Highly motivated to pursue a career in law, I hope to begin by earning the Juris Doctorate through the Flex Program at XXXX College's XXXX Law Center, the program with which I feel strongly that I am the best fit. I look forward to giving myself entirely to the legal profession, inspired and empowered by my deep appreciation for the order our legal systems maintain in our societies. I also greatly prize liberty, and I am drawn to the high stakes involved in law and our capacity as legal professionals to protect vulnerable people from the powerful. I see a career in law as intellectually challenging and personally fulfilling, not just about rules and regulations but also about rights, justice, and the importance of understanding human behavior on both individual and societal levels.
My BA in Political Science from the University of Oregon (2010) and MS in Conflict and Dispute Resolution from the University of Oregon’s School of Law (2016) provide me with a solid academic foundation for excellence at Touro. I have taken several classes closely related to law as part of my Master’s Program, and all of my work experience has been in the legal field. I am currently investigating allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination in which I conduct interviews of complainants, respondents, and witnesses, drafting memorandums and final reports, all in legal language. My disposition and character are suited to the practice of Law: dogged, detail-oriented, and a great debater; I am someone who always has and always will find myself attracted to the cause of the underdog when that cause is. I want to stand up and speak for those unable to speak for themselves, those in need of defense, victims, unjustly accused, and those discriminated against or abused by the legal system. Studying Law will make me sharper and more sensitive and provide me with a highly marketable skill. The Flex Program at XXXX Law School combines top-notch quality and reputation with the flexibility that will enable me not only to meet my other obligations. At the same time, I am a law school student, but putting the top-level time and energy into each class, enabling me to excel and distinguish myself as a creative thinker.
Born in Punjab, India, I migrated to the United States with my family at 9, and we settled in Eugene, Oregon, the only “brown” kid in school. My parents enrolled me in an American school, explaining that it was time for me to learn English – “a language that could open doors to better opportunities” and a new, better way of life. I learned quickly, pouring over ESL books until late at night: The Secret Garden and The Wind in the Willows opened up new worlds of captivating images and beautiful stories that I longed to be part of. Along with the new language, I adopted a different way of dressing, unique mannerisms, and contemporary tastes, including American pop culture. Whenever taxi drivers or waitresses asked where I was from, I told them I was American.
I asked my mom to stop packing Indian food for my lunch at home; the smell of curry I once enjoyed now embarrassed me. Instead, I wanted instant mashed potatoes and Kraft mac and cheese. Things improved after my family started traveling internationally, and I learned a lot about different cultures and ethnicities, becoming more comfortable in my skin. In high school, I sometimes researched my country, India, and my culture and would present in class. I learned that people appreciated the diversity and always asked me questions about India and life there. I moved to New York after getting married in 2015, basking in diversity and opportunity. Since moving to New York, my focus has gravitated towards helping the poor, vulnerable, marginalized, or disenfranchised members of my society, those who otherwise might not be able to represent or defend themselves.
I am the first girl in my extended family to earn not only a Master’s but even a Bachelor’s Degree. My deceased father dreamed of my earning a degree in Law. I began teaching children while still a child myself, mostly language arts, in our temple in India and continued to do so in our temple here in America through high school, preparing curriculums for all classes, facilitating meetings, workshops, and tutoring students. I have volunteered at FOOD for Lane County (FFLC), a private, nonprofit food bank with a mission of helping to reduce hunger by engaging our community in the creation of access to food: soliciting, collecting, growing, rescuing, preparing, and packaging food for distribution through our network of social service agencies and programs. I volunteered to serve as part of a team working to raise public awareness and education and encourage long-term community-based solutions to hunger. I have also volunteered at The Eugene Mission to provide emergency assistance and long-term solutions for homeless neighbors (men, women, and children) in search of stable employment and housing.
Diversity/inclusion and equal justice are close to my heart, primarily serving as an advocate for women and girls and working with LGBT issues. In my current position as an Equal Opportunity Manager with the Department of Education of the State of New York, I investigate cases of sexual harassment and discrimination as well as other forms of discrimination based not only on gender but also on sexual orientation, religion, race, color, age, disability, marital status, pregnancy and other forms of discrimination in the public school system of New York. I oversee 26 other investigators and assist them in bringing in and interviewing complainants, witnesses, and respondents (often with union representation). We determine whether the respondent will be terminated from the DOE or if there will be a series of training for the respondent and some other action taken. I also provide training through the Department of Education in sexual harassment/discrimination, EEO, and EEO Laws.
A big part of my interest in law school is my concern for people who have trouble navigating our legal systems for various reasons. Increasingly, I have become interested in Labor Law as this will help me excel at society's service, engage with public-sector issues, and promote diversity and inclusion – particularly in the workplace. I want to search for ways to help create and maintain harmonious employer-employee relations through studying collective bargaining and benefit disputes.
I look forward to giving my all to your program as an Indian-American woman who thinks of herself as a global citizen with an inclusive disposition.
Thank you for considering my application to the Flex Program at XXXX Law.