A Law School applicant (LL.M.)
I know an opportunity when I see one. I also know success is in the follow- through.
Case in point: I had a vision of sitting face to face with an attorney at law for an hour, picking his brain, and absorbing his every word. Instead (nay, in addition), I found myself face to face with the defendant in an attempted murder trial for weeks, witnessing the entire scene from the perspective a bird would envy... literally close enough to reach the gavel. I also spent countless hours in Chambers (yes, the Chambers) absorbing the sorts of details and jargon I’d seen only on TV like plea-bargaining, wrap sheets, and the inner workings of messy divorce settlements. Invaluable experiences too numerous to list.
The exposure alone was exciting, but my true pride comes from the fact that I was able to make it happen in the first place. A one-time networking meeting escalated into an ongoing unpaid internship.
This opportunity was no gift, and luck had nothing to do with it. It was the result of my taking a small but planned step toward a goal, and then having the quiet confidence, the composure, the open-mindedness, and the preparedness to see beyond the immediate and go the distance.
That is I. It’s who I am, and it’s how I operate.
I’ve made excellent education choices thus far, exposing myself to teachers who see and value me as an individual, and who make the effort to show me exactly how to explore my true potential.
I’m not going to tell you that I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, because it didn’t happen that way. The truth is: I simply allowed myself to be scrutinized. I attended my classes with a positive attitude and an open mind, and I welcomed the observations that came my way – whether I immediately agreed with them or not – and out of that process came a wealth of self-knowledge.
Like many of my peers, I feel I have something to prove. Unlike many, however, I’m not ashamed to admit it. To a great extent, this feeling has propelled me to this point, and it is in large part to thank for one of the personal characteristics I most value: my compassion for others.
Being an only child, I always felt like I had to prove to my parents that I could do things on my own, from tying my shoes, to driving a car, to making decisions, etc. I know now that it was really myself to whom I most needed to prove these things. Because of that experience, I have an innate compassion for the future
generation of students who may feel limited by their circumstances or who may lack the confidence to step outside of their comfort zone. I have a sincere desire to say to them, “Take it from me, you can do this!”.
I admit, too, that I have the desire to be influential. I am a leader, a strong communicator, and I strive to be someone that people will remember for the influence I had on them. There are several such individuals in my own life, but none who inspired me more than my cherished childhood friend Ryan who was taken from us at far too young an age, and with so much left to teach us. I thank Ryan every day for showing me how to see the positive in every situation. Through the most grueling months of his cancer treatment and ultimate demise, he was steady as a rock, unwavering in his faith and his ability to show me life’s beauty, and to make me laugh. But most of all, he left me with the feeling that it is all entirely within our control – not the events, of course, but how we perceive them and how we react to them.
I’m headed to law school, not by chance, not by accident. This is the next step, and one for which I am prepared. I haven’t chosen a specific discipline because I wouldn’t presume, with my limited experience, to know what I might excel at, or develop a true passion for. That remains to be revealed through the education process. I’ve done everything right so far. That doesn’t mean I haven’t made mistakes, it means I’ve applied the lessons of those mistakes in a positive way.
I’m eager, I’m prepared, and I welcome all that this establishment promises to uncover in me. It will then be entirely up to me to do something with it.