Sample Personal Statements

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  • Oxford
The importance of the judicial system to a fully functioning and vibrant society has been of interest to me since encountering various articles that illustrate controversies of the legal system. In particular, reading a recent article about a potential miscarriage of justice in the case of Cameron Todd Willingham made me question what the true function of law is. Such an intellectually intriguing puzzle prompted me to read ‘The Law Machine’ by Marcel Berlins and Clare Dyer as well as A.W.B. Simpson’s ‘Invitation to Law’, both of which explore the imperfect yet essential nature of law in society. I believe that studying law will continue to challenge and enrich my understanding of its importance to our society.
The rigorous A-level course has helped me develop a lot of personal skills which I believe would be beneficial to me in my future law studies. Studying various ethical and philosophical theories in Religious Studies led to heated discussions about whether or not they could ever replace the need for law. By debating with my colleagues, I came to realise that ethical theories do not always pursue justice, a virtue closely associated with law. Through continuous discussions in and out of classroom, I have developed my reasoning, reading, analytical and essay writing skills. Psychology course provided me with another stimulating perspective on legal practice. A study by Loftus and Palmer, for example, questions the reliability of eyewitness testimony commonly used in court. Taking part in a mock trial at an Autumn Law School and as a juror at the Kingston Crown Court Open Day, showed me the need to think critically and to apply my own judgement when considering the credibility of certain eye witness testimonies.
Having been selected as one of the only five recruited students to work at Deutsche Bank on a gap year scheme has provided me a valuable experience to see how law and business cannot be decoupled. I have also been able to attend the ‘Women in European Business’ conference, organised by the bank. It was hugely inspiring to see so many talented women breaking through the ‘glass ceiling’ as legal career is still male-dominated. Additionally, my first work experience placement was with a trade company as commercial law became a particular interest to me after attending a law conference at the College of Law. Here, I learnt about legal conflicts that could arise as a result of the Free Trade Agreement between Korea and EU. Working at a solicitors’ firm provided me with the opportunity to gain closer insights into the many faces of law. It was thought-provoking to see that law cannot only be used to correct matters but also to improve upon them.
I arrived in England five years ago with a minimal knowledge of the English language. I am proud to say that I have overcome many difficulties that have confronted me as a result of a steep learning curve over the last five years to progress and achieve my full potential. Despite these barriers, I received recognition for my outstanding A-level results at the sixth form awards ceremony and was selected as a senior prefect. I am certain that by overcoming these obstacles, I have become a more resilient and stronger person, developing many personal qualities such as maturity and self-motivation. Consequently, I have become even more determined to succeed as a solicitor as I have realised that there is so much I can do to help people who may not have had the same advantages as I.
I undoubtedly believe that my resolute and enthusiastic attitude towards learning will help me to not only enjoy, but overcome and learn from whatever the challenges I may face if I were to be given the opportunity to study at your university.