1st Quarter, 2007
Law School Scholarship Winner
A Portion of Luminitia’s Winning Essay:
Growing up during communism in Romania, I learned early in life how to become a “survivor”. My determination to challenge authority was born at an early age when my family teachings conflicted with the brainwashing communist ideology. Learning to outgrow my own uninformed beliefs was a crucial part of my education, and witnessing the harsh impact that dictatorships had on people’s lives, I developed an appreciation for the value of justice and freedom.
Enrolled in college I experienced a different world opening up to me, and I was excited by the new encouraging environment. As I excelled academically, I realized that if I tried hard I could succeed; if I wanted something badly enough, I possessed the ability to take advantage of any incoming opportunity.
After graduating from law school in Romania, the corruption in the transitional period from the decline of communism to the new democracy and the slow changes in the legal system increased my disillusionment with authorities and convinced me to get a job in the media. Later, it gradually occur to me that while humans had let me down, their ideals never had, and if politicians, lawyers, preachers had failed me, truth, justice and God had not.
I resumed considering that these ideals were worth fighting for, and so were representative democracy, rule of law, and limited government intervention in individual private life. Then, too, thinking about challenging my career, I realized that all my interests (government, science, economics, literature, philosophy) had their nexus in law and I decided to further my legal education.
Recently, my internship experience with the Legal Division from Indiana Department of Insurance and my interaction during the Fall Break with participants at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy made certain my ideal to pursue a legal career. While the LL.M program has given me a firm grounding in the American legal system, as a foreign graduate I am seeking now to build on that base, widen my legal background, expand my understanding and develop it further.
The growth and self-discovery that has occurred to me during my learning experience at Indiana University School of Law Indianapolis, has been the impetus bringing me to seek also a J. D. degree. From my experience I have learned that it really is possible to accomplish almost anything with determination, focus and optimism. I learned that I had to put aside any fears of rejection or failure in order to realize my dreams, otherwise life would be just settling for disappointment.
I believe that my successes were partly based on my ability to take calculated risks, to learn from failure what I needed to do to better reach my goals and to try again. I have dreams that I refuse to relinquish. While confidence and fearlessness enabled me to succeed in short term goals, my long term goal is to be a socially and culturally aware attorney. I am certain that I can now draw upon my experiences and turn them into a positive force that will help me to succeed.
I credit my family for helping me develop the will to succeed by nurturing my desire of independence and exposing me to their life’s struggles to overcome one adversity after another. I also take pride in my ability to bounce back from failure and fulfill my goals.
In addition, my international background together with my cultural experience, and language skills would assure me to contribute to the diversity of the student body at this institution of learning and to add to the diversity of the legal community. I vow to use the lessons of my own experience to support the aspirations of people who have lived or still live under an oppressive regime that rob them of their dignity. My nomadic life and embracing different social roles in various cultures has helped me develop an awareness and sensitivity to different kinds of people.
In my first year living abroad, I felt like an explorer for whom the smallest acts of daily living were adventures. A car accident after my first week in USA forced changes in my plans. Later, I needed to transform my victim mentality into a positive force. Back then, I decided to build a future that not only improved the life for myself and my family, but has a positive effect on the lives of marginalized people.
My USA journey, without a doubt, has influenced my decision about my future academic and professional goals, and reinforced my belief that I wanted to promote justice and fairness. It also triggered for me the enjoyment of the international environment. While living in an immigrant community in Chicago, I witnessed firsthand the interactions and relationships among a diversity of immigrants.
My time in the United States has been an invaluable experience. Learning about another culture, meeting people, expanding one’s worldview are priceless. In the global village we live in it is quintessential to see the geographical borders as virtual lines, to cross these lines not only as tourists, but as scholars, and policy-makers. As the decision-making and legal changes will require culturally sensitive, globally educated, and tireless, diligent and ethical thinkers, I believe that my background and experience are a great potential for leadership in this profession.
For someone who has had to learn the language of a new nation, I have deep respect for education, and the necessity of hard work and perseverance. As a citizen of the world in this era of globalization, I find myself ready to dedicate my future to protecting the rule of law, to advocating justice for the underserved, and to getting involved in policy-making decisions.
One of my greatest assets is my acceptance of others. Helping to tear down prejudicial barriers between nations, races and people is truly rewarding. My multicultural background (descending from a Jewish woman that united her destiny with an Orthodox priest to save herself from persecution), gave me an opportunity to understand what brings diverse people together and an insight into dealing with different traditions, political and religious beliefs.
In addition, I am a hard worker, a good organizer, an enthusiastic speaker, and an avid student. I also have the skills, the motivations, and the determinations to fulfill the requirement for a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. I see myself as a dedicated, serious and passionate student and leader, and I am certain that I possess the drive and self-discipline to successfully complete the J.D. program and to pursue a legal career.
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