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Graduate application for pursuing LLM after failing the Bar exam.


bukhari1 1 / 6 1  
Jan 29, 2016   #1
Statement of purpose
Your statement of purpose should explain why you want to study your chosen programme (LLM Public international law) and how it will help your life and career.


Through the time i spent doing by BPTC in London, i faced multiple challenges but little did i know that by the end of it i would face the biggest test so far. Failure in anyway is irreconcilable considering my past record failing the bar was not easy to comprehend at first,but i learned that when failure strikes it presents you with a unique opportunity not only to self actualize but also to stand by the choices you make and own up to what you have done. Every sinner has a future and every priest has a past and just like that i had to swallow my pride pull up my socks and start from scratch. The rebuilding phase was tough and like any other rehabilitation regime it demanded time and commitment.

I having understood what i had done wrong pinpointed the issues i face such as my growing disinterest in litigation in Pakistan and the rampant redtapism and also the intricacies of English that eluded me previously were clarified through endless research. I focused all my energies towards what made me happy rather than what was constantly demanded of me and in that i realized how once overconfidence could be transformed into intellectual and basic humility.

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Jan 29, 2016   #2
Sayeda, you are not being asked to explain any academic failure that you have had in the past. You are not being asked to justify what happened either. So I cannot understand why you are discussing such an unrelated event in your statement of purpose. There is nothing in what you have written which could be considered a "purpose" for higher study. It is nothing more than an academic failure statement which makes it unusable for a statement of purpose.

Since you are wishing to study a masters degree, thee is no need to discuss the failure that you had in the past. The reviewer will not be interested in that. What does interest him, is the reason for your desire for higher study. For example, do you want to work at the International Court of Justice? Do you wish to represent people on a global level? think about the reasons why you want to become an international lawyer. Forget that you failed the bar for now. That is an exam you can retake anytime you are ready to.

Instead, focus your energy on explaining why you are a good candidate for a masters degree. It is important that you do not call the attention of the reviewer to your failure because, and you have to believe me on this, he will most likely remember that you failed the bar exam rather than the other accomplishments or purpose that you have for studying a masters degree.

Your statement of purpose lacks substance that is relevant to the application. It would be in your best interest to revise the whole essay at this point, making sure that you change the focus to your accomplishments rather than your failure. After all, why would any university want a failure for a student? Don't mention the failed bar exam unless explicitly asked to do so.
OP bukhari1 1 / 6 1  
Jan 30, 2016   #3
Thank you so much. My understanding was that it had to be focused as a personal statement and could not adequately distinguish between the two. I'll work on it again and upload it. Hopefully I get it right this time.

Regards
OP bukhari1 1 / 6 1  
Feb 4, 2016   #4
I've rewritten the entire statement of purpose for an LLM. Suggestions/Advice please.

A nation who prided ourselves on the percepts of law, today have become a society where to be silent is an active verb. Everyday in terms of law and order we touch a new low; such are the circumstances which have triggered me to veer away and find my niche in the study of law which I feel would be of great benefit to society.

In order to gain first hand experience I interned at Chima and Ibrahim Associates for six weeks and four weeks at the Dubai Islamic Bank gave me a glimpse of the professional world during the summers of 2010. Chima and Ibrahim is a firm that specializes in corporate and land law cases. I was initially given the task to prepare a document on the application of the law of pre-emption across the country. This is a law which has been derived from the principles of Islam. However, the numerous sects that are prevalent in the religion have their own interpretation of the way the law ought to operate. The law is applied to the members of the society according to the sect they believe in. The problem arises when two people of different sects are a party to the same case because it becomes very difficult to determine which interpretation should be applied to that specific case. After extensive research and a lot of effort I managed to get through the task in almost two weeks following which I was taken into a team which was working on a case on the law of pre-emption and this was related to the conflict between two different interpretations of the law. As a member of team I helped with not just the research but was also active during our meeting with the clients and when we were discussing the case amongst ourselves. These were two different experiences which gave me the determination to work harder as I was in a very competitive environment.

I did my LLB hons as an external student of the University of London from an institution called University College Lahore. During my stay there not only did I perform academically but I also tried to continue with the other extra-curricular activities which were an integral part of my life during my school years. During my three years as a student there I won five national parliamentary debating competitions, runners up at five such competitions, was declared the best delegate at four Model United Nations, served as the General Secretary of the Debating Society for the academic year 2010-2011 and then also served as the president of the society during my last year there. I was invited to chair at numerous National Model United Nations across the country. I represented the college at three international tournaments: National Law School Debate 2009 in Bangalore and the Malaysia Debate Open 2011 and 2012. Owing to my dedication and hard work I was awarded the extra-curricular roll of honour in 2012. The practical experience gained during my internships and my love for speaking further instigated my urge to study law.

Through the time i spent doing by bptc in london, i faced multiple challenges but little did i know that by the end of it i would face the biggest test so far. Failure in anyway is irreconcilable considering my past record failing the bar was not easy to comprehend at first,but i learned that when failure strikes it presents you with a unique oppurtunity not only to self actualise but also to stand by the choices you make and own upto what you have done. Every sinner has a future and every priest has a past and just like that i had to swallow my pride pull up my socks and start from scratch. The rebuilding phase was tough and like any other rehabilitation regime it demanded time and committment.

I having understood what i had done wrong pinpointed the issues i face such as my growing disinterest in litigation in Pakistan and the rampant redtapism and also the intricacies of english that eluded me previously were clarified through endless research. I focused all my energies towards what made me happy rather than what was constantly demanded of me and in that i realised how once overconfidence could be transformed into intellectual and basic humility.

Furthermore I did two internships of three months each during the summers of 2011 and 2012 with Mr.Salman Akram Raja, a well known lawyer across the nation while doing my LLB Hons. Following the completion of my education I was offered a job by Mr. Raja and I thus worked as an associate lawyer at his firm for a year and a half. I researched on how the principle of judicial review is applied in different countries across the world. I am a strong proponent of the idea that knowledge without application serves no purpose whatsoever and this was the first time that I was actually applying a principle which I had studied in class to the real world. The difference for example of the way the principle of judicial review operates in Pakistan compared to the UK was very intriguing because the judiciary having the power to strike down an act of parliament under the principle of Pakistan was something which I would have never imagined having studied the operation of that principle in the UK. Knowing how the principle operates in the UK gave me an insight on how on a first level there is a difference in the way the principle applies in different jurisdictions and on a second level why is the application of the same principle is so different owing to the differences in the way the political system of that country works.

I worked with Mr. Raja on a case of constitutional importance. Democracy in Pakistan has always been threatened by the army. In this case we had to challenge the unconstitutional interference of the armed forces in the democratic process. I was given the task to formulate arguments around the principle of democracy to strengthen our case. Not only did I contribute during the meetings but I was also given the opportunity by Mr. Raja to accompany him to the Supreme Court when the case was being heard. When he used the arguments which I had put forth during our discussions it instilled a great sense of achievement in me. It was not just these two cases that I worked on during the internships there but also on several cases pertaining to mortgages and bank loans.

Tax, Civil and Constitutional law were areas of law that started catching my interest and thus I decided to shift to a law firm that was more focused towards these areas of law and thus I joined Sajid Hotiana Law Associates as a senior associate. My work with Mr. Hotiana was mainly focused towards learning tax trial work and then assisting him in various constitutional law cases which were linked with tax law.

One of the cases that caught my attention was the challenge under a writ petition to the power of contempt given to the Banking Ombudsman. My work included case law research across several jurisdictions on how separation of powers between different pillars of the state is the most important component of the protection of an individual's right to fair trial. In my written brief I distinguished between complete and partial separation of powers, with argumentation supporting the latter as being the more practical of the two and that overlap should be at a minimum possible to allow complete independence of the judiciary. This according to me is the most important component of the separation of powers.

During my work on constitutional writs I had to also do intensive research on International law which caught my attention. The question that sprung up in my mind during the research was how international law is a concept which many refer to as soft law and its distinction in the way it fucntions with that of any national legal system which is based on retribution acting as detterent to keep the populous under the realms of law was very intuiging to me. The main reason behind this was that my understanding of law was always that the monopoly over the use of force which the state inherently holds as being a mechanism to maintain law and order and to ensure proper application of the rule of law. International law works on the other hand on diplomacy and sometimes economic or other sanctions by states collectively on a certain rogue state such as the ones imposed on North Korea following their withdrawl from the NPT and their development of nuclear weapons. This example of North Korea though is a one off in international law and no such detterent really exists in that system yet nation states still follow it, and this for me is one of the most important features of international law.

I believe in hard work and have always lived by the motto of my school "Perseverance Commands Success" and pursuing an L.L.M at your University shall serve my ambition to prove myself as one of the best professionals in the field. Studying in the UK has always been a dream and it will be a great opportunity to broaden my horizon; get a taste of different cultures and to interact with people belonging to different societies of the world. For me attaining this degree is the corner stone to achieving my goals. I look forward to developing my abilities and contributing to society with the help of the education your degree offers.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Feb 4, 2016   #5
Sayeda, you have a very detailed experience essay here. It is very good and very informative. You truly have the skills to become a success in the field of your choice. It would seem like you are a perfect candidate for graduate school studies. However, you were not able to properly focus the essay on only 2 salient points. These are your most important work experience, your idea as to how you see yourself improving your life and career upon the completion of your degree.

Your essay contains too much professional and academic information. That is why I think it will cover around 3 pages single spaced at this point. Do you know what your word or page limits are? Make sure you do not go beyond it. Also, do not turn this into an academic and professional biography. Just choose your most impressive accomplishment as a student, as a professional, and in your extra curricular activities that will showcase your abilities as a student. That should only cover about a full page at the most. The second page, or second half of your essay should contain the professional direction you want to go in. Explain how this degree can help you. Note the important internships or training programs the university offers for students of your caliber as part of the way that the university can help you achieve your goals. Then thoroughly discuss your short and long term career goals as indicated by the prompt. In all, your essay should not be more than 2 pages, single spaced.
OP bukhari1 1 / 6 1  
Feb 5, 2016   #6
Hey,

Thank you so for the insight. The word limit for all LLM programs or at least the ones I'm applying to are 1500 words. This is about 1500 words and I'll need to cut it short. I'll check the spacing and make another draft. I'm so thankful for the contribution. In Pakistan there isn't a law school that offers LLM and this is my only shot.

Many thanks.


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