Personal Statement | New York University Law School Law-school Application Essay

My Oxford-educated great-grandfather served as a high court judge in the British Indian Civil Service during the early 1900s. Administering justice with an iron fist, he earned the nickname “The Hanging Judge” and firmly believed this practice to be in the best interest of the indigenous population. Twenty years later, he returned to London to teach law and shape young minds to conduct judicial affairs in British India in a similar manner. Like a cautionary tale, his harsh approach to justice teaches me the importance of administering the law as a fair system serving the community and not as a means for one group to bring another to heel. This is especially relevant as I work to become a federal judge.

The story of my great-grandfather is an unusual inheritance for an American born in New England, where our war against the British Empire began, and then raised in New Jersey. My paternal family members each hailed from a different country: my father was born in England, my uncle in Scotland, my grandfather in Poland, and my grandmother in India. From the moment I first visited my grandparents at 10 months old, my experiences and identity have been split between America and the U.K.

Sometimes this dual-identity expresses itself…

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