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Sample Essay - Draft

My objective is to graduate from X University college of law. I 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. A 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 offender embrace.

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 precisely certain what area of the law I would like to practice. I can see myself as a prosecutor while endorsing the further use of community mediation programs like the one I experienced in X County. Another exciting possibility for me would be practicing labor law. This would allow me to have a tremendous 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, which proves that its graduates are well prepared to begin their careers upon graduation. What is most impressive to me though, is that X University is nationally recognized as a leader in dispute resolution education in the United States. That is no small factor in my desire to attend X University. With the expertise that I will gain in dispute resolution against the backdrop of a 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 at large.

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