Law Personal Statement (Lee Zhi Lyn)

Lee Zhi Lyn is currently studying Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and is graduating in 2025. This personal statement was part of her successful application to London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Warwick and University of Birmingham for Law.

Voicing out my concerns about my country is incredibly important to me, anyone who follows Malaysian politics will be immediately aware of how important the law is when protecting, or persecuting, individual citizens. For example, the infamous Sedition Act 1948, created to prevent communist uprisings against British Malaya, is now used with the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, to silence those who speak out with “seditious tendency” against the government. It has been used against opposition politicians, and is now silencing students and journalists. Members of UNDI18 (a youth movement seeking a constitutional amendment in Malaysia) and MISI:Solidariti (a youth collective that empowers Malaysians through the value of direct action) are being investigated and detained under these laws, for trying to bring justice reform to our legal system. This overlap between the political and legal aspects of how laws are manipulated to benefit the ruling government is crucial to enact democratic change in Malaysia, inspiring me to read Law.

My interest was further piqued by ‘Is Eating People Wrong?’ by Allan C. Hutchinson and ‘Eve Was Framed’ by Helena Kennedy. Hutchinson made me realise that the common law isn’t fixed, it is subject to change even if it is based on precedents, as it stays relevant in today’s ever-changing society. Like the Sedition Act 1948: once a necessity during a time of emergency, but is now used for political agendas to suppress freedom of speech. Kennedy interested me in the way she explores the law towards women, especially given the case where Malaysian women fought for their right to automatically confer citizenship onto their children born abroad, to be on an equal basis with Malaysian men. Reading law in the UK would give me a much better perception of Malaysian law, given its similar foundations.

Recently, I took part in a Criminal Law tutorial given by the Cambridge University Malaysia Society, covering actus reus and how certain requirements are needed to find a party liable. I was intrigued by how similar cases have different outcomes depending on individual factors; and how important these factors, such as causation, can be. A particular example was a child drowning and the parents being liable for the death but their friend not being, because he didn’t have a familial duty to act, even though he told them to let the child drown. I realised that a party may not be liable even if I thought otherwise. This allowed me to temper my moral views with greater legal detachment and clarity.

I enjoyed my practical experience of law, shadowing an established property lawyer and assisting in analysing, proofreading and preparing legal documents. My exposure to the legal sector showed the importance of organisational detail when it comes to reading documents and contracts. The Oxbridge Society Malaysia Moot 2020 was an eye-opening experience requiring me to research from the perspective of claimant and respondent. Learning the importance of using legal definitions and precedent to formulate a comprehensive and compelling legal argument, we used lex loci to justify our stance for who had the rightful ownership to a historical artefact. I came out invigorated, having enjoyed the team work, with a fresh outlook of what it may be like to read Law.

Being a human resources manager for Educate to Elevate and a tutor for Rakan Tutor, aiming to alleviate educational inequality, improved my organisational and analytical skills. I have also empowered others via Zenerations Malaysia as an editor, advocating on current affairs whilst acting at my own initiative to problem solve and research to find suitable solutions.

Reading Law will allow me to understand the intricacies of English law upon which the Malaysian legal system is based, recognising how and why our laws should be reformed.

DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.


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