Law School Personal Statement
By Tyson B.
I have always been fascinated by the complexities that surround me. As a child, I took to memorizing the periodic table of elements and was fascinated to learn how various elements interacted. I eventually developed a love of biology and chemistry specifically because they presented highly ordered yet amazingly complex systems. Once in college, my interests turned to the interaction between micro and macroeconomic factors in international markets, eventually leading me to the study of international relations and how economic factors affect them. Throughout this unlikely path, one common thread remains: my focuses were, and continue to be, determined by an underlying interest in studying and understanding complex systems.
This love of complexity led to my decision to attend law school. In the study of law, I saw something similar to what I saw in biology or chemistry: a system that is organized and logical, yet endlessly complex, filled with esoteric niches just waiting to be explored. The thought of making my living by learning about, interpreting, and exploring such a system was thrilling.
My interest in the complex also led to my desired focus in law school: international law, particularly its applications in the realm of international trade. International trade – the treaties, oversight bodies, contracts, and individual players – stands at the nexus of many things, and in it I saw the height of complexity. Different levels of codes, regulations, and players intermingle to create a system of systems. At the highest level, international treaties, global norms, and worldwide governing bodies lay the framework for international economic agreements. On the national level, the domestic environment – including the domestic legal system as well as prevailing attitudes and culture – bring further complexity into the mix. Finally, on an individual level, the parties and the precise aspects of the individual situation ensure that every case is unique. The combination of these many factors appeals to me, not only because it is especially challenging, but because it requires one to extend out of the legal realm to integrate topics that are not traditionally considered.
One of my favorite books, TheQuark and the Jaguar, is subtitled Adventures in the simple and the complex. In a way, that is what I expect from the practice of law. On the one hand, the goals of law are simple – to ensure peace, fairness, and civil order. On the other hand, law is, by its nature, complicated. Each case is a unique entity, yet tied to every case before it. The study of law, therefore, requires both the ability to navigate the highly ordered system that is the law, as well as the logic and creativity to interpret one’s findings and apply them to the present situation. Most of all, I expect the study of law to be an adventure. In my education, I hope to take the aspects of life that I find most challenging and enjoyable and make them my profession. I cannot be sure exactly where this course will take me, but to follow any other would be simplistic.
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