Ok, so I'm middle class, white, female; I never really had anything bad happen to me or overcome any great difficulties so instead I just wrote about why I want to practice law and what I would do with my degree. I'm at a 168, 3.68 LSDAS
I will never forget the first time someone told me I would make a good lawyer. In fifth grade, after coming to the revelation that our uniforms were oppressive and creatively damaging to our developing minds, I consulted with my fellow classmates and drafted a petition to make every Friday a “dress down day.” I took that piece of paper, carefully worded after the United State’s Constitution, which we had just learned about in History class, and handed it triumphantly to my teacher. I was sure that no rational adult could possibly say no to a political document signed by the entire class, especially one that addressed such a pressing issue.
My teacher, always the one to run with any educational opportunity she could find, agreed that a debate was in order. At the end of the debate, unsurprisingly, the “con” side won and the uniforms would stay. However, after school that day Mrs. Swan pulled me aside and told me that I would make an excellent attorney, and that piece of advice has always stuck with me.
I have always felt strongly that it is important to stand up for what you believe in, and even more importantly, to stand up for others. The role of advocate has always been one that enticed me, and throughout my college experience I have found myself seeking out opportunities to learn more about groups that may need advocates, as well as ways I could help them.
For years I have worked with children in many capacities: as a camp counselor, a childcare provider, and a volunteer. Working in childcare I have seen children from broken homes, children who had been abused, and children who had not eaten since the previous day at summer camp. Every December my sorority, Sigma Kappa, holds an annual Christmas party for underprivileged children in State College. Seeing how many of these children’s families had been torn apart by poverty, substance abuse, and other hardships truly showed me the need for children’s advocates.
The multiple courses that I have taken in Women’s Studies and Sociology, and especially the course I have taken on Sexual and Domestic Violence, have opened my eyes to the issues that are facing women in today’s society. I found troubling the statistics of how many women are abused each year, how many never receive help, and how many abusers walk free or get miniscule sentences for one reason or another. These courses opened my eyes to the need for advocates for these physical, emotional, and sexual abuse victims.
After the unfolding of the horrific events that have taken place in Centre County over the past few years, the YMCA at which I work in the after-school program offered training to all employees in child sexual abuse, “Darkness to Light”. The statistics for child sexual abuse were both shocking and horrifying to me. After this training I knew that these children needed someone to stand up and fight for them, and I knew that someone would be me. I immediately signed up to be trained as a facilitator for these trainings, and decided that I would dedicate my legal career to giving a voice to victims of these and other serious crimes.
I have always known that I wanted to become an attorney. I knew that my attention to detail, my strong moral compass, and my perseverance would make me an ideal law student and a successful attorney. However, now more than ever I am determined in my resolve to use a Juris Doctorate to become a legal advocate for abused and underprivileged women and children.