I have my worries about the direction I am going with this essay. Any helpful hints?
One of best pieces of advice about the practice of law given to me was in the bathroom of a rural Michigan courthouse. It was during the first criminal trial of my career as a paralegal for the Department of Justice. While some of my colleagues told me it should be easy, the opposing counsel in the adjacent urinal reminded me that there will always be ebbs and flows when it comes to trial and, despite the videotaped confession of the defendant admission to the offenses, it was anything but a slam-dunk. With only the utterance of the word “objection”, the trial transformed from a short dinner conversation of trial strategy at Applebee’s to an 8-hour session of brainstorming and coffee at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
He posed a simple question: how do you verify the reliability of information gathered automatically through software?
We were stuck. Without being able to admit that evidence from the investigation, we would be unable to associate the online identity committing illegal activity with the defendant.
Within all the back and forth chaos of questions filling the room, we realize the witness could qualify as a subject-matter expert. With that goal set forth, I transformed myself into a defense attorney, scrutinizing every mock question and qualification brought up in witness preparation. With that mindset, I relished challenging every single unestablished fact. Relevance and hearsay challenges proved to be a large obstacle than was expected for information that was naturally assumed to be correct. We rebuilt our case.
After only a couple hours of sleep, morning came and court resumed. I held my breath as we passed a flurry of post-it notes back and forth, making sure not to miss any important questions. After over an hour of reiterating the agent’s qualifications without stepping into any landmines, our case agent was deemed, according to the court, an expert reliable enough to testify to the accuracy of software used to investigate certain cybercrimes. She could finally testify to how the actual investigation was conducted. I exhaled.
While I was no stranger to long hours, it was a completely new level of critical thinking, to skillfully piece together all the different layers in a complete and lucid idea. I was strongly drawn to it. The defense lawyer was right, there are a lot of ebbs and flows, but sometimes you just have to swim.
From this experience, I would love to continue facing intriguing challenges in the legal field. I continue to be drawn into the legal intricateness of criminal prosecution. My previous work experiences have given me a level a personal development needed to rise to the challenges and needs in the field of law. I hope to continue building on my experiences and skills in the classroom for my future in the courtroom.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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