Applied in: Winter 2013
University Offers: Cambridge, UCL, King's College, Durham, LSE
Media endorsements of Dickens' complaint that the law is an 'ass' prompted me to identify reasons for his contempt. My search unearthed 'coverture' - our gender inequality law gifted by the Normans - and its descendant 'marital coercion', alerting me to questionable social mores underpinning our laws. Recent controversy - surrounding digital downloads, defamation, discrimination, deportation, detention without trial - indicate possible deficiencies in crafting, interpreting and implementing laws. Questioning lawyers and reading about cases, I discovered that the law is not definitive but dynamic and ambiguous.
This awareness continues to be fortified by both reading and work experience. Reading 'What About Law?' clarifies my thinking and my embryonic passion for Contract law. I am inspired by the importance of imagination and language in interpreting law, mindful of Orwell's point that language can corrupt thought. 'Letters to a Law Student' is reassuring, all the key aspects of university work being signposted without complexity. 'The Politics of the Judiciary' offers perspective, Griffith's 1977 analysis of conspiracy and police powers helping me to unravel the controversy surrounding the London 'BBM' riots. Tension, balance and compromise are intriguing elements of law, often observed in fascinating conflicts between the letter and spirit of the law, national and EU law, and civil and human rights. Which right takes precedence? Is the result always just? Is an ethical lawyer a contradiction in terms? Stimulating work experience, with *** Council, *** Chambers and the ***, revealed the law at work in different fields and introduced me to the Official Secrets Act, motivating me to reflect on confidentiality issues raised by 'whistleblowing'. Open Days and a taster course confirmed the extraordinary opportunities a degree course offers to sharpen legal reasoning, case analysis and advocacy skills. Pre-U Latin enhances my appreciation of the subtleties and intricacies of our language and the letter of the law; a session in the *** emphasized selection, placement and refinement of every word as some of the many constraints in legislative drafting. Philosophy and Ethics offer insights into the law's spirit, guiding my appreciation of its context and implementation. My prize essays on Euthanasia and Surveillance both won Second prize.
The prevalence of stereotypes can obscure truth. Surveys suggest that, as a mixed-race teenaged boy from a single-parent household in a deprived area, I might be either a delinquent with ASBOs or struggling in school with low aspirations. Luckily I am neither. I understand self-discipline, sacrifice, and know that hard work pays: in 2006 I won a place at music school. Music has demanded commitment, attention to detail and assiduous time management. Focus and hard work also yielded an academic Exhibition and transferable skills, strengthening my credentials as a prospective law student. My Sixth Form subjects develop essay-writing, research and rigour, skills vital to the critical engagement with law that I am keen to pursue. MUN participation exposes the volatile marriage of politics and law, cementing my interest in International Law.
Law colours many areas of my life, offering an exciting synthesis of skills and interests, satisfyingly varied programmes of study, excellent career prospects, and personal and family protection. I continue to enhance my skill set, preparing for a degree course that inspires, challenges, and fosters my love of learning. Law is my future, at university and beyond.