I am from a small village on the East Coast called Easington, so living in Leeds was a big (though very welcome) change for me. With Hull as my nearest city, I could appreciate the difference of city living but was unable to realise just how more suited I am to city living, until I had actually made the move. I studied Law, Psychology and English Language A-levels at Wilberforce College.
Why I Chose Law with Australian Legal Studies at Leeds
I wished to apply for Law as I really enjoyed it at A-level and wanted to focus solely on this at degree level. I was particularly interested in learning about other areas of law which I had not yet touched upon and Leeds offered a vast range of modules which appealed to my personal preferences. Furthermore, I chose Leeds as it is a prestigious University, in a great city and has fantastic study abroad opportunities. Before coming to university, I knew that I wanted to try and study abroad for a year and so this was a highly influential factor in coming to Leeds.
My Passion for Law
I am passionate about studying law because it plays such an important part in everyday life. It forms the foundations of society and is constantly changing and adapting, meaning that it remains detailed and interesting. I wished to pursue a career where there was always room for personal development/progression and I feel that I can achieve this with a law degree.
I really enjoy studying Law at Leeds. It has improved my academic ability by introducing me to new academic strategies in terms of research and essay writing, whilst allowing me to participate in a vibrant academic and social community. The skills that I have gained have improved my current position by enhancing my future career prospects, and granting me the amazing opportunity to study in Australia.
University Facilities and School Support
The facilities are all-encompassing at Leeds. The libraries have all essential materials and are varied to suit most learning styles. The University Union is fantastic at catering for the needs of students, especially in terms of clubs and societies.
Student support is extremely forthcoming, especially in the law school. There is never any reason to feel worried or anxious with either academic or personal problems, as there is always someone at hand to help. Be it the careers adviser, a lecturer, someone behind reception or even just another student, individuals in the law school are always more than willing to help.
Outside of Studying
As a part of the law society, I have participated in debating and negotiating, which were both enjoyable and useful in improving my personal skills. Furthermore, Lawsoc also organise many great social events and evenings which are great to be a part of, in order to spend time with friends or to meet new people.
I have also been involved in the Legal Advice Clinic, which is great at getting hands-on experience working with solicitors, as it involves working with real clients and carrying out actual research, in order to aid in the giving of legal advice. I also joined the Freestyle dance society which I really enjoyed, as it gave me the opportunity to enjoy myself and have a break from studying.
Leeds as a city
Leeds is an amazing city and has everything a student could possibly want. The nightlife is great, there are numerous fantastic restaurants and there are great job prospects (for those who never want to leave Leeds!)
My advice to prospective students
I would strongly recommend applying for my course – especially with the international element which I feel is going to seriously improve my employment prospects. Whilst gaining a degree in law is not always going to be an easy ride, I found the transition from college to university to be much easier thanks to the support of the law school. In general, reading law at degree level really allows you to put into practice the extensive range of skills you probably didn’t even know you possess!
My year abroad and work experience
I spent my third year at ANU in Canberra, Australia. I met new friends from all over the world and feel so privileged to have had this opportunity. Not only did I learn the laws in another continent, but I also had the chance to travel during my breaks.
After returning from my year in Australia I completed an internship at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors in Leeds, having been awarded a Pamela Walsh Peaker Memorial Scholarship. The internship was incredibly beneficial, in that it allowed me to gain hands-on experience of legal practice. Not only did I get to participate in day-to-day activities within the firm, I also had the opportunity to attend court, client meetings and even partake in professional development training. I feel my legal skills improved within the two months, by allowing me to apply my legal knowledge to real-life scenarios.
These extra dimensions to my degree are invaluable, both to my own personal development and future career prospects. I can now assert myself with greater confidence; have an improved knowledge of legal practice and a lot to discuss in interviews.