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Benjamin Franklin once stated, “justice would not be served until those unaffected are as outraged as those affected.” March 9th, 2019, I found myself sitting within a small room in the back of a Philadelphia hospital, listening as a doctor tried to ask me questions and give me options.  I had never thought I would reach this point; I always thought I would tough it out and keep moving.  While listening to the doctor speak about outpatient versus inpatient necessities, I realized that I had to stop for once.  At the time, it felt like a failure, that when I had called the self-help line, I had given up, but now I look at that time as the defining moment in my life. 

            At the time, I was studying Pre-Medicine, and I could never really say why when people asked.  I could tell people basic answers, such as “I just want to help people,” but never really something more profound.  In truth, I was good at sciences in school, so I just went with the flow.  I spent so much of my young life not following what I liked, not having a passion for where I was.  Then, as I was released from the hospital, I decided I would get out of this river that was throwing me into jagged rocks.  I decided that I would start making decisions not from what was expected or from what I was good at but from what I enjoyed.  I was going to find passion instead of stability, for what is life if it is only to get by?  The problem came with the question, what was I passionate about?  I had spent so much time not thinking about it, and with a timetable coming up quickly to decide what I wanted with my schooling, I had very little time to come up with this answer.  This answer was not found through rigorous experimenting, nor was it found through some old hobby that I could spark into a career.  Instead, the answer came in a letter from the hospital I was an outpatient in containing a bill for 20,000 dollars.

When entering my outpatient therapy, I received confirmation from my insurance that both the hospital and the program being entered were under the insurance umbrella.  Instead, though, they refused to pay the bill to the hospital, and that bill was now on my family’s lap.  Initial conversations with the agency went poorly, and fear loomed over.  I felt scared, I felt small, and like all those times before in my life, I felt like a burden.  However, this time, I was not just rolling with what life was giving me. No, I had sworn to myself that I was giving up on that, and instead, I stood up for myself.  Instead of feeling small, I stayed up late reading insurance policies and state laws.  Instead of being scared, I spoke to representatives until one would listen to me. Instead of feeling like a burden, I was firm and intelligent with what I had brought to the table, showing that my family would not rollover.  Then, just a few months prior, I felt like I would have to go to court to protect my family because of my time in the hospital; they paid the bill. 

While I felt relieved, more importantly, I had felt good.  The time I had spent felt right.  My time fighting that company left me feeling like it did not have to end with just me.  I saw that I could feel this sense of accomplishment again through law.  I could stand against people who decide that someone in the position I was in does not deserve what was promised to them.  I did not want someone else to feel how meek and terrified I felt at that moment.  In some of the worst months of my life, I gained clarity and was then the one to decide where I was going with my life.  I realized that the field of law was not just the next step for me but that it was something that I was going to enjoy. 

In many ways, I feel I have an obligation to strive for equality and compassion for my community and others who are judged and treated without dignity or respect for who they are.  I feel that we all have a story and a voice, and I will champion that voice to be heard.  For that needy person to have a sense of normal back or closure to a painful past. I want to defend the rights of the people.  One incident can change a person’s life.  I want to be there for vulnerable and minority groups.  I decided to take this new career direction in the legal field for these reasons. 

As I look toward a future in law, I want to become a criminal justice lawyer.  Having background knowledge about human behavior (which I gained during my pre-medicine course) would allow me to incorporate a different perspective into the legal field. Including psychology in the legal area will make me a creative problem solver that will allow me to succeed in law school.  I also have unique work and leadership experiences that have extensively prepared me for a legal career that I wish to start in law school.   Besides the professional qualifications, I have strong interpersonal skills and traits such as excellent advocacy and negotiation skills, which every effective Lawyer must possess.  All these skills, qualifications, and experiences combined with a deep desire to study law make me a suitable candidate to join Law school.

I look forward to this opportunity to study law and contribute to transforming the justice system both in the united states and across the globe. 


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