My objective is to graduate from X University college of
know I will be able to maximize my contribution to society as a lawyer. As
a young boy, I dreamed of becoming a policeman and a fireman. That may
sound not unlike many other young children with the same aspirations. However, I was not
attracted to these professions for their obvious action
and bravado. What made these people special to me is that they stood up for
others. They protected those who could not help themselves. For me, they
represented justice. In retrospect, I know that these early admirations
laid the foundation for my future interest law. As I got older I became
intrigued with the work of my father. He was heavily involved in transit
labor negotiations. He was a business agent for the Teamsters and went on
to be the president of the Transitworkers Union Local 100. These were prominent positions.
My father advocated and garnered better wages,
benefits, and working conditions for his fellow public employees. The
livelihood of thousands of workers was dependent upon his negotiating savvy. I knew that
my father was working toward something that would help
hard-working people who deserved a better lifestyle. What was hard for me
to understand though, was that he had to fight for this. I asked him why
the union always was at odds with the city. He
explained that the city government had a responsibility workers, to the taxpayers, and to the
bottom line. They had to make the transit system run efficiently. That
could not always coexist with an opulent
lifestyle for all of the bus drivers. The point he was trying to make is
that there are two sides to every conflict and usually neither side is
either totally right or totally wrong. This is a principle that I still hold in
deference today. It can be equated to everything from labor relations, to a
murder trial, and even to something as relatively trivial as chronic
squabbling among neighbors.
By the time I had reached high school, I was
fascinated with the social sciences.
I relished my classes in government,
civics, and history.
Wanting to learn more, I took all of the classes
in politics I could. It was then that I knew I would be a lawyer. It
was the perfect nexus of my intrigue with public policy and justice, and my
desire to help others.
I went through college knowing what my
profession would be but did not have very specific professional interests.
That all changed during my senior year.
As an intern at Community Mediation and Dispute Resolution Services (CMDRS)
of X County. I was priveleged to
see negotiating and justice melded in a very intimate, grass-roots setting.
CMDRS was a non-profit agency offering court-ordered and voluntary
mediation services for a nominal l
fee. It was staffed by trained volunteers from the community including
local attorneys. They handled such mundane
cases as parent-child and neighborhood disputes.
However, the court-ordered mediations had the
most profound effect on me. X County would refer juvenile offenders to meet
face-to-face with their victims. As an intern I was able to witness
restorative justice at work.
man whose car was broken into and stereo stolen
would meet with the offender
and the mediators. The victims would have the
chance to ask why the perpetrator did what they did. They
could tell how the crime affected them financially and emotionally. The
offender would then explain
their side and give insight into their motive
and state of mind at the time
of the incident. The mediators would then aid
in reaching a mutually
agreeable solution to the conflict. This would
normally be financial
restitution and/or community service hours. I
sat in on over a dozen of
these sessions. They invariably ended with both
parties feeling better
about each other and about what happened. More
than once I saw victim and
After seeing the benefits that mediation and
alternative dispute resolution
had to offer I knew that it was something that I
wanted to be a part of in
a much larger capacity. The ramifications of
alternative dispute resolution
reach far beyond the small setting in which I
experienced it. It has
tremendous potential for improving community
relations by aiding in justice.
It will provide much needed relief to a strained
legal system, saving
countless dollars by avoiding costly and lengthy
litigation. I envision
mediation as being the way of the future in not
only the public sector, but
the private sector as well.
In my upcoming career I intend to make my mark on the legal
community by using my negotiating skills. I must admit I am not
certain what area of the law I would like to practice. I can see
a prosecutor while endorsing the further use of community mediation
like the one I experienced in X County. Another exciting
me would be practicing labor law. This would allow me to have a
positive impact on the lives of those I advocated. X
University is the perfect choice for me in my quest to become a lawyer.
I plan to
practice in X State and I am glad the best school is in my own backyard.
X University consistently boasts a very high bar passage rate,
that its graduates are well prepared to begin their careers upon
What is most impressive to me though, is that X University is
recognized as a leader in dispute resolution education in the United
That is no small factor in my desire to attend X University.
expertise that I will gain in dispute resolution against the backdrop
sound overall legal education, I will be able to forge ahead with the
confidence that I will achieve what I have set out to do... utilize a
creative approach to justice that benefits the legal system and society