I could commence this essay by claiming that my passion for the law stretches back to my childhood, however that would be somewhat misleading; yet when it comes to justifying my aspirations I have no hollow motives. Looking back on my past I can always highlight my strong fascination with reason, eagerness for conversation, and commitment to the community. These characteristics, along with significant life experiences, have played an essential roll leading me toward my interest in law.
From early childhood I’ve been exposed to different cultures, having migrated from Cuba at the age of 5 to Spain, and finally to the U.S at age 12. Upon arrival I worked hard in order to eliminate the language barrier, which lead me to succeed academically and become involved in extracurricular activities such as soccer, and guitar club, where I made many life long friendships.
At age 16 I faced the unforeseen adversity of a grand-mal epilepsy diagnosis that transformed my life. At first I was forced to put the worries of a typical teenager in the backburner in order to prioritize my new regimen. During an age branded by carelessness and imprudence, I endured multiple relapses, failed treatments, and had to forfeit some adolescent privileges, such as driving. Conversely I developed discipline, and consciousness, and was supported by an extraordinary team of family and friends that were constantly pushing me forward. In addition, I cultivated resolve; and while I accept my condition as permanent, I know that it is outmatched.
Looking back, epilepsy neither ruined nor hindered my youth, but merely restructured it. In high school and college I was blessed enough to travel to many places like France, England, New York, The West Coast, and back to Spain. Through my trips I’ve been exposed to global views by interacting, even if briefly, with many diverse people, which I value immensely.Furthermore, during my junior year at Florida International University I found a way to implement my business administration education with my wish to stay involved with my family. My father and mother, along with helping me become well rounded, always nurtured me with the principles of generations past. In particular I was always told great things about my great paternal grandfather. I never met him but I know he raised and mentored my father. He was originally from Spain and owned one of the best butcher shops in Havana. Manuel Alonso not only provided for his wife and kids, and eventually 4 grandchildren, but also provided the neighborhood with quality produce and service in a time of scarcity. He was a beloved member of the community. Currently my father carries on Manuel’s legacy with his own business of 10 years, by applying the same concept he was taught: discipline and attention to detail are the cornerstone for sound judgment. It is also under this modus operandi that I helped my father diversify and launch yet another venture. Within a year and a half we expanded a wine-import corporation from supplying to a few neighborhood restaurants to owning an extensive portfolio including large-platform chain retailers.
Nevertheless, while satisfied with this role, something was missing. I reflected on what could be accountable for this sentiment and realized that my desire to be in a position to help, whether an individual, or a business, was not being fulfilled. After some research, and looking for answers, I signed up for an internship at the State Attorney’s Office. The following 5 months were a revelation. Under remarkable tutelage, I experienced first hand what it was like making a difference by using legal knowledge to help others. I appreciated that even within a single brand of law, the tasks were vastly varied. There were many lawyers from other fields performing pro-bono work, which made me contemplate the possibilities. Though I did not follow a pre-law track, the practical experience I obtained throughout my internship uncovered my true passion.