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Successful Statements of Excellence in Immigration Law and Closely Related Areas

Sample 1st Paragraph for Graduate Certificate in Immigration Law, Australia, Africa

I hope to earn the Graduate Certificate in Immigration Law at the University of XXXX so as to go on to distinguish myself professionally in the future, as a practicing immigration law professional in Canada. Having fled my native Rwanda at 15, and living as a refugee for several years, first in Kenya and then Uganda, I feel that I have an ideal background for the practice of immigration law in Canada on behalf of asylum seekers, refugees, and other immigrants, especially from Africa.

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Harsh Alabama Immigration Laws

Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications | Matthew Jeffery, Toronto Immigration Lawyer

Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications

The Humanitarian Side of Immigration Law

Or you might be defending and helping a certain group, such as Latinos. With the way things are going in the USA right now, this is one area that could benefit from more compassionate lawyers. But what makes immigration law so humanitarian, and such a satisfying field to explore? According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, among professionals in the United States lawyers rank fourth in suicides, and are also nearly four times more likely to suffer from depression than non-lawyers.

Clearly, practicing law is never a 9-to-5 job: being a lawyer is a high-stress, plummeting-prestige profession! The work is demanding. No one would suggest immigration lawyers are immune to the effects of such stress. But among the countless lawyers in dozens of different specialties, the immigration lawyers may be the happiest. Why?

The stress in most lawyers’ lives may be caused primarily by a few key factors. Firstly, the American legal system is deliberately adversarial. This adversarial system of law is meant to be fairer than the inquisitorial approach used in many civil law countries by allowing each side in a dispute to zealously defend its position before an impartial arbiter (judge, jury) decided on the verdict. But the pressures of such a system can take a toll on the advocates who work within it. In fact, lawyers have been compared to soldiers, in this regard! Both lead physically tough lifestyles: long hours, separation from family life. Both are sent to fight other people’s conflicts, no questions asked.

The qualities that can make for a good lawyer include intelligence, diligence, and perfectionism, competitiveness, being hard-working and achievement-oriented. But these attributes can also create isolation, panic and anxiety, which often lead to depression. Secondly, contrary to how the life of a lawyer is depicted on TV and in the movies, much of what lawyers actually do on a day-to-day basis can be mind-numbingly boring. Document reviews, drafting boilerplate contracts, performing endless legal research, completing innumerable government forms, preparing for trial or finishing a brief late into too many nights. That´s some intense stuff.

So why is it different for immigration lawyers? Notwithstanding the innovative use of technology to simplify and automate many of the more mundane aspects of law practice, including gathering information, tracking deadlines and completing forms immigration practice fundamentally revolves around people. Whether you’re helping a Fortune 500 company manage its global mobility program, defending an individual against removal (deportation) in Immigration Court, or helping a U.S. citizen’s foreign spouse apply for permanent residence, when you´re an immigration lawyer, you are ultimately assisting people through a major personal transition that will profoundly transform their lives and the lives of their families.

While the CDC has not provided statistics about the mental health of immigration lawyers in particular, it is clear that immigration lawyers are in a “helping profession.” This ability to help others, without a true adversary such as a litigation opponent staying up all night devising ways to destroy opposing counsel distinguishes immigration lawyers from the suicide-prone attorneys. As immigration lawyers, you have expertise in a complicated area of law that you apply in the service of clients. For those in the private sector, you have skills that are also uniquely valuable to an underserved population of indigent immigrants for whom there is a severe shortage of qualified non-profit and pro bono legal counsel. Lawyers who do not specialize in immigration law also have skills that are easily transferable to representing immigrants facing deportation or applying for asylum or seeking various types of lawful immigration status. 

So, why not taste what brought many of us into law in the first place, and take on a pro bono immigration case? Whether you are already an immigration lawyer, or a lawyer in another specialty looking for meaning amid the stress and frustrations of law practice, we promise you that, in addition to helping a person in need and fulfilling the highest ethical calling of the legal profession, the experience will leave you feeling fulfilled. Please let us know if you´d like some help with any application personal statement of purpose or CV you need in the process of chasing your dreams, and your happiness.