Personal Statement

Some people are drawn to the study of law because they want to attain money. Others are drawn to the study of law because they want to attain power. Still others are drawn to the rigorous intellectual demands of the legal profession. No matter what specific path a student of law finds themselves taking to ultimately arrive in the position of practicing law, certain similarities or purpose and focus remain. For example, no matter what motivates a person to study law, the act of studying law itself requires a specific set of qualities, among them precision, creativity, determination, and confidence. I believe that I possess all of these qualities and that these qualities combined with other aspects of my character make me an ideal candidate to study law at the University of Wisconsin.

The way at which an individual arrives at an embodiment of the qualities that are necessary for a law-student and lawyer is always a combination of their life-experience and their formal studies. In my case, life-experience provides a strong set of values and principles for me as student and as a potential lawyer. One particular life event, the death of my mother, left and indelible mark on my character and helped to shape my  world-view.  I frequently recall the day when , as I hastily walked off an airplane in Florida, I felt a rush of oppressive humidity mixed with excitement.  I was finally here.  The trip that I had been looking forward to all year.  My mother had just moved to Florida after a recent divorce from my father, and my sister and I were looking forward to spending the summer with her soaking up the Florida sun.  I couldn’t help but skip a little bit as I walked through the airport and picked up my bags.  In the past few years, my sister, my mother and I had become extremely close.  As I rounded the corner toward the baggage claim, I saw my mother waiting and broke into a run.  Finally, a summer with my mother, my best friend.  Of course I didn’t realize that this would be one of the last times I would see her.  I still remember this day as showing the thin line that separates happiness and tragedy, as well as life and death.

Many believe that you find only your intellectual side through your college experiences, but I disagree.  I believe that college is a time of growing and exploration, but when adversity or hardships are thrown your way, you will find the inner strength and resilience that makes up who you truly are.  It was through a life-changing tragedy that I was able to find myself in college.  One cool fall evening I got the most horrifying call of my life.  My father called to inform me that my mother had suffered a heart attack while vacationing in Mexico and that she had passed away.  At 51 years old, my mother had died of a broken heart.  This sent my entire life into a whirlwind.  The next day we flew to Florida to be with my father, and the few weeks following are just a hazy dream in my distant memory.

My mother’s death was the event that changed my whole life.  Not being able to keep my grades up, I dropped out of school in Arizona and I decided to move down to Florida to be closer to my only living parent.  In doing this I left my sister which was a very painful decision for me to make.  To add insult to the injury of my mother’s death, we found that her estate was in complete disarray.  So instead of having the time to grieve and try to overcome the misery of my mother’s death, I had to deal with a slew of legal proceedings and complications that at 21 years old I was not equipped to deal with.  That said, an interest  in and attraction to the law was awakened inside me this experience as I realized how personally important legal proceedings could be in real world situations.  After months of being surrounded by enormous piles of paperwork and legal proceedings I realized that I had finally had enough.  I knew then that I would never again let myself feel like I was in a position of blind inferiority.  That is when I made the decision to go back to school and finish my degree.  But I knew that my education would not stop there.  I found that I loved the structure and procedure that I was experiencing every day with the new challenges I faced.

Through my new found devotion to the study of law, I gained such a respect for the value of truth that was apparent in the courts and the judges, and I knew that I wanted to be part of that world.  I may have lacked the ability to understand this legal world; however I certainly did not lack the passion.  Being the executor of my mother’s estate was both frustrating and enlightening at the same time.  I felt put aside because I was just a child in a grown-up world, and I knew that had I been equipped with the proper knowledge and experience I could have handled the estate more efficiently.  It took the estate over 5 years to close, an outrageous and inexcusable amount of time for a young woman to finally put a mother’s death to rest.  At this point in my life I had learned the love for the argument, but also the disdain for a system that I did not understand.  In hindsight, I believe with the right persuasion anything is achievable.  Intellectually we know that it is logic that makes an argument sound, but I had now found the passion that can make that argument sound logical.  From this I felt enlightened.  I had finally found my calling.  I knew now that I would be a lawyer.

Of course, my mother’s death prompted my life-change, but the fact that my love for the study of law and the judicial system was born out of tragedy only strengthens my convictions and devotion to my studies. Being part of a very close family, I learned early on that truth and honesty were of the utmost importance in a household and therefore also in the world at large.  I believe that this same value is one that I will bring to the world of law.  Integrity and honesty are both virtues that seem to be overlooked in some of our modern society, and the fact that this still exists in the legal system is stimulating to me.  I love the structure that the law brings, and the truth that can be exposed.  I want to help people find the justice and answers they deserve, and be the voice for those that cannot speak.

In addition to my feeling that my character and qualities are a perfect match for the University of Wisconsin, there are several other reasons why I feel I should be admitted to the program.  The first is my desire to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather who graduated from UW Law in 1941.  My grandfather was a phenomenal role model; he instilled the values that help me believe that I can achieve whatever I dream.  Perhaps though, one of the most intriguing aspects of the UW is the Family Law project.  Conceivably the events of my own life have opened my eyes to the importance of ensuring that families get that second chance to move forward and develop a relationship that may not have been otherwise possible.  I believe that family is an integral part of society and it ought to be valued as the foundation for incarcerated parents to reestablish a relationship with their children.

Due to both my personal experiences and my personal ambitions and desires, i feel that I am an exemplary candidate for admission into the program. I believe very strongly in pursuing all of my goals and ambitions with utmost dedication and clarity. I pride myself on being sensitive to the needs of those around me and also of understanding and complying with protocol, rules, and the expectations of my superiors.  I am eager to become a valuable asset to this program upon completion of my first year at UW.  With all the possibilities and choices that I have for schools, the University of Wisconsin is my number one.  I know that I possess all the qualities necessary to succeed in your school; maturity, drive, and sincere follow-through.