Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I am a Christian, a proud citizen of the Republic of Ghana, and a Pan-Africanist. I attended SOS Herman Gmiener International College in Ghana and completed a Political and Social Thought degree at the University of Virginia before coming to Leeds in 2014. A little “fun fact” my father, Dr. Charles Sagoe-Moses graduated from the Masters in Public Health program at Leeds about 20 years ago.
I believe life is meaningless if it's not spent serving others, so I try to be of assistance to my fellow students however I can and as often as I can. When I’m not laughing out loud (I actually do this) at the deadpan jokes of my law lecturers, you’ll find me promoting commercial law networking opportunities through Aspiring Solicitors to other students, or singing with my Church (C.I.C.C)’s Choir
What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you chose Leeds?
I was drawn to the study of law because I believe legal systems can help ensure fairness for vulnerable individuals and society at large. I chose the 2 year LLB program because I enjoy thinking about the broader “policy issues” that inform various laws – I would’ve been bored by the much more utilitarian GDL. I chose Leeds because it is a highly regarded Russell Group University, and since it did a good job of educating my father, I could trust it’ll do a good job with me also.
What do you think of your course? Have there been any particular highlights for you?
I’ve found all my modules so far very intellectually stimulating and practically useful. The introductory Foundations of Law module was very well taught and provided me with the key skills I’ve needed to succeed throughout my career as law student. As a politics junkie I was also naturally drawn to Constitutional Law during my first year. I’m currently enjoying my final year modules though they’re naturally tougher than 1st year modules.
The School of Law’s Centre for Law and Social Justice and Centre for Business Law and Practice also organise very interesting guest lectures. I recently attended a lecture on corporate governance in Chinese listed companies.
How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?
Both the academic and non-academic staff within the School of law have been very supportive throughout my time here. I’m particularly grateful for the excellent employability resources and the School makes available to us. Through the School of Law’s 1st year employability lectures organised by Dr. Paul Wragg I connected with Clifford Chance’s graduate recruitment team and was invited to a Training Contract Assessment Day ( interview) with them. Academically my personal tutor Dr. Peter Whelan as well as academics like Nick Taylor, Chloe Wallace, Lydia Bleasdale-Hill and Mihael Danov have all provided useful feedback whenever I have sought it. The School of Law’s instructors are all very approachable and offer thoughtful, specific and clear guidance and support.
How would you describe the facilities at the University?
Leeds has very good libraries and recreational facilities. All the libraries are very well stocked and have comfortable study spaces. I use Liberty Building’s Taught Post Graduate Common Room when I want a quiet place to study.
Have you been involved in extra-curricular activities, such as societies, summer placements etc? How have these enhanced your experience at the university?
I took part in the Law Society’s negotiating competition during my first year. I also captained a team of Leeds 1st year students ( Arjun Patel, Nadine Wilson, Rikhav Shah and Curran Folkers) to the National Final of Aspiring Solicitors’ Commercial Awareness Competition. Both competitions helped me sharpen my public speaking skills and my ability to think on my feet – which served me well during training contract assessment days. The School was very supportive when my team reached the finals of the commercial awareness competition. Our transportation to London and back was paid for and we were profiled in an edition of the Liberty Brief. In addition to my vacation scheme placements with Norton Rose Fulbright and Clyde&Co I also had the opportunity to spend two weeks at M&S’s HQ in London through a placement designed exclusively for Leeds University law students. That was my favourite placement. The open plan office and small legal team allowed me to do more substantial work and develop deeper relationships than at my other placements. I highly recommend the M&S placement to all law students.
During the school year I’ve been one of 6 Campus Ambassador of Aspiring Solicitors. In that role I help to spread the word about the amazing open days and other commercial law related opportunities which students can access through the organisation. I also volunteer with www.odekro.org / www.blog.odekro.org , a Parliamentary Monitoring Organisation in Ghana. I’ve led the production of Odekro’s reports which evaluate the performance of Ghanaian MPs. We currently have a case in Ghana’s Human Rights Court seeking to vacate the seats of almost half of Ghana’s MPs for breaching the constitution by repeatedly absenting themselves. Though Odekro’s work is not grounded in English constitutional law, I have certainly applied broad constitutional law concepts such as Separation of Powers in my work with them. Its exciting to be able to see the law in action while still a student.