University of York, Law Personal Statement
Law, University of York
Human experience reveals that everything is governed by systems. We observe that nature, for example, follows its own procedures; without them, it would collapse. I have noticed that the Law is equally essential to human existence. These rules and regulations can be found in the most apparent places, yet, as we are accustomed to follow them, they become masked to the naked eye. In all aspects of life, we unmindfully follow such rules. To illustrate, one does not break the speed limit and this is conforming to the Laws of the road. Hence, underpinning all actions is the paramount system of all: the legal system, for it allows humans to evolve and survive. I would relish in the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the Law. It is the degree which I feel is the right choice for me.
Owing to my studies of Government and Politics, I have developed a genuine enjoyment for learning about UK Law. In comparison to other legal systems, such as America’s, ours is one that should be appreciated. Through my wider-reading, I discovered, in American criminal cases, defendants did not receive a Lawyer, even if they were unable to afford one, until 1963. In ‘Gideon Vs Wainwright’ the Supreme Court unanimously interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to provide counsel for those who need it. This is over a hundred years after to the Prisoners’ Counsel Act of 1836 which granted the same for British accused felons. I believe that having the duty to help those in need is a great responsibility. Hence, I aspire to read Law and take my degree further by becoming an advocate for what is right.
This degree appeals to me, as independent study is essential. I have always favoured autonomous study, as I enjoy thinking independently and being challenged. Through my studies of English Literature and Religious Studies, I have been able to exert my analytical skills; within ethics, we looked at Jamieson’s text-‘Method and Moral Theory’ and I have been able to deduce some interesting themes about legalistic ethics. He notes that it is the belief of philosopher, Anscombe, that legalistic ethic would fail, as they require a ‘divine Lawgiver’. She argued conclusively that they could never be universally applied; however, I would disagree, as Law gives us an objective basis for morality and this means that we can condemn moral atrocities absolutely.
Memorably, in the past school year I was chosen to participate in the prestigious Sir Rhys Davies Mock Law Trial Competition; this took place at Manchester Crown Court. It was equally satisfying to be part of the winning team, as it was intriguing to experience the structure of an authentic criminal case. I exercised my public speaking skills and my ability to work in a team flourished. Throughout the process, criminal justice barristers helped us to develop our strong case and this was fascinating. I was able to see how an argument was professionally prepared for court.
Moreover, my experience of the Law has not merely resided with criminal Law, but also civil Law. Douglas Feery (of Law 4U Solicitors) allowed me to accompany him for one week as work experience. This single week was very insightful; not only did I see first-hand how a barrister engages with his clients, and works through his cases, he also took me to the Old Bailey. This was extremely beneficial to me and it meant that my love for the justice system prospered.
Currently, I have a part-time job in retail, through which I have developed good communication and time management skills between my work and studying. These qualities would be useful for university life. I have also taken a lead in organising activities; I was Campaign Manager in the school’s Mock Election, gaining leadership skills and expanding my potential to make sound decisions. I have Signature Level 1 and 2 Certificate in British Sign Language, as both my parents are deaf. This means I have the ability to sign fluently. Growing up under these circumstances has allowed me to become mature and independent as a person.
I am aware that the Law is always changing; it is constantly being redefined and interpreted. However, one thing that I am aware of, is that there will always be a need for the legal system in society. It ensures that people are governed fair and justly. I wish to embark on a degree that would give me a chance to sharpen my mind and strengthen my understanding of society and how it is structured.