Growing up in India, the idea was instilled in me that junior year in high school was important because that was the year people chose their professions. I carried these cultural ideas with me when I came to the United States at the age of seven. At the age of 15, I faced a big cultural clash when we had to decide electives at Hoover High School. I had to choose between Law Academy, Mathletes, or Science Olympiad. For most of my peers, this decision was petty and had no meaning, but that was not the case for me. I viewed this as a time for me to decide my future, and this decision became complicated by my dad influencing me to join the Mathletes Team because he loved math, my sister encouraging me to join Science Olympiad because of her science background, and lastly, my personal interest to join Law Academy because I wanted to participate in the annual mock trial competition at my high school.
It was really hard to decide because I had to meet so many expectations, but I am glad I choose Law Academy. Ms. King, my Law Academy instructor, told me a month into the program that I would be the new team captain of the Mock Trial team. This was a very big achievement for me because it felt like I was doing what I was made to do. During the course of junior year in Mock Trial, I gained so much knowledge about the legal industry, and as I learned what ingredients composed a great attorney, I began daydreaming about my future. That was when I knew that I would be able to do this for the rest of my life. Throughout that year, we enacted various scenarios of a case about a company being sued for a product that harmed a child, and I portrayed a defense attorney directing a witness who played the CEO. Hoover High School placed third that year in the annual YMCA Mock Trial Competition in southern Alabama, and I was appointed the title of team captain by my Law Academy instructor at the end of that tournament. This encouraged me to lead my team to the first place position the next year. My senior year—under my leadership—we did indeed rank first and I received the award for the best team on behalf of my teammates as well as my personal trophy for the best attorney.
In the fall, I began freshman year at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I could not wait to join the nationally recognized mock trial team because of my high school success, and I joined in September, eagerly waiting to start a new case. I walked in and discovered that I would have a role immediately because of the lack of people in the program at that time. I entered the team in a witness role my first year on the team and based on my performance and leadership skills exhibited, I moved up to the position of team captain of one of the two teams—the Gold Team—the following year. During that year, Gold Team placed ninth of the twenty-four schools in the regional tournament. Unfortunately, we could not advance to the AMTA Opening Round Championship Series with that rank. One of my goals for this year is help both UAB Mock Trial teams reach the national championship and come back with trophies for both teams.
The most valuable lesson that my five years in Mock Trial has taught me is that I enjoy this lifestyle so much that it is my dream to live this very life as a career. The idea is so far etched into my mind that it has taught me to turn my dream of becoming an attorney into a reality no matter what it takes to achieve that goal. It taught me to assert my independence among others and to believe in my abilities. It taught me how to be an effective leader in a stressful and challenging group environment. I no longer fearing changes, challenges, or crashes in the road, and instead, face them head on.
That day in the eleventh grade became a day that would mark the start of the rest of my life, and it all started even before then, with the culture and values that I brought to the United States with me from India. As I embark on this new chapter in my life, it inspires me to give back to the country that started it all for me, and continue this legacy in my new home. As I move closer to becoming an attorney, and study corporate law and international law, I will use my developed leadership and speaking skills to do as most as I can to bring both countries to its’ highest potential. (Insert school name)’s (insert program name) program will train me to use my learned skills in ways that will not only benefit the school, but also my goal of helping both the United States and India. The knowledge and practice that I would receive as a result of this program would be irreplaceable and unique and a once in a lifetime opportunity. In order to accomplish my goals of practicing law in the corporate and international world, (insert school name)’s (insert program name) program would be the perfect place for me to achieve these dreams.
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