Submitted by Matthew

Law Personal Statement

Submitted by Matthew

Growing up in an area of relative deprivation, with its consequent criminality, has consolidated my decision to study law. Law is an important vehicle for social change; therefore, I am intrigued by how greater access to justice can be achieved and was saddened to read the Law Society’s claims of the Grenfell tenants being reluctant to pursue safety concerns due to cuts to legal aid. Moreover, I was particularly interested in the Supreme Court's judgement in R (UNISON) vs Lord Chancellor, whereby it was ruled that tribunal fees were "unlawful... because it has the effect of preventing access to justice". I agree with the judgement, and believe it imperative to be critical of the law, considering how it could be altered in ways beneficial to everyone in society.

In order to extend my existing knowledge of the law, I have undertaken periods of work experience at three local firms, which gave me a great insight into the workings of high-street solicitors. Additionally, I spent a day shadowing a criminal barrister at Crown Court and have attended trials and hearings at the Magistrates' Court, which have contributed to furthering my understanding of the British judicial system. Most recently, I was chosen for the progressive work experience scheme at Burnetts Solicitors, the largest in Cumbria, opening my eyes to areas of law which I had not previously encountered, like Trusts, Family and Commercial. My time at the UNIQ summer school saw me attend legal lectures and gave me a taste of university life. I was given my first chance to moot: the preparation of submissions was challenging, but intellectually stimulating and rewarding. I have concluded, from these experiences, that studying law at university is for me.

I have a keen interest in local, national and international politics. During a period of work experience at the European Parliament, I shadowed lobbyists and MEPs, observed an environmental lawyer at work and attended the JURI committee to develop my understanding of the origins of EU law. I regularly lead local campaign sessions, having recently been elected as Youth Officer for my constituency party, and have shadowed my MP in her daily constituency work. Whilst attending a local NHS rally, I took the opportunity to approach the Leader of the Opposition, and secured a week of experience in Westminster. At this time, I also shadowed the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and a Shadow Home Office Minister. This experience gave me an invaluable insight into the workings of Westminster, and a greater understanding of the process of legislating.

I have improved my written and oral communication skills by writing for my school magazine and co-founding my school's first Debating Society. I am a determined runner, having pushed myself to run the Great North Run for charity. As an avid follower of current affairs, I read the i newspaper, the New Statesman and Private Eye, providing me with a range of opinions. I work part-time at Costa Coffee, developing my time-management, people and teamwork skills, and I spent four weeks in India, teaching in the slums. I developed confidence and resilience during my trip: key skills in legal practice. I was recently selected as Deputy Head Boy; I am responsible for delivering assemblies, supporting students in lessons and supervising the library. I work collaboratively with my fellow senior prefects to ensure that our prefect teams undertake their duties effectively and the role affords me the opportunity to further hone my interpersonal and communication skills.

In my history and religious studies lessons, I have experience of writing extended pieces and I enjoy establishing well-founded, evidence-backed arguments, as well as analysing source material. I think that law will quench my thirst for further essay-based study, whilst challenging me in new ways.

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Build the skills needed to excel in the Law industry by studying Law at University of Roehampton. Within their 'law in practice' environment you'll learn to think like a lawyer in no time. Apply now!