Recently, I came across an article online concerning international students and international education. According to the research in this article, students that study abroad have a noticeable positive change in their self-concept; the study showed amongst the students involved that the time abroad had made them more knowledgeable and self-aware.
In this article, there was also a quote included by Hermann von Keyersling which says: the shortest path to oneself leads around the world. This quote and this article really resonated with me because in my six months living in Liverpool, I can say that I have felt the above positive changes the article mentioned.
While living here and immersing myself in the culture, volunteer organizations, and my studies, I have gained a greater clarity about who I am as a person and what I want for my career. I know the next step towards my future will take me through the LPC, and I am excited by the prospect of attending your program.
Before embarking on my studies in the UK I had actually moved around a lot within the United States. In three and a half years I worked for two different law firms, one firm in San Antonio, TX and the other in Manhattan, NY. I am proud of the opportunities I was offered, and I value the research skills, communication skills and the time-management skills that I acquired. However, no matter how hard I worked, I felt I was always limited by the one phrase reiterated to most paralegals and legal assistants: you are not allowed to give legal advice.
After all of those years of working as a young professional, I reached the point when I knew that to truly make the impact I wanted to in the world, I would need to go back to school. As a keen student of European history and international politics in my undergraduate studies, I always knew I would be interested in law on a global level. My mother, who is a UK citizen, suggested studying in England and when I got accepted into my current program at Liverpool John Moores University I was very excited to begin. I truly felt this would be the next step in making my legal career a reality.
Currently, I am enrolled full time on the LLM in Qualifying Law course at LJMU. The University and the city of Liverpool has during this time provided me with a range of extracurricular activities to enhance my education and prepare me for a future as a solicitor. For example, while studying at LJMU I have been actively involved in the Legal Advice Centre (LAC) and the Humanitarian Champions. Both volunteer activities have provided me invaluable hands-on experience, commercial awareness and practical writing skills.
The LAC offers me the chance to help those in need in the local community, and it has also expanded my legal literacy and time management skills in real-life situations. I love the satisfaction I get when my partner and I successfully draft an advice letter after hours of research and writing. This teamwork and collaborative problem solving is what makes me believe I am better suited towards work as a solicitor.
On the other hand, the Humanitarian Champions has allowed me to experience legal and human rights issues on a larger scale. The program has helped me expand my knowledge about refugees, seekers of asylum, and migrants and the socio-legal issues they face; and then use this knowledge to educate others. Most recently our group publicly presented in a sold-out conference of professionals and leading academics on migrant, refugee, and asylum seekers and gave me the opportunity to communicate with other like-minded students and professionals. As an aspiring solicitor, the Humanitarian Champions has given me the chance to face my fears (such as public speaking), develop my self-confidence, and gain practice with influential and empathetic dialogue. I believe these skills and aptitude for improvement show a future as a solicitor will be fitting for me.
I am appreciative of how many new doors this global education has opened for me. The mentorships, connections, and opportunities have been once in a lifetime. Truthfully, navigating life and a postgraduate program in another country has not been without its struggles. I was not only going beginning a postgraduate specialty program, I was also navigating the city for the first time completely on my own, acclimating to the culture, and signing up for my National Insurance number. This balancing act however has taught me a resilience and a motivation that I am eager to translate into my future career, and I look forward to making the most of these multi-tasking skills that I have developed.
Going back to school and moving to England are both thigs that I had contemplated doing for a while, both of which turn out to be some of the best decisions I have ever made. Studying in a different country has given me the opportunity to learn law in a global setting as well as truly integrate my enthusiasm for law, my passion to give back to the community, and my love of international politics.
The roles and responsibility accompanying my extracurricular volunteer work has fueled my passion for legal research, building cases, and client communication, further shaping my decision to pursue a career as a solicitor rather than a barrister. I believe I have finally found the path that I would like to settle upon here in England and I am certain that the LPC is the next logical step for me and my dream career. I hope to have the opportunity to study at your institution.