Dear Admissions Committee members,
I am seeking admission into an LL.B. program at McGill University and I believe that my application is meritorious due to the following reasons.
I am an internationally trained lawyer having graduated from a law school at the Moscow State Law Academy named after O.E.Kutafin, Moscow, Russia, in 2011 with an honours degree (GPA at 3,9). I have never been afraid to challenge myself in various ways and for that very reason I had concurrently majored in English language translation in addition to my law studies. As a result, I was also conferred an honours degree in English language translation from the same university in 2011.
During my academic years at university I also participated in a study abroad program between the Moscow State Law Academy named after O.E.Kutafin and Queen Mary, University of London, UK. This program offered me the most wonderful opportunity to be exposed to various facets of the common-law system. I spent a full academic year at Queen Mary’s and it was certainly not easy for me to fully immerse into an English-speaking environment, improve my language skills and at the same time to keep up with all other subjects that were in my curriculum. However, that year was indeed one of the most exciting periods in my life when I truly realized my strengths, weaknesses and the areas that needed improvement.
Having successfully graduated from my Russian university in 2011, I decided to go abroad again and came to Canada in order to participate in a legal internship program that offered me an opportunity to work and study at the same time. By that time I already had some experience in the legal field as I had been working part-time during my university studies and had exposure to practical aspects of law as a legal researcher and analyst. Namely, from 2007 to 2009 I worked at NPO Petrovax Pharm Ltd., Moscow, where I drew up various corporate documents and conducted research and monitoring of current legislation of mergers and acquisitions in the Russian civil law that were being introduced at that time and were reshaping the whole framework of businesses’ structuring in Russia. In addition, I worked part-time for one and a half years (2010-2011) in an immigration law office with a very extensive practice in the Canadian, New Zealand and UK immigration and my previous studies and work experience came in handy as I was recognized as a High Potential Employee by the company. That is where I learned that Canada offers this wonderful option of legal internships at Canadian legal firms where my talents and enthusiasm could be utilized to the fullest and I welcomed this opportunity and arrived to Canada in the summer of 2011.
After a series of interviews I received an offer to volunteer at the Law Office of Walter Kravchuk, civil litigation lawyer with a very busy practice and lots of pro bono cases. I learned a great deal of professional ethics and integrity from my employer and my mentor, Mr. Kravchuk, who embodied the highest ideals of the legal profession and whose practice was and still is guided by his commitment to the public good, as I have assisted him in cases of the most marginalized individuals in our society who, without legal assistance, would face very dire consequences. I consider Mr. Kravchuk to be my mentor and role model and admire him very much in his pursuit to stand up for the less fortunate in our society.
Later on I had an honour to obtain a volunteer position at the Association in Defene of the Wrongly Convicted, Toronto (AIDWYC – hereinafter). AIDWYC is well known as a fierce advocate of rectifying and preventing wrongful convictions and its efforts are aimed at correcting individual wrongful convictions. Working for this organization has been a profound and reassuring experience for me and my involvement into some cases has been very personal as I could easily relate to the people whom we have been assisting in fighting the system and in correcting miscarriages of justice. I value very much this opportunity and intend to continue to contribute to this organization in a more meaningful way and in a capacity of a lawyer once I graduate from a law school.
Currently I am studying at a two year law clerk program at Seneca college of Applied Arts and Technology, Toronto, and my program is set to finish in the summer of 2013. This program is a stepping stone towards my professional career as a lawyer in Canada and my college studies have helped me a lot to better understand the Canadian law concepts and their practical applications. However my goal is to study further at the law school of McGill given its outstanding faculty and well rounded curriculum with a heavy emphasis on ethical and human aspects of the profession. Please note that I do not wish to assess my previous law degree via the National Committee on Accreditation and instead I wish to apply to a regular JD program as the difference between my previous studies back to Russia and the Canadian legal system is so profound that I would like to start studying law from the very beginning and cover all the fundamental principles of the system wherein I wish to practice and move forward to more complex legal issues. After graduation I wish to be able to contribute to our society in a more meaningful way and be able to join my colleagues and mentors in their pursuit for justice and fairness. My passion for law combined with the ability to grasp new and complex subjects have prepared me to embrace this exciting academic challenge and to succeed as a student of the LL.B. program at McGill University and I look forward to your positive consideration of my application.