Applied in: Winter 2013
University Offers: Exeter, Durham, East Anglia, Sheffield, Bristol
Without justice we have neither rights nor real responsibilities. At the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court, watching a murder trial, I saw our justice system at work - an experience which confirmed my keen interest in the study of law. In the trial, scientific analysis of gun-shot residue samples was a crucial component of the witness examination. I was captivated by the prosecutor’s logical methodology and his use of rules and argument in drawing us to share his conclusion.
Undertaking a summer work placement at a City of London corporate law firm showed me a much more prosaic side of the law: the volumes of documents and time expended to garner the arguments were eye-opening. I discovered the mechanics and the process of law. I was assigned different tasks involving research and negotiations which suited my meticulous nature. The firm’s large number of foreign clients made understanding several languages useful, even necessary, and enabled me to contrast different legal systems such as English Common Law and Napoleonic Code. My love of travel and diverse cultures stems from my multicultural background: I am bilingual in English and French and fluent in Spanish. However, computer code is the lingua franca of my generation; I have built a simple iPhone app and am teaching myself coding. In his commentary on the future of law, "Tomorrow's Lawyers", Susskind persuasively emphasises 'virtual' law and the role of technology.
Public lectures, such as Michael Freeman's "Rethinking Children's Rights" colloquium introduced me to both the academic side of the law and the particular issue of it needing to evolve with society. He argued current legislation does not engage children as participants. I was especially impressed by Baroness Hale, the chairperson, and her role in the 'Williamson v Sec. of State for Education and Employment' case, as well as her being the first (and only) woman in the Supreme Court. My interest in civil liberties was also fuelled by Helena Kennedy's "Just Law"; in which she criticises the injustice in the law by weight of evidence. The use of evidence and argument in order to come to a conclusion resonates with my other studies, including modern history. To enrich my history coursework, I visited Delhi last year and discovered its chaotic beauty and incredible past. Analytical and critical thinking, necessary skills in law, are equally key in examining and comparing historical sources, and, prima facie, fundamental to mathematics.
I am co-Editor of our school newspaper "***” in which I write articles on such topics as history, debates, travel, and art. I have been elected thrice by fellow students to be head girl of my year and thoroughly enjoy the responsibility attached to this role, which involves formal liaison with teachers and parents as well as providing pastoral support to pupils. Recently I became the first student from the *** Section of our school to have been voted onto the School Council. I have used the skills I developed in organising an annual 5 km charity race, which has raised 14,000 pounds in its first 2 years. In national politics, I volunteered for several weeks last summer as organiser of a parliamentary selection campaign; assisting with speech writing and administration.
Law teaches us how to write and speak effectively, in preparation for a variety of leadership roles across many fields. The lectures and writings I have been exposed to have shown me the depth and breadth of law as a discipline and a profession, at the core of our society. It is the prospect of being immersed in and challenged by this discipline that draws me to studying law at degree level.