I grew up in Birmingham although I now consider Leeds my home. I have always been passionate about volunteering and the University of Leeds has offered me many opportunities to carry on with this. With the rest of my spare time I love watching films.
Why I Chose Law at Leeds
I decided that Law was the subject for me for a number of reasons. I strive on variety and a subject that was completely new to me offered me a challenge. It is also a subject that covers many different areas and really allows you to choose from a large choice of module options. There is great variety between topics that focus on learning about statute and case law with modules that have a stronger focus on morals. Law is a very intellectually stimulating programme that has allowed me to learn a lot more about my rights and duties and where I stand in society. It is a subject that could allow me to go into a legal profession but would still be a respected degree for many other career paths.
When deciding where to study I went straight to the league tables and found universities that were respected for law and also ranked highly in overall satisfaction. The University of Leeds ranked highly on both tables and to me was a city that was a good distance from home and offered a lot. Coming from a big city I knew I wished to go to another big city. I came to an open day and was lucky enough to get that gut feeling that this was the university I wanted to come to. Even without the gut feeling I would have been persuaded by the city, the university and the great Law School. There are a large number of Pro Bono opportunities and ways to get involved, the staff are friendly and very helpful and there are a lot of different options for support if you may need it. Having been here now for two years I have also found the teaching to be of a very high standard.
My passion for Law
I was initially interested in the law as it seemed to be so essential to society but was something that to me, outside the criminal side, went more unnoticed. This intrigued me as I am always seeking to find out new things. I wanted to learn more about the applications of law and how it worked. I have never lost interest and I always endeavour to enhance my knowledge. I have found it so useful and am confident that it will help me in life whether I choose to go into the legal profession or not. The law has been generally quite comprehensible at the basic level but there is so much depth underneath as it is ever evolving- especially with the growth in technology- there is always more to learn about if you want to.
I have enjoyed seminars most as it allows for discussion and the opportunity to discover alternative viewpoints and other ways of looking at things. It is always interesting to discuss hypothetical cases raised in seminars as you get to try and apply what you have learnt to real life. They are also great for getting your head around aspects of modules that may have been more complex. I especially enjoyed my Intellectual Property optional module last year.
Facilites and school support
We have two huge libraries with a very large and well-stocked law section and another is currently under construction, due for completion in 2015. There are computer clusters spread across the campus with printing facilities including in the School of Law common room. The Law School which offers a variety of great spaces to work or socialise with course mates. There is also a purpose built Moot Court room.
The support aspect is also very well polished. There is academic support from staff members as well as support from personal tutors, personal mentors and specialised support staff. The School of Law is very active in providing careers advice offering a number of opportunities, including the annual Law careers event which is only open to University of Leeds students. The University's careers centre is also a great resource and they often hold their own events. They also provide application and CV advice as well as promoting networking opportunties.
Outside of studying
The University has one of the largest student union's and host over 250 clubs and societies. This includes The Student Law Society which offers negotiating, debating and mooting competitions as well as social activities. On top of this the School of Law has many of its own opportunities. There is a Legal Advice Clinic that allows you to provide free legal advice. I myself have taken part in Streetlaw, Peer Mentoring, the Pathways to Law programme and also volunteer at a primary school every week to read with the children.
On top of this the University of Leeds offer great Study Abroad opportunities and links with international schools across the globe. I went to South Korea to attend a six week summer school at Korea University. As I went through the University I had my tuition fees waivered. It was an amazing experience and was a great opportunity.
Life in Leeds
I love Leeds! I came from a big city which was very diverse and had a lot of opportunities and facilities. I knew I didn’t want to be in London or stay at home and going to a smaller city was a real concern for me. Leeds did not let me down. It is big and very accessible with a lot of opportunities. The train links are great and as the UK’s second biggest business city it is a great place to be to think about jobs after university too. There are a lot of shops, both in the new Trinity shopping centre and in the famous arcades. You benefit from positive aspects of having a campus university close to the city and a variety of reasonably priced student housing and accommodation.
My advice to prospective students
Look at what course you want to do and what universities excel at teaching that course. Go to open days and ask questions that really matter to you. (It can be helpful to prepare them before you go.) But do remember to think of what else you are looking for out of university other than the academia side. It might be how close you are to home, sporting opportunities or the chance to volunteer or study abroad. These can be just as important to making sure you have a fulfilling and enjoyable time at university. It goes quickly and you want to be able to make the best of it. Good luck!
I have a training contract with a commercial law firm in Leeds. Next year I will take my LPC in Leeds and then my training contract will commence in September 2016.