Zaira Sohail Saif
I am from Jammu & Kashmir and I have been brought up in the Emirates (Fujairah). I did all my schooling in Our Own English High School, Fujairah and graduated in 2011. Besides English, I can speak Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi and I am currently brushing up my Arabic.
Why I chose to study Law at Leeds
Leeds was my only choice. Besides being a Russell Group University and the international appeal of the University, my father and cousins have studied here and I could see how they have benefitted from having a degree from Leeds. Having been a commerce student at school, I knew I wanted to do something related to Commercial Law; studying law as my undergraduate degree gives me the opportunity pursue both a legal or non-legal career path.
The course so far has been a huge learning curve. I came to Leeds knowing almost nothing about the Law and now I am writing a dissertation on Cyber law! I believe each year has been a great experience in itself and I am looking forward to graduating as a confident and well equipped individual, having the confidence to pursue the career of my choice.
Although Law is not an easy subject, it has a broad scope and having a law degree is very rewarding. It is interesting to see how developments in law can affect society; be you a lawyer, an accountant, a doctor, a pilot or a small family business. Furthermore, the regular seminars at Leeds (generally fortnightly) and assessments have helped improve my analytical skills, research skills, communication skills (moot in the first year!) as well as team working skills. This type of skillset is extremely important for any sort of career and is something that almost all employers look for.
University Facilities and School Support
The learning facilities are great, especially the libraries and the IT clusters. The tutors ensure they make all relevant resources available via the VLE but at the same time, do not expect to be spoon fed! The libraries are open throughout the week and you will be expected to spend a certain number of hours working with the resources to enhance your independent learning.
The student support at Leeds is excellent. The tutors are always ready to help and are very approachable. There are regular meetings with personal tutors to discuss your progress on your studies, career and even accommodation! This gives the School a personal touch and you know that there is always someone who you can talk to.
Outside of Studying
The School’s pro bono opportunities are fantastic! Only last year I was a part of the University of Leeds CSR Initiative. I was required to work with disabled people to help build their confidence; this project involved planting flowers, fruits, and other vegetation. The project helped me develop my team working skills as I learned how deal with people in an approachable way as well as appreciate the various circumstances of fellow team members.
Leeds University Union has a large number of clubs and societies and there is almost something for everyone. I have joined the Indian Society, Henna Society and I am thinking of joining the Bollywood Dance society because I love dancing!
Leeds as a city
Personally, Leeds is the ideal city for me. As I have family here, I don't miss home so much. The city is very vibrant and there is almost always something happening. The markets in Leeds are great and there are regular plays, operas and concerts. The city has a large number of restaurants and you will definitely find something for your budget. For those who want a great Nightlife, Leeds is the city! The LUU runs a Nightbus and has other arrangements and therefore, students have a safe means of getting home. For those who love exploring, there is a lot to see- I’ve been to Harewood House, Ingleton Waterfalls and The Lake District (which are not very far.) Also, Leeds caters to the needs of various religious groups.
My advice to prospective students
Be sure that you have a plan before you start at Leeds. Law is a great subject and it opens the doors to so many careers. I am sure everyone will have a great time studying Law but always think of what you would possibly like to pursue if you decide not to go into the legal profession.
When you start University, three years may seem like a long time. Before you know it, you’ll be in your final year. Make the most of your time at Leeds!
I am hoping to pursue a Masters in either Cyberlaw or International Business Planning. I hope am hoping to return to the Emirates and start my career over there.