Law Personal Statement
Submitted by Declan
I strive to be a changemaker in life - working to bring about real improvement to lives and therein lies my motivation to study and practice law - affecting change through the legal system to help those who can not help themselves. As soon as I arrived at university I began this by spearheading a campaign to change assessment regulations at King's, taking over as campaign manager and gathering over 100 signatures for a petition in one night to have it enshrined as a student union campaign. I believe that a law degree will allow me to continue to realise changes of a similar nature through legal practice, where one takes complex problems, breaks them down and then does everything in their power to solve them.
Currently, while studying Philosophy, I find that the questions posed are not grounded enough in reality for me - questions like "what is knowledge" may sound profound and interesting but in practice providing an answer probably won't change much in society. Conversely, the question of whether companies like Littlewoods are owed compound interest on VAT overpayments does have a significant effect on people's lives - having implications for the entire economy.
The diverse and challenging nature of legal work, which I experienced first hand on placement at Bond Dickinson's employment law team, draws me to the profession. From research to prove a claimant hadn't mitigated her losses, to drafting particulars of claim for a pro bono case - the catalogue of tasks to do is huge and the contexts of two cases are never the same. Another example of this is mediation - which, through KCL's Pro Bono Society, I will be undertaking a training course to become qualified in the field as a Civil and Commercial Mediator. Doing so will allow me to take pro-bono cases on behalf of the society and gaining more practical insight and experience in the field. This prepares me for legal studies by introducing me to points of law in an applied context. It also enables me to make a difference in people's lives. To this end, alternative dispute resolution is where I intend to specialise after qualifying because of my experiences so far and it's potential to be a force for good.
Though I do understand that reading law is much different to actually practising it, and through mooting, I have gained an insight into the sorts of work a law student does- having to learn elements of contract law in preparation for my latest moot. The experience of learning it independently in such a short space of time was challenging but ultimately rewarding, and the content itself was interesting - to such an extent that I continue to read on the subject even after the moot. This and my reading of "Letters to a Law Student" by Nicholas McBride - which also supplies insight into the daily life of a law student- has affirmed my belief that an L.L.B. is a degree I will both enjoy and excel in.
In my spare time, I write as a hobby and have developed a flair for it, with some of my pieces winning awards. I am able to paint vivid pictures and nurture emotions throughout a text to elicit the response I desire. This is useful in an academic context as regularly writing extended prose keeps general writing skills sharp and the skills developed in fiction writing such as deploying tone and paying close attention to structure are largely transferable to academic writing. As well as in study, it will also be incredibly useful when it comes to practice - as again the skills are largely transferable, particularly in disputes where written correspondence is a significant part of the day to day work for a solicitor.
Lawyers are held in high regard by society, with all possessing a drive and ambition not seen in any other profession. I am keen to join their ranks and develop these traits myself.