I would like to learn about the workings of common law, as unlike civil law that is constantly updating, common law uses a history of judicial decisions to assess future cases, which I witnessed during my visit to the Newcastle courtrooms over the summer. The law is a set of moral principles that guarantee the working of this world and I want to study law to truly understand those principles and get closer to them. Law as an academic subject would equip me with important modern workplace skills such as critical thinking and negotiation skills.
What I find so engrossing about law - especially common law, is the heavy weightage it gives to the history of events, to ensure that consistent principles are being applied throughout time to yield similar outcomes. This is exemplified through my study of the Glorious Revolution that allowed me to understand that it was the fear of radicalism in the 1600s that prevented British monarchs from marrying Catholics for over 300 years! Having been inspired by Wacks “Law: A short introduction” and History A Level, I decided to do my EPQ on the death penalty and its place in society today. My research concluded that it was the emergence of a new sense of morality in society today that caused the UK to abolish capital punishment, establishing the legal system as a true representative of the advancement of society.
My interest in Common law was further enhanced during a work experience attachment with a renowned Malaysian criminal lawyer. By following him to court cases and witnessing his preparation for cases, I had seen the copious amount of research that had to go into just one case. During the crossfire examinations, I noticed the questioning process having a large focus on the minute details, emphasizing the importance of precision. Furthermore, during an additional work placement with a lawyer who specializes in estate planning, one of the tasks I was instructed to do was some legal research regarding the duties of the executor of a will. I had to patiently look through a multitude of different acts before eventually finding the appropriate information. Both experiences highlighted to me how important being patient, precise and having a good work ethic is.
I taught Mandarin to a class of 30 Rohingya refugees for several months which I found a very thought provoking experience, as many questions regarding the refugee laws in Myanmar’s neighboring countries were raised. It was interesting to learn about the obligations the 1951 Refugee Convention puts forward, where all states are forbidden from denying temporary asylum to refugees. I listen to BBC Radio 4 - Law in Action, and each podcast that I listened to was very engaging, however one that stood out was regarding sex discrimination law. I was surprised to find out that gender prejudice still exists in some of the top firms in the UK today! This along with the Gay Cake case furthered my interest in human rights law.
Lastly, I wish to study law as I know it will equip me with a wide variety of skills that I can utilize in every aspect of my life, the primary one being critical thinking. Critical thinking is already a skill my A level subjects has helped nurture, where I am made to immediately deal with challenging questions. I have been part of my school’s MUN club for 4 years, and I have enjoyed debating different resolutions such as a security council resolution regarding the looted Nazi gold. I decided to look into the World Jewish Congress Lawsuit against Swiss banks, and was fascinated by the skills of Edgar Bronfman and the other negotiators who were able to gain their clients the best settlement through their critical thinking. I have wanted to study law for a few years now, and whilst I am guessing this interest was sfirst sparked reading John Grisham or watching Suits, my interest has certainly become more intellectual and career orientated. Therefore, I do hope I am given the opportunity to learn more about the art of law.
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