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LLM International Law, Anti-Corruption, Cameroon

I am applying to your program in law because I firmly believe that graduating from XXXX University would provide me with the optimal preparation for a successful career in law that would enable me to establish a legacy of service to my people, in Cameroon. At am mature at 25 and have the highest possible level of energy for the rigors of law school.

 I still very much identify with my country of origin, Cameroon, where I spent the first ten years of my life, along with journeys I made back home. While I also hope to practice law in America at some point, my long-term goal is to do all that I can to contribute to the struggle to rein in corruption in Cameroon. I have a personal dislike for corruption in public affairs. I am also convinced that little progress will be made in Africa except to the extent to which corrosion could be better controlled, especially in Cameroon. My long-term goal is to work with the criminal justice system in this country, either independently or on behalf of a non-governmental organization.

 I traveled back to Cameroon for the first time in 15 years, shortly after graduating from Knox College, and experienced a type of reverse culture shock. I had been in the US for so long that I had largely forgotten the misery that defines the lives of poor Cameroonian families, including my own, when I was a child. As I stepped outside into the smoldering heat and went for a walk down the reddish dirt road, I pondered the trash-covered sidewalks and felt a significant despair for a country that I had loved so. This trip to Cameroon was the watershed moment in my adult development. After recovering from the initial shock, I began to feel an urgent sense of responsibility to use my own privileged status to serve the interests of those who suffer desperately in my country, helping families to have a better life through the creation and enforcement of progressive laws based on solid humanitarian principles.

  International law is, therefore, the field that is the best fit for my long-term goals of being able to make significant contributions to progressive change in Cameroon. This is in keeping with my identity as a world citizen and someone who celebrates diversity to the full degree. I like to think of myself as a cosmopolitan young woman, and I did study abroad in Besancon, France, for one year, receiving outstanding marks on my research with Terre des Hommes. In fact, I went back to France after graduation to work as a Language Assistant, a position secured through the French embassy in the US. I am proud of my accomplishments in the French language and hope to use this idiom as well in my professional future, mainly since this language is most useful across broad swaths of Africa.

 I want to devote my life to the implementation and enforcement of laws that help to protect the inalienable rights of the most vulnerable members of African societies. I had always been interested in developing countries, particularly their relations with international institutions. My curiosity concerning this area led me to become central in international relations and modern languages.  Unfortunately, my grade point average suffered due to my intense participation in extra-curricular activities ranging from Habitat for Humanity to Knox Ambassadors, and holding down a part-time job. I was still young and had not yet returned to Africa to face my destiny. Thus, I do not think that my undergraduate GPA is an accurate reflection of my potential to excel in law, now that I am fully dedicated to my professional advancement. My volunteer work as an undergraduate has also helped prepare me for advanced study.

 In my second year of college, I became one of the founders of the XXXX Development organization. XXXX is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help young Cameroonians through the development of local educational initiatives; to inspire and empower the creation of sustainable livelihoods in the rural southwest province of Cameroon.  As the Public Relations officer for XXXX, I was responsible for developing and implementing strategic public relations programs aimed at increasing public awareness of XXXX’s role and obtaining financial support. I successfully raised 5,000 dollars directed to the environmental development fund for the Southwest region of Cameroon.

 After completing your program, I would relish the opportunity to work closely with a legal department that would allow me to learn a great deal about implementing laws with a direct impact on social, developmental, and environmental problems. I have seen laws in action in the United States and the positive effects of those laws on US citizens; I am intrigued by the intricacies and subtleties of these mechanisms and daydream in my heart about how something similar, even more modest, might be possible for Cameroonians.

 I hope to continue to advance XXXX as a development organization that promotes good governance and transparency.  I know that profound, progressive change will probably take decades. But I believe that if grassroots organizations work together, network, and cultivate a patient determination, we may find ourselves in an African Spring of regeneration through legal accountability.

 I thank you for consideration of my application.

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