法学院申请:最震撼的LLM Personal Statement美文


                                                                                                     Personal Statement

                                                                    Applicant: XXX      Program: LLM at Columbia Law School

To be a law student is to be an idealist. A freshman at university, I was most inspired by what John J. Bonsignore wrote at the beginning of his Before the Law, “Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you.” It provoked in me a strong sense of mission, as the legal profession is meant only for a selected few who are committed and dedicated. This idealism was later echoed by a distinguished speaker at a forum held in our university when she cited the Confucian dictum that “Great minds must persevere, for the journey is long and the mission is high.” She was referring to the need for the Chinese legal professionals to formulate a wealth of laws regarding securities and trusts in the capital market in order to honor the commitments China pledged when obtaining the WTO accession. From the outset of my academic training in law, I had a good sense of mission.

This commitment and passion for law studies allowed me to create some milestones in my academic and professional career. At the Law School of XX University, the best institution in Southern China, I achieved an outstanding scholastic performance, as indicated by my overall 3.68 GPA, which consistently ranked me among the top 5% in the entire grade. Among many merit-based awards and scholarships I received, the President’s Honorary Scholarship is the one that made me most proud of myself. Apart from taking a whole gamut of specialized courses that allowed me to develop a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge base across major fields of law, I also took a wide range of electives such as Environmental Resource Law and Microeconomics that allowed me to examine our legal practices in a larger perspective.

What is fascinating about studying law is that, even when the same law is applied, the prosecutor and the defense may arrive at diametrically opposite conclusions. This taught me the importance of cultivating rigorous thinking and critical analysis. Equally important was my cultivation of leadership skills—I was the vice chairman of the Student Congress of the University and the general secretary of the University Student Union. In addition, by offering free legal services to socially unprivileged groups like migrant workers in cities, I realized that the ultimate significance of law lies in promoting social equality and safeguarding the interests of the weak.

A turning point came in my final academic year when, through a highly selective university-wide qualifying process, I became one of the five law students to embark on an exchange program at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Despite all the difficulties I encountered in that new environment, I enjoyed studying in the way as my American classmates did, participating extensively in group discussions and course projects, developing critical analysis and original thinking rather than passive assimilation of knowledge (as was prevalent in China). In that stimulating new environment, I made the greatest academic achievement in my undergraduate program—my GPA was 3.98 and 3.8 in two semesters respectively. I took a number of sociology and political science courses in order to understand the American society. In “the Tripartite Political System of the US”, I was the only Asian student in the class, and I had to spend much more time than my American counterparts on reading a wealth of books in order to perform well in presentations and exams. My efforts and achievements were well recognized and I won the university’s “Meritorious Student Award”.

As a law student, I made other important achievements during my exchange program. I was the sole international student representing the University to attend the 20xx 16th American Model United Nations International Conference (AMUN) in Chicago, Illinois. As guest speaker, I made a keynote speech “The Current Legal and Social Environment of Algeria” which was very well received. This event allowed me to work together with the young leaders of the future to address the common challenges facing humanity. In addition, keeping in mind my mission to work for the public good, I was actively engaged in community services in the Eau Claire metropolitan area for the disabled and the elderly.

Toward the end of the exchange program, I returned to China and earned my Bachelor’s degree. Upon my graduation in the summer of 20xx, my excellent academic and extracurricular record in China and the US was highly valued by Paul Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, a leading international law firm whose headquarters are based in Los Angeles, which employed me as China Advisor at the Corporate Department. Paul Hastings, delivering innovative solutions to the complex legal challenges encountered by the world’s top financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies, offered me an exciting chance to work in the field of foreign direct investment, merger and acquisition and private equity fund. By performing legal research and due diligence investigations and preparing key legal documents, I was involved in the entire process of establishing foreign investment enterprises in China, of closing merging, acquisition, and risk investment cases. I analyzed legal issues involved in the transactions, offered legal consulting to clients concerning the questions they raised, and proposed feasible solutions and legal frameworks.

At Paul Hastings, I deepened my understanding of American laws and gained insights into how a leading international law firm operates businesses on a global scale. But as China Advisor, I also observed the challenges faced by international firms in their localizing efforts. Due to the differences between American law and the Chinese law, I had to devise innovative approaches in designing a framework that conforms to the Chinese law while satisfying the requirements of foreign investors, as in the case of SIG Asia Investments, LLLP, IDG and Goldman Sachs’s US$ 25 million Investment in Impression Creative Inc., led by Zhang Yimou, who directed the grand opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. I felt proud for serving as a bridge between the legal systems of the two different countries.

After one year, in order to expand my experiences, I joined Clifford Chance LLP, one of the five leading British law firms and the largest international law firm in Europe. As a lawyer at the Capital Market Department, I performed responsibilities that largely overlapped with those that I performed at Paul Hasting, in merging and acquisition, PE fund, and international investment. However, the range of the industries for investment is much more expansive, covering medical equipment production, education, new energy development, manufacturing, hi-tech, and real estates. My greatest achievement is providing consulting to Aluminum Corporation of China ("Chinalco") on its US$ 19.5 billion strategic partnership with the Rio Tinto group, the largest outbound investment ever undertaken by a Chinese company. In this project, my responsibility was to collect all the relevant statistics and present legal interpretations that would support that this major strategic partnership project on the pat of Chinalco is not monopolistic in nature. Although the Rio Tinto group unilaterally breached the contract due to political pressure from the Australian government, leading to the abortion of the project, our legal advising proved rigorous and tenable, helping Chinalco claim US$ 1.95 billion as compensation.

Over the past three years of professional work at two top international law firms, I have been involved in a total of 15 key projects that involved major domestic and international companies like Merrill Lynch, Crimson Capital Partners, Ciments Francais (for a detailed account of those projects, my responsibilities and achievements, please refer to my Resume). For the growth of a young law student, this is indeed a rare and most rewarding experience. I have accessed a much higher vantage point than most of my peers and hence I have grown more ambitious than ever. Having obtained my formal qualifications as a licensed lawyer, I believe that my full potential needs to be exploited and there is a much broader international arena where I can thrive as an accomplished legal professional, especially in view of the increasing integration of China with the res of the world in economic and legal spheres. Toward this objective, I would like to pursue more advanced legal training at a prestigious law school in the United States.

In my proposed LLM program at Berkeley, I would to focus my interest on business law and this is closely connected to my accumulated professional expertise in corporate law, venture capital, IPO, private fund, merging and acquisition. I want this LLM degree because I want to enhance my knowledge and skills in American law. My legal practices over the past three years have largely been one-sided—advising international companies regarding Chinese laws. Now, I want to counterbalance this one-sidedness by gaining in-depth knowledge and expertise in American and British laws as the home countries of those international companies I have advised are mostly from America and Britain. Their global strategies are primarily based on their own domestic standards and practices. The knowledge I acquired from my undergraduate education about European and American common laws is all too rudimentary and it is indeed an area I must improve systematically and profoundly in order to work more productively in my future career.

Obviously, the LLM program at Berkeley is a perfect match for my envisioned future. Berkeley is situated in the Bay Area where a large number of high-tech companies are based. Venture capital and PE funds originated largely from the funds that were first financed for those hi-tech companies, which rapidly grew into a sizable industry. As the best law school in the region, Berkeley’s law school boasts a most outstanding faculty, with their unique perspectives and cutting-edge research on law and technology. This unparalleled geographical position has made Berkeley a leader in the entire country in applying their research findings to real-world situations. In choosing to study at Berkeley, I believe that the best way to learn is to learn from the best. On my own part, I will prove myself a valuable asset to the Berkeley law student community. By applying the principles and the theories from your LLM, I can reflect upon my past legal career in China and involve my prospective classmates in interesting case studies concerning how international law firms can fit into the rapidly developing legal service market in China. I can invite their comments on the specific legal cases I have handled, that is, how well I have served as a bridge for international law firms in their globalizing and localizing endeavors. Finally, by establishing a broad alumni network at Berkeley, I can draw interested alumni to operate businesses in China. There are so many ways that I can contribute to your diversity.

With regard to my future plans, I have reached an agreement with my current employer that, upon my graduation, they will recommend me to work at its branch office in the U.S. office for two or three years to accumulate international experiences and perspectives. After that, I will return to its Chinese office where, with my heightened trained and expertise, I will perform greater responsibilities and handle more important cases. With five years, I expect to become a well-recognized specialist in handling legal cases in respect to corporate restructuring and capital market transaction, offering value-added services and develop creative resolution mechanisms that can steer a course out of complicated cases. Through my sustained efforts, I hope to become a market leader of high credibility in a particular field and one of a limited number of Chinese lawyers, who can find my way to the position of a partner in a prestigious international law firm. However, my personal aspiration goes far beyond that. Keeping in mind my mission to perform a positive role in the larger society, I will use my expertise to participate in legislation and judiciary decision-making processes of my home country where existing laws need to be improved and many more are yet to be framed. In this connection, I am also interested in offering free legal services to my community and to local NGOs and in sharing my experiences with young students as a guest speaker or guest professor.

Having created several milestones in the past, I hope to create yet another key milestone by becoming an outstanding student in your world-class law school. Knowing what I am and what I want to be, I am strongly motivated and highly goal-driven. I am determined to make myself a valuable addition to your law school, worthy of your prestige in every aspect of my endeavors and achievements.

        要成为一个法学学生,就意味着要成为一个理想主义者。大学一年级时,在阅读John  J.  Bonsignore《法律之门》一书时,开头所写让我倍感鼓舞和激励:“这里,其他人无人可入,因为这座大门只为你而设。”这句话让我萌生了一种强烈的使命感,因为法律行业只为少数特选人士而设,而这些人对法律忠心耿耿,倾心奉献。法律的这种理想主义精神后来被一位知名的学者所弘扬。在我大学所举办的一个论坛上,她引用了孔子的名言:“士不可以不弘毅,任重而道远。”她所呼吁的是,中国的法律界人士需要为资本市场建立大量关于证券和信托的健全法律,以兑现中国在获准加入WTO时所作出的承诺。在我学习法律之初,我便有了一种强烈的使命感。


        学习法律令人着迷的一点是,同样一部法律,控辩双方却能依据此做出截然相反的论断。这让我深知锻炼缜密思维习惯和批判思维能力的重要性。同样重要的一点是,学习法律能培养我的领导能力---我曾担任暨南大学学生代表大会副主席及暨南大学学生会副秘书长。另外,为城市弱势群体无偿提供法律服务, 使我意识到法律最终的意义在于促进社会平等和维护弱势群体的利益。

        在我大学最后一年出现了一个转捩点,通过激烈的全校选拔,我成为了五位法学学生中的一员,赴美国威斯康星州立大学交换。虽然在陌生的环境中遇到了许多困难,我却很享受与美国同学一起学习的过程,通过积极参与小组讨论和完成课程作业,我锻炼着批判性分析能力和创新性思维能力,而不是被动的接收知识(这种学习方式在中国很普遍)。在这种令人兴奋的新环境中,我取得了在本科四年学习中最好的成绩—两个学期的绩点分别是3.98和3.8. 我还选修了一系列的社会学和政治学课程,为了更好的了解美国社会。在一堂关于美国三权分立政治体系的课中,我是唯一的亚洲学生,因而要付出比其他美国同伴更多的时间来阅读大量的书籍,从而在课堂报告和考试中取得良好的成绩。我的努力和成绩得到了很好的认可,同时获得了学校优秀学生奖学金。

        作为一名法学学生,我在这次交换项目中也取得了其他重要的成绩。作为唯一一名代表学校的国际学生,我参加了20XX年在芝加哥召开的第16届全美大学生模拟联合国大会(AMUN)。作为应邀演讲者,我发表了“阿尔及利亚当今的法制和社会环境”的专题演讲,广受好评。这次经历让我与年轻的未来领导者们讨论了人类面临的共同挑战。与此同时,我心中时刻牢记着为群众利益服务的使命,并积极参与了Eau Claire城区的社工服务,为残疾人和老龄群体提供帮助。



        一年后,为了拓宽工作经验,我进入了英国五大律所之一、也是欧洲最大的高伟绅律师事务所工作。作为资本市场部的律师,我履行的职责与在普衡的工作内容大部分是相同的,主要在兼并收购,私募基金和国际投资方面。然而,投资所涉及的行业范围更广,覆盖了医疗器械生产行业,教育业,新能源发展,制造业,高新技术业和房地产开发。我最大的成绩是为中铝集团与澳大利亚Rio Tinto集团195亿美金建立战略合作伙伴关系提供了法律咨询服务。这是中国企业有史以来最大的对外投资。在这个项目中,我的职责是收集所有相关的统计数据并作出法律分析,以证明这次战略合作项目对于中铝不属于垄断的性质。尽管力拓集团后因来自于澳大利亚政府的压力单方面毁约,以致该项目最终流产,但我们的法律建议由于严谨而无懈可击,帮助中铝索回了19.5亿美金的赔偿。

        在过去的三年里,就职于两个顶级的国际律师事务所,我参与了总共15个重要的项目,涉及大型国企和跨国公司例如美林,汉盛资本, 法国水泥等 (关于项目的详细介绍,主要职责和业绩,请参见本人简历).这样的经历对于一个法学专业学生的成长而言,实在是不可多得且无比收获的。我相对于大多数的同龄人站在了更前沿的位置,这使我比从前更加雄心勃勃。获得了律师从业资格证后,我认为我需要充分发挥自己的潜力,而作为一个有建树的法学专业人士,在一个国际化的平台上施展自己的抱负很重要,特别是在加强中国与世界经济和法律领域的合作方面。基于这个目标,我萌生了在美国知名法学院寻求更好教育的想法。







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