Philosophy Personal Statement
Submitted by Daniella
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.... Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” - Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963. This quote from the renowned civil rights activist and Nobel peace prize winner perfectly encapsulates the reason why I would like to study Law. I believe justice, liberty and equality under law to be inalienable rights that are paramount for promoting peace and security in a diverse and multicultural society as we have in the UK. However, justice doesn't happen automatically and instead requires every institutional participant in the justice system, from police to judiciary to play their own part with professionalism and without bias. I believe that studying Law is one of the most empowering things that an individual can do to make a positive contribution to society.
An area of law that particularly interests me is human rights and discrimination. During 2016, I followed the legal tussles and alleged miscarriages of justice that spawned the Black Lives Matter movement in USA with interest. It seemed to me that there were some key differences in approach between how such cases of fatal police brutality would be handled in the UK as compared to USA. I researched and learned that in the UK such cases would be immediately referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) whereas in USA, the division of investigative responsibility at the state and federal levels was perhaps one of the reasons why Human Rights Watch recommended the setting up of independent Special Prosecutor state offices in their July 1998 report, "Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States". According to the report there are serious conflicts of interest today where state prosecutors are investigating the same police departments that they work with on a day to day basis.
My recent work experiences, have reinforced my passion and interest in Law and the legal system. Last summer, I undertook a two-week work experience placement with Penman Sedgwick solicitors in Hemel Hempstead. I worked in the Paralegal team and received training on how to write up telephone notes and letters to clients regarding their property legal affairs. Through shadowing staff and partners at the firm, I learnt about how they operate and the different fields of law in which the firm specialises. I was also able to advance my skill set, including communication, time management, organisation, attention to detail and teamwork. I felt my experience was helpful to me in gaining confidence and coming out of my comfort zone. I believe my choice of A-Level subjects – Religious Studies, Psychology and Government and Politics - provides an excellent foundation for study of Law at university level. My study of these essay based subjects have prepared me to tackle the intricacies of law as they require a great deal of research and critical analysis including formulating arguments and debating. I am confident that my choice of subjects has prepared me for the inevitable workload associated with studying Law.
On a personal level, I believe myself to be someone who is highly motivated and possesses a great work ethic. I am also someone who perseveres through challenges. This was most recently demonstrated through achieving a Bronze award for the Duke of Edinburgh which I completed in secondary school. Although I found the expedition quite testing at times, my determination grew over the few days and I refused to give up despite the harsh weather conditions we faced.
In summary, I hope that my passion for studying Law has been effectively conveyed. I look forward to using my experience and skills that I have developed and hope that you will be able to provide me with a place to study Law at your university.