when I am equipped to take on the structure of the law itself.

To that end, my chief interests lie in Criminal and Family Law, and I am as eager to discover the direction best for my abilities and concerns as I am to explore the dimensions of these complex arenas.  I believe that the entire process, as I devote myself to the rigors of law school, will be inherently exponential.  As I attain knowledge in these fields, so too will I develop greater skills in that which more prompts my interest.  I am as well very aware that the learning itself will reveal ideas and opportunities unknown to me now.  It would be simple to assert here that Family Law is my goal, based upon my experiences at the shelter, and that I am absolutely committed to engaging in it.  To do so, however, would be both disingenuous and a disservice to the law itself.  It may be, for example, that exposure to the elements of Criminal Law will emphasize for me a more effective means of attending to family issues.   All I can know now is that entering into study o the law is essential before I may responsibly comprehend where I belong within it, and can be the advocate I seek to be.

Lastly, it may seem unusual that this intense interest is expressed from a psychology major.  At the same time, I would imagine that many studying psychology are then drawn to law, simply because what drives the human being drives the society, and how we respond as a society to legal affairs reflects thinking and behavior on both individual and cultural levels.  To my mind, the law is an expression, or an immeasurably large device in place to attend to human matters as equitably as possible.  This in itself demands an understanding of basic human motivations and behaviors, and I adamantly believe that my grounding in psychology from Cal Poly Ponoma will be an enormous asset as I study law.  On one level, I have acquired the discipline necessary to accomplish learning in a complex field; on another, that learning must serve to provide me with a clearer understanding of the forces shaping the law itself.  Whether I find myself ultimately dedicated to Criminal or Family Law, there can be no underestimating of a knowledge of psychology.  I believe this background will both facilitate my comprehension of my legal studies and induce thinking allowing me to perhaps move in new directions within the study.  No matter how it happens, however, that it happens is essential to me.  My goal is firmly in place: to practice law as a committed advocate, either in Criminal or Family Law.  Only by committing to my legal education, and to the same degree, can I hope to equip myself for this career and role in life and society.

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