A Law Degree Is What I Want To Pursue
One principle that I hold in my life is to make a difference to people’s lives; to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. This way of thinking sparked my interest in reading Law. It further developed while I was writing an article on child marriage for a school magazine. The powerful impact child marriage has on the future of a child has aroused in me a deep desire to seek justice for the victim. I realize that having legal knowledge, equipped with the skills in advocacy to carry out the duties with professional legitimacy will help serve my purpose. Thus, it has become progressively apparent to me that a law degree is what I want to pursue.
As I further developed my research, I sought out cases that peaked my interest. One in particular was a recent controversy in Malaysia regarding the decision made by the Sharia court to acquit a forty-one-year-old man who was found guilty for marrying an eleven-year-old-girl. This case revealed the inadequacies in the Sexual Offence Against Children Act. Pondering this conundrum, I concluded that the jurisdictional conflict between the Sharia Law and Civil Law has made it difficult to define ‘child’ in the context of child marriage. Leaving Sharia court judges to make decisions based on their understanding of the Islamic legal perspectives, I believe, the majority of court decisions would contravene with the international conventions and laws that Malaysia has ratified, including the Convention on the Rights of The Child (CRC). This has invoked the curiosity in me to delve deeper into the area of Human Rights in Law and Society. Knowing that child marriage is also driven by other factors, I brought up the case in an International Law Conference by posing a question to the speaker, Marianne Clark, a UNICEF representative on how to promote and increase access in justice for child marriage where the affected parties often face ethnic and religious issues. This awareness and passion for law and justice continues to be fortified through reading. Clare Dyer’s ‘The Law Machine’ has given me a great understanding on the workings of the machinery of justice and how the legal system evolves to govern the society. Reading ‘The Rule of Law’ by Tom Bingham has revealed to me the complexities of interpretation of rules, underlining the controversies that might occur due to ambiguity. This similar dilemma happened while I was a prefect in high school. I was inevitably placed in a quandary whether to stand by my principles or the rules. Through this, I learned that the resolution to this paradox lay in constructive dialogue between teachers and students, resembling the functions of lawmakers and practitioners.
In order to gain additional experience in the legal field, I did my work placement in a solicitor’s law firm. From compiling legal documents to late-night research had shaped my understanding on how demanding a career in law is. Being a multi-tasker, I was able to apply the analytical thinking skills developed through impromptu speech that triggered me to think on the spot. By shadowing a senior lawyer, I learned the importance of communication skills when dealing with clients from different backgrounds. This experience had given me a further testimony that reading Law is my true calling.
With great honor, I have had the opportunity to represent Malaysia on a ‘Global Solidarity’ program to Paris to speak and debate on global issue. This has sharpened my skills in problem solving and developing coherent arguments. As I am aspired to provide pro bono services, volunteering at a mentally-disabled center is what I enjoy doing in my spare time. Having been an alumnus of the Outward-Bound School and a recipient of the Petronas scholarship, I believe, success comes with hard work and perseverance.
Having developed a strong passion in law, I am determined to embark on this challenging yet stimulating journey to a reputable university with the hope to serve justice for the people.
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