Sihyun Kim April 21, 2006 Career/Academic Interest and Background

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Sihyun Kim April 21, 2006

Career/Academic Interest and Background

Ever since I was in high school, I have always have been open to a career in law as a possibility. Exposure to countless number of dramas glorifying the fortitude of attorneys in the heat of the courtroom had left a tremendous impression by the time I began exploring the various types of occupations I could pursue. What gave me the final push into the field though were the encouragements of my 10th grade English teacher, Mr. Roundy, a man who knew first hand the requirements needed for one to become a lawyer (he had once attended law school, but, because of unforeseen problems in the family, was unable to complete his studies). Mr. Roundy, a passionate enthusiast of rhetoric, constantly introduced his class to various techniques one can employ persuasion—whether it is through a formal literary essay or a class presentation. I quickly became enchanted with the art of rhetoric, and it was because of this passion that I began warming up myself to a possible career in law—a field in which rhetoric is an indispensable tool that every lawyer must master. As a result, I began participating in the school's debate team. Although I was disappointingly unable to become one of the key participants in the group, observing my fellow competitors during meets has helped me not only to overcome my shyness to speak out in front of a crowd, but also to refine my skills in rhetoric.

In preparation for a career in law, Mr. Roundy once prudently advised me that I must take the initiative to expand my knowledge to as many fields as possible. It is this advice that continues to influence me to this day. Ever since my senior year in high school (when we were finally given the opportunity to choose our own classes), I have made sure that I do not focus my studies in one area alone. Lawyers, Mr. Roundy once reminded me, need to have a firm foundation in logic—unlike those of hit drama shows on television, court cases in real life obviously do not follow a predictable pattern. As a result, I have tried my best thus far to insure that I receive a liberal arts education. In LaGuardia Community College, for example, I pushed myself to take challenging courses in English (such as Shakespeare) as well as in Math (such as Calculus III). Once I transfer into a four-year college, I fully intend on maintaining the same manner of studies.

Of course, there are certain skills on which I shall focus more. Writing, for instance, is absolutely critical, and for this reason, I have taken (and will continue to do so throughout my undergraduate years) courses with rigorous requirements in writing, such as Composition and Sociology. In addition, another requirement that every lawyers must meet is a strong proficiency in reading—after all, one of the many tasks a lawyer must fulfill on a daily basis is to update him or herself in the latest developments in law. This is one preparation to which I quite enthusiastically commit myself—I spend a good portion of my free time reading materials that are unrelated to school. I have recently finished reading Anna Karenina, and am currently reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

The path of becoming a lawyer is, without a doubt, a very arduous one—competition for admission to most law schools is quite intense. Nevertheless, the career is undeniably worth the effort. Getting a legal masters degree will open up a great deal of occupational possibilities: from working for a law firm, I could possibly build my career into that of private practice. In other words, the three extra years in graduate school are nothing in comparison to the lifetime of intensely satisfying work to which I will have to devote my time and energy. The job may at times be quite stressful, but I cannot think of anything more gratifying than having the chance to be part of one of the most prestigious careers around.

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