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LLM, London, UAE, Refugees, European

September 17, 2017

Each day shortly after rising I look at my face in the mirror and I allow my gaze to linger for a few moments of reflection. I see the face of a young, pensive, and quite determined European man. Perhaps the characteristic of my face that takes center stage in my young life at this point is a profound appreciation for all the things that money can buy. In fact, I have to confess that my keen desire for economic prosperity was the principal driving force behind my choice of Business and Law as the subjects of my formal education to date. Increasingly, however, as I mature, I see two faces in the same mirror, one young and one old. My older face is more concerned with justice and humanity and less with wealth and pleasure, finding its grace in the struggle to protect the poor and vulnerable; its expression in my passion to learn as much as I can about the political and economic foundations of what is generally referred to as “Europe’s refugee crisis.” With one face I want to redistribute wealth, especially in my favor. With the second face I want to be more humane and to protect those innocent people - especially families with children - fleeing war and a nearly certain annihilation across broad swaths of the globe from Africa to Afghanistan.

I hope to attend XXXX for Graduate School in Law for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, I want to earn my LLM in a fully English environment. What makes XXXX my first choice in England is the way that I see your Law Program as at the forefront or vanguard in the areas of forced migration and refugee law. I also appreciate the atmosphere of concern over the refugee crisis that one finds at King’s College London, with prayer vigils and marches, guest speakers, etc. Perhaps my deep and abiding sense of wanting to protect the rights of immigrants is ultimately grounded in the fact that I was born in Switzerland to a Spanish mother and an Italian father, both of them immigrants to Switzerland at the time. We settled in Spain when I was 14 and I graduated with honors in 2004 and enrolled in the local university to study towards the joint BBA/LLB. As a result of earning a scholarship, however, I was able to move up the Spanish food chain and transfer to the same program at the elite Pontifical University of Comillas in Madrid. I was also very fortunate, in 2010, to spend my penultimate semester in the US at the University of San Diego, where I completed the courses for my Finance minor.

Spending the summer of 2010 as an intern with the Banking Team at XXX in Spain, I decided to join them as a trainee after graduation in September of 2011. I did three different seats in Corporate, Capital Markets and Litigation, respectively, and was chosen for the corporate team. Three-and-a-half years later, I received an offer from the Abu Dhabi XXXX Council, one of the leading sovereign wealth funds of the AD government, which I decided to accept. Since December of 2014, I have been working for the in the UAE as a Junior Legal Counsel, advising investment teams, drafting letters, reviewing agreements, etc.

After completing your LLM Program, I plan to get a job with a law firm in London and practice in London or New York so as to gain further experience in new contexts that are central to my interests as an international corporate lawyer, finance, investment, chasing the money flow. XXXX has one of the best legal career fairs in the UK.

Where I live and work in the UAE I am first and foremost non-Arab, then Western, and only finally European. One of the foremost reasons why I am optimistic concerning my acceptance to a program as competitive as XXXX London is my now extensive exposure to the financial and political heart of the Arab world, sustained dialogue on a host of issues. I study them, a European student of the Arab world, mentality, and comfort zone with respect to trade and commerce. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) of which the UAE forms a prominent part has received a lot of criticism for not taking in more refugees. One of the downsides of living in the GCC is that there is no transparency and the press is obviously monitored - so it is difficult to get the full picture of what is happening. I am also deeply concerned with the crisis in Yemen, currently investing a lot of my free time raising funds for the UK-based NGO called Friends of XXXX, which promotes global philanthropic, educational, and medical links with this province, the poorest of seventeen provinces and one of the most underdeveloped regions of the world. As elsewhere, the poor bear the brunt of the violence. Recent events in Brussels and Paris have made clear the way in which the security of Europe is ultimately dependent on European efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.

 I want very much to be part of these efforts and I thank you for your consideration of my application.

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