From the corner of my eye I watched as my opposing counsel rose from his chair. I listened, ready to hear the grounds upon which he was objecting and began preparing arguments in my mind. This was my first mock trial. As nervous as I was, I had prepared for months and was confident in my abilities; a combination that I had learned would always serve me well. I presented my rebuttal and the objection was overruled; it was at that moment I knew, without a doubt, that I wanted to be a lawyer.
I spent my formative years in the small, midwestern town of _______, Kansas. Similar to most residents of my hometown I am white, heterosexual, and strictly middle class; the daughter of full-time teachers, part-time farmers. While growing up, I was never quite certain what my future would hold. I am part of a generation that has been told that we can accomplish anything that we set our minds to. While I had always been motivated, it wasn’t until I graduated from high school and left the only home I’d ever known that I began to develop my goals, discover my passions and dared to define “anything”.
While studying at Kansas State University, I took a breadth of courses to hone my interests. Chemistry, Economics, and Philosophy—even Harry Potter’s Library—all piqued my interest and were intellectually stimulating, though I could never picture them as anything more than a hobby. It wasn’t until I took a Trial Advocacy course that I realized my true passion.
It was as an assignment for the course I participated in the aforementioned mock trial. When I was informed of this task, I was hesitant. In the past, I had not had great experiences working with my peers. I hold myself to high standards and I expect all that I do to adhere to these standards as well. I always seemed to be assigned to groups whose members were more than happy to let me take on the brunt of the work. While this allowed me to ensure the work was up to my standards, it tended to yield a result that conveyed my ideas, not my teammates’. I was pleased to find that I was put in a group of like-minded, motivated individuals that shared a similar work ethic. As we spent the following months working together, I found myself—for the first time—enjoying working with a group.
As I walked into what would serve as the courtroom for the trial my nerves rose to a crescendo. Luckily, as opposing counsel began his opening statement, I had an epiphany. I had been working for months. I was prepared for all the questions or objections that my opposition might use against me. I had spent the past few months learning the exceptions to the hearsay rule and knew my case like the back of my hand. There was nothing left to do except to let the trial run its course.
Over the next few hours, I played my part. As I questioned witnesses and made objections I realized that, not only could I thoroughly enjoy being a lawyer, I also had the potential to excel at it. It was invigorating to be presented with challenges and then overcome them with knowledge and the proper use of language. While my group didn’t end up winning the trial, I gained a wealth of knowledge, confidence, and a dream. In my eyes, this was just as—if not more—valuable than a victory.
Introduction to Trial Advocacy is, without a doubt, the most influential class I have ever taken. While the law had always intrigued me, up until this point, the only thing I knew about the law as a profession came from legal dramas like Matlock and Law and Order. Through Trial Advocacy, as well as my other Communication Studies courses, I was able to gain practical insight into what being a lawyer might be like and determine that any other career path would leave me unsatisfied.
One of my professor’s favorite sayings is “It’s not what you know, but how you think.” By attending law school, I will learn how to think in the way that a lawyer does. This is the next step on the path to my future and I believe that my time spent obtaining a degree from [INSERT SCHOOL HERE] will be even more transformative than my time spent in Dr.__________’s Trial Advocacy course.
Thanks for reading this far! Any and all criticisms/comments are welcome!
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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