The spectre of global terrorism is prevalent. Fundamental civil liberties are under threat, not only by those who seek to destroy our society, but also by those who have been charged with the task of safeguarding it. We are possibly entering a period of momentous constitutional change and legislative upheaval. Therefore, it seems to me that the 21st century looks set to be both an exciting and crucial time in which to embark upon legal study.
My desire to study Law stems from a growing fascination with World events, as well as with the minutiae of our day-to-day existence. As Helena Kennedy QC states ‘The Law is the bedrock of a nation; it tells us who we are, what we value, who has power, and who hasn’t. Almost nothing has more impact on our lives,’ (‘Just Law’, 2004): this, I believe, defines the importance of Law. I am stimulated by present-day ethical considerations which may impact upon the legal framework of this country: Everyday Law (Aviva Golden, 2000), for example, stipulates that marital union may take place only between two, consenting adults of the opposite sex; yet, when marriage harbours civil as well as religious implications, is it right to discriminate? How is it possible for one to reliably arbitrate the point at which abortion should be deemed illegal? Both are among issues which I find to be perplexing and fascinating in equal measure. I am interested also in the fundamental components of legal practise; the exposition of complex drafts (such as marriage or business contracts), being something which I feel would be facilitated by a firm and comprehensive grasp of the English language. I would say, in addition, that I am a confident and articulate public speaker – exemplified by my participation in the 2004 House debating team – and one who regularly takes pleasure in assuming the role of ‘Devil’s Advocate’ for the purpose of arguing controversial points of view, irrespective of personal bias.
My work experience with the Crown Prosecution Service in Gloucester really fired and reinforced my enthusiasm for a career in Law. I had the opportunity to shadow administrators, solicitors and office clerks, observing critical procedures at every level: from case-work and preparation, all the way through to the excitement of litigation in the Crown Courts. This enabled me to lay to rest any sensationalised preconceptions (such as those arising from TV dramatisations) in favour of a more rounded insight into the legal field; backed up, of course, with Brian Heap’s ‘The Way In’, and Philip Kenny’s ‘Studying Law’ – both of which have provided valuable insights. It has also invested me with some notion of what to expect from the very wide range of career opportunities currently available within the legal domain.
With respect to my extra-curricular life, I work as a sales assistant for Maltby Books in Cheltenham. I am also the recent recipient of a Millennium Volunteers Award of Excellence for having contributed 200 hours to my local community – to whit, the Pate’s School Library, and Cheltenham Children’s Theatre Association. As regards the latter, I am currently director, secretary and Committee member of three years’ standing, in addition to having acted lead roles in several Summer productions. I also played the part of Richard Greatham in a recent Pate’s 6th form production of Noël Coward’s ‘Hay Fever’. All these activities have demanded a significant degree of sustained commitment, integrity and competence; in addition, they have afforded me the opportunity to develop administrative skills, computer literacy, and the ability to communicate ideas to people under a variety of circumstances. I would say that I have acquired valuable skills and experience as a result of these ventures; qualities which I hope would contribute significantly to a promising career studying Law at university.