Law Personal Statement
Submitted by Oscar
My interest in the Law stems from media coverage and personal research of cases such as ‘The People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson’. In Sociology, I have analysed cases which demonstrate how unjust the law can be when someone with wealth and a high position in society is involved. I find it captivating how a system which is about securing justice can, nevertheless, be influenced by factors such as class, status and, increasingly, in the postmodern era, social media. Other cases such as the case of Jon Venebales and Robert Thompson also further my interest in the law. They show us how the law can work in unusual circumstances such as the conviction of children, and how the law can affect people after their release from prison.
I have participated in a lot of law based work experience over the last few years. For example, I participated in ‘Pathways to Law’, spending a week at the legal firm Allen & Overy. Here, I learned about different careers within the legal sector, the difference between solicitors and barristers and the sheer number of possibilities a Law degree can grant you. At Allen & Overy, participating in debating and negotiation challenges changed my perspective, as it showed me that working in a legal firm can involve debating and negotiation; aspects of the law which both interest me very much. I have also attended legal lectures such as ‘The Judicial Role Today’ by Lord Justice Gross. This gave me an insight as to how the judicial role works. Moreover, I have spent a number of days at the Old Bailey and a day at the Highbury Magistrates Court. Here I observed a case of a young man who had been falsely accused of the murder of a teenage boy. As the evidence was shown, it became more and more clear that he was not guilty of the crime he had been accused of committing. He was found innocent and his life returned to normality. The case moved me as it revealed the immense power the legal system has, to give or deny someone their liberty, not just in the case of their trial, but through the impact such contact with the legal system may have on their future life chances. This cemented in my mind that I wanted to contribute and participate in the Criminal Justice System.
I am currently studying History, Sociology and Mathematics and am developing many important skills that will be valuable in the field of law. History prepares me for extensive writing and research tasks. One of my modules for Sociology is Crime and Deviance which has well prepared me for studying Law as it directly teaches me the importance, problems with and inner workings of the law which has just furthered my interest in the law. Finally, Mathematics teaches me how to solve extremely difficult problems as well as preparing me for long pieces of work and meeting deadlines.
As well as legal work experience, I have undergone a number of extra-curricular activities such as my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold. As a part of these awards, I have learnt many invaluable skills such as the importance of preparation and resilience. While undergoing these awards, I have spent over two years volunteering at Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre. Here I have learnt communication and interpersonal skills such as working with and in a large group and important leadership skills through guiding children aged 9 to 16. I am also a Year 13 prefect and as a prefect I have participated in many discussions in which the other prefects and I discuss how to make our school environment a better place to learn in. I have gained the skills of teamwork and leadership.