Law Personal Statement
Submitted by Farzeen
As a working-class woman and an ethnic minority, I want to prosper despite the prejudices of society through the ultimate core of civilisation: law.
Growing up, I was ignorant of my relative freedom and affluence until after I returned from my homeland in Pakistan this summer. More so than a holiday, this experience abroad served as my initial exposure to human rights in context and eventually inspired my pursuit of a law degree. Having visited single-sex schools of each gender, I noticed the quality of teaching was much more satisfactory at the boys’ school. To know patriarchy still exists and seeing women suffer for such trivial reasons means that law and order is still fragmented. Although there are laws in Pakistan protecting women’s educational rights, they are not consistently enforced. I was reminded that justice is not given nor served, and strong advocates are needed to help give voice and strength to those who are so often silenced and ignored. I want to be the person to better people’s lives to the extent where its recognised how law establishes humanity, as well as our rights.
My journey into law begun after I attended a summer school at UCL where I learned how to debate controversial issues such as ‘should there be restrictions on freedom of speech?’. As a proposition speaker, I emphasised the importance of human rights law in society. I became aware of the relationship between society and law, understanding that each are interdependent. I went on to feed my curiosity by shadowing a law undergraduate at LSE. Whilst learning different types of laws, immigration law stood out to me most. Crises such as the Calais migrant crisis made me question the role of the law in deciding the future of refugees and asylum seekers. I became emotionally invested in the subject, leading me to apply to the Oxford Freshfields Law Summer School where I researched the case ‘Asmussen v Filtrona United Kingdom Ltd’. The defendant was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which evidence confirmed, had been caused by exposure to asbestos while at her workplace. The judge found in favour of the employer due to the issue of “foreseeability” as public knowledge about the risk of asbestos at the time was still developing. In cases such as this, I find that objective judgements are most important when coming to a verdict. The law was put above personal morals and it was understood that hindsight cannot attach liability where there cannot have been knowledge. I disagree with the outcome of this case as the claimant failed due to none of her own negligence but merely due the period of time. However, as a future lawyer, I am enthused to study the analytical thinking process that is required to reach such conclusions. With this mind set, I visited the Royal Courts of Justice where such cases would play out. This experience enhanced my determination to ensure that one day I will stand there as an official member.
Studying history A-level has matured my ability to challenge judgements, think critically and structure logical arguments. Having learnt about historical cases such as the 1954 ‘Brown v Board of Education of Topeka’ case and knowing they have shaped modern law, excites me to know I will be learning the law in a historical context while undertaking a law degree.
In my spare time, I volunteered at a foodbank in my local community and carried out charity work at school raising over £300 for homeless people in my borough. As well as developing communication and teamwork skills, while working in retail, I recognised various instances where contract law was in place. Such as the simple act of selling an item. It fascinates me that law is the origin of our whole being, making it an even more captivating subject. Law plays a pivotal, though underlying, part in our lives. Through studying it, I awaken myself and others to its secrets in keeping peace and order.