Two years ago I filed an EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) suit in response to repeated episodes of apparent racial discrimination. Although the outcome was not entirely satisfactory- the offending party resigned before the case could be processed-my involvement in this action proved to be a pivotal event in my life. As an industrial hygienist with a branch of the military, I was already involved on a regular basis with the resolution of environmental problems on an advisory basis. The EEO suit heightened my awareness of the law and the extent to which legal training could enhance my effectiveness in the ongoing battle against environmental dangers. Environmental concerns have long been one of my principal passions. This is what prompted me to secure a master’s degree in public health, and this is why I have worked for nearly five years in a branch of occupational health. There it is my responsibility to recognize, evaluate, and control environmental hazards in this community of 5,000 to 8,500 employees. I interact on a daily basis with everyone from physicians, admirals, and other officers to engineers, blue-collar workers, and enlisted men. I have to keep up-to-date on a wide array of complex codes and regulations that are in a constant state of flux. My background in science, decision-making skills, judgment, ability to interpret data, and capacity for communicating with others-all of these assets are brought into play as I perform my job.
I realize that a 29-year-old woman with a background in public health perhaps does not fit the profile of the usual law school applicant. However, I have every reason to believe that I am a strong candidate for your first-year class. My 3.93 GPA in my MPH program is a clear indicator of my ability to succeed on the graduate level. Further, my success in my work has demonstrated my resourcefulness, determination, energy, and ability to manage stress and do extensive research. My interest in law is a very logical outgrowth of my commitment to the environment. Up to now I have worked to protect the health and safety of workers solely through recommendations made on an advisory basis. As an attorney I will be able to accomplish much more, to have a greater impact across the board. Very few attorneys have my background (degrees in biology, chemistry, and public health, as well as significant hands-on experience), so I will be in a unique position to do truly meaningful work and make an important contribution.