LLB Law Personal Statement
Submitted by Sindi
My aspiration to study Law at degree level originated at a Law Taster Day at a local university, which both extended my knowledge of the legal system and explained what a Law degree entails. I even had the opportunity to role play a barrister representing a client in a mock Crown Court, which gave me a lively introduction to the way a courtroom operates. As a result of this ‘taster’, I was eager to attend a real Crown Court and was fortunate to attend when an interesting murder case was being tried. The trial left me with strong feelings regarding the outcome of the case and a determination to pursue a career in Law, hopefully in a role where I would be in the court environment on a regular basis. I decided to further support this application by attending Magistrates’ Court sessions and undertaking reading in the area of Law, starting with “Letters to a Law Student” by Nicholas McBride, who quotes Lord Sumption: “If you don’t know any law, that is not a problem, you can find out.” This signifies that knowledge is only one aspect of Law; he suggests that ‘analysis and categorisation of the facts’ are more important which appeals to my strengths as a student, as all of my A Levels require an analytical approach.
I chose English Literature for this reason: perceiving and deconstructing layers of meaning in text fascinates me. Furthermore, the Law is interwoven into the plots of several texts: in ‘Wuthering Heights’, the orphaned urchin, Heathcliff, gains ownership of both Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights courtesy of the Coverture Laws which barred married women from ownership or inheritance of property. I am also independently studying ‘Girls in Their Married Bliss’, which was originally banned in Ireland because topics such as premarital intercourse were deemed unacceptable by the Catholic Church which enjoyed a privileged position, enshrined in Law.
My study of Modern British History, from Attlee’s government to Thatcherism, has given me fascinating insights into how the Law has moulded modern Britain. Furthermore, my coursework on social and political change for women within a 200-year period is constantly drawn to the importance of legal reforms. I am studying women such as Caroline Norton who agitated for the Infant Custody Bill of 1839 and Josephine Butler who successfully lobbied for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Act. My third A Level is Spanish and I also speak fluent Albanian, so I was pleased to note that Lord Sumption thinks it "very unfortunate" that many barristers and solicitors cannot speak a foreign language, as I take the study of Spanish language and culture very seriously and, in addition to school sessions, I am completing a course which will give me additional qualifications in translating and interpreting.
I follow current affairs in Spanish and am gripped by the tussle between Spain and Catalonia over the legal status of the recent referendum. Being bilingual has, I believe, improved my ability to empathise with others and knowing three European languages allows me to communicate with non-English speaking people in the UK and abroad. I am also well prepared for social aspects of university life by taking part in projects such as Envision, whose aim was to make our community a better place by raising money for a good cause, in our case children in care.
I also took part in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award and particularly enjoyed the physical challenge of expeditions which depended on teamwork and am now working on the physical section of the award by swimming at least once a week, which maintains my physical and mental fitness. I am part of a Debate Group at school, which has helped me to think strategically about arguments and I have a part time job as a sales assistant, which offers opportunities to interact with a diverse range of people and to adapt swiftly to different situations – all skills which will be transferrable to my legal studies and, one day, to my career as a lawyer.