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JD Environmental Law, Canada

I will never forget Christmas when I was 9 years old, seeing the gifts wrapped in garbage bags. One after the other my mother handed out our gifts until we each had a few. Before we knew it, there was coloured paper and tape everywhere. Woah! I had just received a Sony Walkman cassette player for Christmas. I cherished that Walkman for years and for that brief moment in my childhood, I was truly happy.

It was not until much later in life that I realized those gifts we received that day were from the Salvation Army and that my mother did her best to shelter us from our true poverty. This is one of the factors that led me to a life of public service, wanting to give something back to those who gave to me when I needed it the most. Now, as a 35 year-old married father and full-time professional, I enjoy the profound privilege of working for the Province of XXXX and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. When I began, I was the youngest Investigator in the Province and the only one of Indian descent. My colleagues and I are responsible for enforcing the Environmental Protection Act, the XXXX Water Resources Act and various other pieces of environmental legislation with a view to protecting the public interest. I am honoured to say that I have now spent nearly 10 years enforcing environmental laws at both Provincial and Federal levels representing both Environment Canada and the XXXX Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change as an Investigator.

My work in environmental law enforcement over the past decade has provided me with a front row seat concerning the environmental and related legal challenges that we face in Canada, as Canadians and as stewards of a vast but critical component of our country. In addition to acquiring knowledge in the core competencies of note taking, evidence collection and the rules of evidence, I have come to appreciate, in particular, the importance of cultivating empathy and the building of rapport when dealing with witnesses and suspects alike, both vital to success in the enforcement of the law.


XXXX Hall is my first choice among law schools simply because I see the program as the preeminent leader of public interest law: with world renowned faculty including local, practicing lawyers and judges. XXXX is exactly what I am seeking so as to attain the optimal platform for career advancement as a public defender of Canada’s natural environment. The richness of your course offerings, especially in the area of environmental law from an international perspective, along with resource management, makes me feel most eager to begin. I am committed to protecting the environment for the citizens of this province and it is for this reason that I am applying for admission to your program.

 

Furthermore, XXXX University is an ideal location since it is not far from my home; thus, I will have the full support of my family and be able to attend to my obligations in this regard. XXXX’s generous extended time program option is ideal for a working individual, completing the JD over the course of six years with special permission. This option has me especially excited because with this extended period, I have no doubt in my mind that I can continue to grow and increase my professional contribution as an Investigator of environmental violations for the Province of Ontario at the same time that I earn the JD. I see a nice synchronicity between my service and my studies, my studies reinforcing my capacity for excellence on the job and my work helping me to excel as a student, making timely, current, and incisive contributions to discussions of issues in environmental and public interest law at XXXX Hall.

XXXX is also my first choice for Law School because I see it as the finest in the country in terms of promoting progressive, public interest law, particularly with respect to the environment. A JD from XXXX will provide me with an excellent education, an unparalleled degree, and all the tools and resources needed to distinguish myself as a public defender. I want to devote my professional life to being the most powerful Eco-champion possible. Earning a JD with a focus on environmental law will allow me to transition from Investigator to Prosecutor while continuing to build on my extensive experience enforcing Canadian environmental laws, putting to good use the knowledge base that I have acquired in this area. In this way I will be able to realize my full potential.

Looking back, I am amazed that I have come so far. I was raised in an immigrant home in one of the most difficult areas of Toronto. I had no nuclear family. I did not have access to a trust fund, scholarships and certainly no savings. That was the reality of coming from a household where alcohol abuse and domestic violence were the norm, not the exception. This helps to account for why I did not begin to break out academically until high school. In 2001, after having successfully graduated community college, it was satisfying to know that my hard work had paid off and that I had been accepted to the XXXX at Mississauga.

To support myself in college I worked evenings, weekends and full-time during my summers at a Weston Bakeries’ Distribution Centre I affectionately called ‘the Freezer’. Tedious and bitterly cold, I was satisfied with knowing that I was supporting myself and helping my mother. My cumulative GPA suffered as a result but I feel strongly that my GPA from a decade ago is not an accurate reflection of either my capacity to excel in law school nor my work ethic. Most of all, what will inspire and enable me to distinguish myself at York University is the decade of public interest experience that I now have under my belt protecting our natural environment. This will empower me to hit the ground running and will allow me to prove myself through passion, heart, and hard work.

I have learned a great deal since I finished my undergraduate studies at the XXXX a decade ago. Now I am ready to complete my dream and earn a JD so that I too may reach out for public service at the highest levels, bolstered by the finest qualification available.

My story is not one of privilege or prestige. It is, however, a story about determination and the will to succeed. It is these character traits that I have carried with me and it is these traits which will serve me well going forward.

I thank you for considering my application to XXXX University.

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