I've written many personal statements to a variety of law schools, but none yet to the law school in my hometown. I'm Canadian and not to many of you will be familiar with it, so I'll have to lay out some context.
The University of Calgary Faculty of Law has a pretty harmonious relationship with the Oil and Gas industry and Corporate Calgary, however it is also well known for being a more mature school who takes a holistic approach to applications. Work experience, diversity, maturity, community involvement, public intrest, etc. are all considerable factors. Indeed the average age is somewhere around 26-28.
Since it is my hometown school, and given that I work in Oil and Gas here, AND knowing what I know about their applications, I wanted to create a very passionate statement that connects me to the city, and why that is important for a smaller law school.
It is very different in tone and style from what I've written before, so I'm apprehensive and would really appreciate an unbiased perspective. I haven't had the 500 word limitation yet, so that has also presented some difficulty relating to background information.
This is a first draft. Be gentle:
Calgary is my home. I was born here in 1983 to parents who came to this city for its growing opportunity. This is the ‘Heart of the New West’, driven by a pioneer spirit, relentless determination, and a vibrant culture of success.
My Dad came here from Thunder Bay, my Mom from Winnipeg. Both had very diverse backgrounds, educations, and experiences. Yet both ended up this booming industry and both become attached to the big city that felt like a small town.
The same electricity which drew them across the country exists in me. Living here for 27 years has instilled within me a desire make an impact; on my community and on my neighbours. A Calgarian is not someone who sits by and watches life as a keen observer, or someone who accepts a status quo not agreed with. We are the arbiters of change, infused with passion and the perseverance to ensure it.
This spirit of Calgary has manifested itself in the way I have lived my life, through athletics and community outreach, and through academic struggles and personal tragedy. I have been a part of teams and initiatives, personal or professional, which have accomplished many wonderful things.
My involvement with SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) has allowed me to give back to the home which has given me so much, developing and implementing projects of financial literacy, economic sustainability, and hope. Partnering with Junior Achievement has allowed me to kindle the same excitement amongst the forthcoming generation, so that they may continue and grow upon the strides we have made. Spending every Halloween throughout school going door-to-door for the Inter-Faith Food Bank has allowed me to connect with my neighbours and put a face on those who we Calgarians refuse to let suffer.
I have taken this perspective with me into the workforce, so often lost amidst ‘Corporate’ Calgary, and I have waved the flag. Working in Supply Management has allowed me to create and administer a great deal of contracts and participate in numerous negotiations. It is absolutely essential that the integrity of all relationships and transactions is preserved, and I both understand and appreciate the importance the law plays in this. It is also essential that the integrity of my involvement is preserved, and to that end I give thanks to the city of Calgary. It has shaped who I am, what I believe, and how approach every day.
There is a saying that has been quoted and referenced throughout history, as it is an integral principle to building the foundation of the future. Nanos gigantum humeris insidentes. Dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants. I stand upon the shoulders of the citizens of Calgary who came before me, from Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, and across the world, and I will be an important part of Calgary’s future.