I moved to Leeds from Manchester in 2009 to begin my degree in Psychology at the University of Leeds. Upon finishing my degree I stayed in the city and worked for a year managing a city-centre bar before beginning the LLB Law (graduate programme) here at Leeds.
Why I Chose the LLB Law (graduate programme) at Leeds.
The two-year LLB programme is a fantastic alternative to the GDL (law conversion course). I choose to study this option at Leeds rather than the GDL for a number of reasons. The two-year programme allows you to select a number of optional modules in addition to core modules many of which aren’t studied on the GDL. This allows you to focus on the areas of law that most interest you and gain knowledge of them before you go into practice. The programme also allows you more time to gain valuable work experience. Prior to starting university, I had undertaken one work experience placement in a law firm but have been able to gain more experience during my Christmas and summer vacations. Work experience placements really help you to decide which area of law you would like to specialise in. I chose to return to the University of Leeds for a second time as my experience during my first degree had been so positive that coming back seemed like the natural choice.
My Passion for Law
The law regulates everything that we do so studying it means that you are a lot more knowledgeable about a wide range of matters. As the law is constantly evolving, studying the subject ensures that you keep on top of current affairs and after just a short period of studying law, the news seems to make a lot more sense. Studying law at degree level quickly makes you realise that a subject that should be very black and white is in fact riddled with ambiguities and uncertainties. You are encouraged to study law with an open and critical mind set.
The two-year LLB programme is demanding but extremely rewarding if you are willing to put the time and effort into your studies. Seminars are great for cementing what you have learnt and making you think about the topics from another perspective. The lecturers are always up to date with legal amendments and their lectures are adapted accordingly. Modules generally run for an entire year so you really get to study the subjects in-depth. The first year consists entirely of core modules but in your second year you are able to select almost half of your modules. There is also the opportunity to select electives in faculties outside of the law school.
Learning Facilities and School Support
The law school is based in the Liberty Building. This is a modern building where students can go for careers advice; pick up free copies of legal publications or to work in the common area. The contemporary feel of the Liberty Building stands in stark contrast to the traditional law library housed in the grade II listed Parkinson Building. There are numerous other libraries and study areas across campus and 2015 will see the unveiling of the new Laidlaw Library. I have found the support from the staff in the law school outstanding. Lecturers are always willing to answer any queries that I may have. Prior to my recent exams I set up meetings with a number of my tutors to go through some of my last-minute questions, which really helped improve my confidence going into the exams. In addition to this, tutors operate a system of support hours where students are able to go and visit them outside of lecture and seminar time.
Outside of Studying
The Law Society within the Law School has a wide range of extra-curricular activities to cater for everyone. The university have their own sports teams but students also have the option to play for the law school. Last year I participated in the law school negotiating competition which was great fun and culminates in a final judged by a law firm. I also participated in a Street Law project which involved attending local schools and presenting to the children and young adults about the different areas of the law. There really are a lot of opportunities within the law school and I would encourage anyone to get involved.
Life in Leeds
I love Leeds. In the five years that I have lived here the city has really developed and is developing still. The city is big enough to house everything that you need but small enough to be able to walk from one side to the other without a lot of effort. The campus is within walking distance of the city centre so you can easily walk into town between lectures. What’s more is that Leeds is a thriving legal hub with around 200 law firms with offices in the centre and Leeds Combined Court is a great place to view court cases.
My Advice to Prospective Students
I am 100% confident that I made the correct choice by deciding to study the 2-year LLB graduate programme rather than studying for the GDL. It allows a more in-depth study of the law and gives you time to work out what area of law you would like to pursue as a career. Of course, you may not wish to go into the legal profession at all, in which case the LLB provides you with a well-respected degree from which you will have gained many valuable transferable skills.
I hope to pursue a career in commercial law. I have recently undertaken a work experience placement in a commercial firm and really enjoyed my time there. I am currently applying for training contracts. The law school and the university careers services have really helped guide me through the application process.