Studying Law at University - Ask Me Anything!

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CatusStarbright
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I'm currently in my third (and penultimate) year studying Law at The University of Leeds.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about studying Law, and I will do my best to answer. Please note however that there will be differences between different universities, as each university has its own approach to course structure, content, etc.

I specifically study LLB Law with French Law, so I can also discuss a bit about studying abroad and what it's like to study a language/a different legal system alongside English law, what it's like to learn in your second language, etc. I do however know as much about straight Law courses too, so don't worry about that!

I hope this may be of use to you!

This AMA uses a tag system! You can either ask a general question or tag in one of our fantastic volunteers (listed below) if you are looking for something more specific.

CatusStarbright - 3rd year LLB Law with French Law, Leeds
MidgetFever- Current student, Law, Sheffield
aylee_ - Current student, Law, Leeds
beaurudol- Current student, Law, Bristol
giothevanna11 - Current student, Law, Durham
professormcr - Current student, Law, UCL
BeckyZoe - Graduate, Law, Northumbria
king axolotl - Offer holder, Law, Cambridge
Miriam29 - Offer holder, Law, Cambridge
silkydon11 - Offer holder, Law, Edinburgh
Ni_ole_ - Offer holder, Law, Newcastle
Kali.kb - Offer holder, Law, Sheffield
jger_rams2019 -Offer holder, Law, Cambridge
legallystressed - Offer holder, Law, UCL


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This AMA is part of the 'Ask a University Student 2.0' initiative. If you want to find out more about other courses or universities, please check out the main list of threads:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6431108
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Andrew97
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Are all lawyers boring?










I’ll also ask a sensible question.

What’s the toughest thing about your degree?
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Andrew97)
Are all lawyers boring?
Nope!

What’s the toughest thing about your degree?
Probably trying to ensure a decent work/life balance. It can be easy to spend a lot of time on readings for Law, and so it requires good time management to ensure you get everything done on time and that you allow time to get involved in the rest of the aspects of student life, such as societies, pro bono work, socialising, etc.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
Nope!


Probably trying to ensure a decent work/life balance. It can be easy to spend a lot of time on readings for Law, and so it requires good time management to ensure you get everything done on time and that you allow time to get involved in the rest of the aspects of student life, such as societies, pro bono work, socialising, etc.
You sure? 😛


Thanks for the answer, I hope it helps others. I’ll depart now. Think that’s the gatecrashing done.
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
I'm currently in my third (and penultimate) year studying Law at The University of Leeds.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about studying Law, and I will do my best to answer. Please note however that there will be differences between different universities, as each university has its own approach to course structure, content, etc.

I specifically study LLB Law with French Law, so I can also discuss a bit about studying abroad and what it's like to study a language/a different legal system alongside English law, what it's like to learn in your second language, etc. I do however know as much about straight Law courses too, so don't worry about that!

This thread forms part of TSR's Ask a Uni Student series, which has been set up particularly in light of the cancellation of many open days and offer-holder days at this time.

I hope this may be of use to you!
Great idea for a thread

Could you please break down what a week's workload is like? What are the routines you follow? What sort of readings do you get?
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PetitePanda
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What's your favourite modules you've learnt in each year?
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by PetitePanda)
What's your favourite modules you've learnt in each year?
Great question!

First year: Probably Constitutional and Administrative Law. My enjoyment of constitutional law perhaps came from my interest in politics, and more broadly from wanting to understand how the world and its systems operate. While a constitution is something that is subject to judicial control, it is principally political. It describes how political institutions function, and controls the powers of the different branches of government and the various political actors, such as the prime minister and the government (the executive).

Administrative law, at Leeds, entailed learning about police powers and public order, as well as how judicial review works. While I didn't necessarily enjoy this second part as much as the first, I found it very relevant and indeed judicial review is usually quite topical, e.g. the recent ruling concerning Heathrow's third runway.

Second year: Competition Law, hands down. This was my optional module for second year and although it was stressful studying the module solely in one semester (meaning I did a great number more credits in the first semester than the second), I am so glad I chose to study it. The module looked at cartels (breaches of Article 101 TFEU) and abuses of dominant positions (breaches of Article 102 TFEU, e.g. the Google Search (Shopping) case), as well as merger requirements. This area is really quite topical of late, as the current EU Competition Commissioner (Margaret Vestager) is very active and keen to fine companies for breaches! The area is moving in the UK too, as post-Brexit the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is going to be finding itself investigating the big cases that previously would have gone to the EU Competition Commission (DG COMP), and there is talk of giving the CMA power to enforce consumer protection, as well as competition policy.

Third year (year abroad): I've studied a lot of modules this year, so I'm going to pick two. I'm going to go for Droit constitutionel (Constitutional Law) - again - and Histoire du droit (History of Law/Legal History - I'm no translation expert!). I've kind of already discussed why I enjoy constitutional law, but I'll add that when learning a new legal system it is really interesting to study as it explains a lot about why the legal (and political) system operates in the way it does. Constitional law is a melting pot of so many different ideas and influences, which makes it so interesting a subject to study.

As for the second module, Histoire du droit, I enjoyed this because I learnt about the history of France and its legal system from pre-Roman times right though to the Middle Ages (and a tiny bit into the 17/18th century). It allowed me to really see what the current French legal system is built on, and why the French legal system is so different to the common law system that we have in England and Wales. I think it also helped that I have a casual interest in early English history (from William the Conqueror to the Tudor period - Plantagenets for the win) and so I enjoyed learning about what was happening in France at the same time.

Fourth year (final year): We'll have to wait and see!
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
Great idea for a thread

Could you please break down what a week's workload is like? What are the routines you follow? What sort of readings do you get?
I'll have a look back in my diary from last year and show you how I break down a week - watch this space!
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Anonymous36617
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
I'm currently in my third (and penultimate) year studying Law at The University of Leeds.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about studying Law, and I will do my best to answer. Please note How owever that there will be differences between different universities, as each university has its own approach to course structure, content, etc.

I specifically study LLB Law with French Law, so I can also discuss a bit about studying abroad and what it's like to study a language/a different legal system alongside English law, what it's like to learn in your second language, etc. I do however know as much about straight Law courses too, so don't worry about that!


This thread forms part of TSR's Ask a Uni Student series, which has been set up particularly in light of the cancellation of many open days and offer-holder days at this time.

I hope this may be of use to you!
I have never studied law but i have applied to do it at uni in sept. I thought a law degree is good as it has many job prospects and would help me in my daily life. But i don't want to be a lawyer. SHould i change my subject option, are there other students who choose law and don't want to be in the law sector?

Also, as i am studying home i feel like i will miss out on a lot, will it be harder to make friends?

- do you have to bring massive textbooks, is it that hard of a subject?

- I studied Ethics and Philsophy which involved a lot of debating over issues/laws surrounding ideas of abroton and i get A* - is that similar to the kinds of essays at uni?

Are interships/placemnts paid?

Does it matter if you go to a lower ranked Uni or is a Russell group uni the best way to get good jobs and further opportunities?
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Anonymous36617)
I have never studied law but i have applied to do it at uni in sept. I thought a law degree is good as it has many job prospects and would help me in my daily life. But i don't want to be a lawyer. SHould i change my subject option, are there other students who choose law and don't want to be in the law sector?

Also, as i am studying home i feel like i will miss out on a lot, will it be harder to make friends?

- do you have to bring massive textbooks, is it that hard of a subject?

- I studied Ethics and Philsophy which involved a lot of debating over issues/laws surrounding ideas of abroton and i get A* - is that similar to the kinds of essays at uni?

Are interships/placemnts paid?

Does it matter if you go to a lower ranked Uni or is a Russell group uni the best way to get good jobs and further opportunities?
Changing subject option: It's absolutely fine! About 50% of people who do a law degree go onto other things, so you are by no means alone.

Commuting to uni: I don't see it as a massive issue, but you may feel less a part of uni life. I suppose it depends on what you want to get out of uni - if living at home doesn't prevent you from doing all you want to do then that's fine! Even if you begin uni living at home, you can always change your mind and move out later on.

Textbooks: You will need to buy textbooks for sure, but it's rare that you need to take them in. They're more for making notes from during independent study.

Essays: Essay questions (as opposed to problem questions which are entirely different) usually get you to critically discuss an area of law, which involves evaluating and weighing up different arguments, or discussing the principles that have arisen from different cases in an area of law. Essentially they're a chance to show off your reading around the subject and your ability to evaluate information and arguments.

Internships/placements: We call these vacation schemes in law, and yes they are paid if part of a formal scheme. Unpaid placements is a controversial subject at the moment, particularly in the barrister route.

Uni rankings: Well getting into a better uni is never going to hurt your chances, but essentially what you're looking for is a university that will give you the best education and the best opportunities possible (e.g. links with employers, visiting professors/speakers, the chance to be taught by leaders in the field, etc.). Student satisfaction is also definitely worth looking at when choosing your uni.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
Great idea for a thread

Could you please break down what a week's workload is like? What are the routines you follow? What sort of readings do you get?
I've done this now! It took me a tad longer than I thought to piece everything together, and I got a tad carried away so it's possibly a bit more detailed than you were expecting.

I've had a look through my diary from last year, and I've chosen what seems to me to be a fairly typical week (as much as possible) from semester one of second year. It's week 6 of teaching (5th-11th November 2018). While I can’t remember exactly what I did during this week, what I am saying I did is representative of what I would have done and most of the detail I do genuinely remember.

I have two law seminars this week (and two French ones, but they're much less preparation), and two next week that I need to bear in mind and start prepping for at the end of this week. I also have work to do for two pro bono projects and the negotiating competition, as well as a commercial awareness event, course representative training and a meeting with my careers mentor at a law firm in the city centre. It’s a busy week, but I like to keep busy and have few weeks that I’d describe as quiet.

Monday
10am-11am: The week begins with my French speaking seminar, so I'm up and out of the door before the rest of my flat, who don't have anything else until later in the day.

11.15am: I return home, as I don't have anything else until 2pm, and I may as well eat at home and get some work done where I have all my resources.

11.30am-12.30pm: During this time I would have done work, probably preparation for the seminar I have on Thursday for Competition Law.

A word on seminar preparation: This typically involves doing the listed readings, and answering the questions that have been set beforehand to guide preparation. Seminars themselves revolve around this prep, though discussion may include other aspects of the subject if the flow of the seminar drifts that way, or the question may be altered by the seminar leader during the session itself to test and boost your understanding. Listed readings may include textbook chapters, cases (usually from the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court), academic articles and occasionally blog posts by academics (such as Mark Elliott for Constitutional Law). Preparation for a seminar takes between two and eight hours depending on the subject and the amount of reading required, so it pays to stay ahead! I normally begin prepping for a seminar a week to five days beforehand to make sure I have plenty of time. It's likely that for this Competition Law seminar I am merely continuing preparation that I started on Friday or over the weekend.

12.30-1pm: Lunchtime - as well as eating, I usually use this time to check and reply to emails, as well as general life admin. Occasionally I'll watch a video or two or an episode of a TV series if I have a long time when I'm not in uni or I'm less busy, but I wouldn't have done on this day.

1-1.30pm: A bit more work and then packing my stuff for my lecture at 2pm.

2-3pm: Criminal Law lecture. I meet up with my other flatmate who does LLB Law with Languages and we sit together, as this is a first-year subject for those doing straight LLB Law, so our other flatmates are not with us.
After lecture I pop to the shop to get some food for the rest of the week.

4.30-6pm: After getting home and putting the shopping away, I settle down to get some more work done before teatime. One of my flatmates is cooking today, so I don’t need to do that. During this time I probably got some work done for my Criminal Law seminar on Friday (which usually involves reading a few chapters of the textbook plus some academic articles to help answer the questions). I would also have checked I had everything organised for my meeting with my StreetLaw project group the next day. We’re delivering our presentation on the gender pay gap and our workshop on debating skills to teach a group of year 7 children public speaking skills at their school on Thursday.

6pm: I sit down with my flat to eat tea before heading to Hyde Park for the bonfire night celebrations.

9pm: We return home and watch an episode of something with a cup of tea before heading to bed. I probably check TSR and do some reading before falling asleep about 12.30am.

Tuesday
10am: I’m not in university until 12pm so I don’t get up early when I don’t need to! Besides, today will be a long, busy day so I feel no guilt at having a lazy morning. I have breakfast and then crack on with some more seminar prep before making a packed lunch, getting my stuff together and meeting the rest of my flat in the living room just after 11.30am. We’re all in this lecture together, so we walk into uni together which is nice!

12-1pm: Torts lecture.

1-2pm: I now have an hour gap, which is not that long given I need to find somewhere to sit and then head to my next contact hour a bit in advance so I’m there on time. I’ll likely head to the Refectory and try and find a seat upstairs to eat my packed lunch. During this time I’ll also do the work I got from my French speaking seminar yesterday, ready for next week. It doesn’t take long, so an hour gap is perfect for this work.

2-3pm: French seminar. It finishes at 2.55pm technically, to allow us to get to the next place if we have something after the seminar. I do, and it’s about an eight-minute walk away, so I need to hurry up. Luckily since it’s another Torts lecture, my flat is already there and will have saved me a seat.
3-4pm: Torts lecture. It’s unusual to have both lectures for a subject on the same day, but it’s happened for us this semester!

4-5pm: StreetLaw meeting. This is our final meeting before we present on Thursday, so it’s mostly a case of ensuring we have our timings sorted, all our resources are in place, and that all of our presentation slides look good even from the back of the room. It’s a fairly business-like meeting, as at this stage we need to make sure everything is ready, and because the Community Engagement staff member is attending to ensure that we are ready.

5-6.30pm: I attend a commercial awareness session run by BPP, which I find really useful. I also meet a group of first years who I am placed in a team with for the negotiating exercise at the end, and who seem a bit in awe of my negotiating skills. I tell them that I’m not the best negotiator, just that I seem good because I have a bit more experience than they do!

6.40pm: I arrive home, and see that my flat is just sitting down to eat, which is perfect since one of my flatmates and I needs to leave at 7pm! I quickly eat my food, get changed and get my stuff together to go to dance practice with the Dancesport society.

7.05pm: We set off late, but that’s fine since we were aiming to set off early to give us enough time. Normally dance is at the Refectory, but this week we’ve been relocated to Stage at Leeds Beckett (the dance society is unusually tied to both universities), which adds about ten minutes to our journey time, hence setting off early.

7.30-9pm: We have our beginner dance session.

9.30pm: We arrive home, and put our pyjamas on. As per our Tuesday ritual, we make tea and cakes in a mug. Sadly Bake Off finished last week, so we watch an episode of something else instead before bed.

Wednesday
10-11am: It’s an early-ish start again for the second and final Criminal Law lecture of the week. My flatmate and I walk in together for it.

11am: I have negotiating in half an hour with my flatmate (and uni best friend – the one I go to dance with), so we meet in the SU and find an empty room to go over our strategy again. We prepped it at the end of last week, so a refresher will just help.

11.30-11.50am: We have our negotiating round, and we’re pleased with how it went. Hopefully we’ll progress to the next round and get to hone our skills further! (Spoiler: we do!). I’m now done for the day, and for my flatmate it’s her free day, so we walk home and have lunch together.

1pm-4.30pm: I have three and a half hours before I need to cook tea, so I finish off the prep for my Competition Law seminar tomorrow. I also make the few minor tweaks to the StreetLaw presentation that we identified needed doing yesterday, and I message the group to say that it’s done.

4.30pm: I start making the risotto for tea. I’m making it early as I need to leave at 5.25pm for a meeting with my careers mentor in the city centre at 6pm. I make the food, eat my portion and leave the rest for the others, get changed, and leave nice and on time.

5.55pm: After a pleasant walk through the city, I arrive on time at the law firm (for me a tad early is on time for such things), and inform the receptionists that I’ve arrived.

6.15pm: My mentor was busy working on something when I arrived, so we begin the meeting a tad late (which is completely understandable and fine, she’s a busy woman!). We talk a bit about my CV, which I had sent over to her in advance of the meeting, and my ambition. I ask her questions about what she does as I had never heard of public procurement before, and about what her route into a legal career was.

7.30pm: I arrive home, and get changed into my pyjamas to get comfy. I check my emails and TSR, and finish off my Criminal seminar preparation as I don’t know if I will have chance to get it finished off tomorrow during the day, and I don’t want to be staying up late to do it.

9.30pm: My flatmate and I watch another episode (of whatever it is we were watching at the time) before bed again. We ordinarily meet in the living room between 9 and 9.30pm, depending on what we get doing. I requested the later time to allow me to finish off that prep.

Thursday
9-10.30am: It’s a bright and early start for my Competition Law seminar. This is the first one, so I’m not completely sure what to expect, but I love the subject and I really like the lecturer. The seminar goes well, and I contribute more than I expected to as the group is a fairly shy one and I’m just enthusiastic about this module. When it finishes, I’m immediately due back over at the Liberty Building (the School of Law) for StreetLaw, which is about a six-minute walk away. I’ve told my StreetLaw group and the staff member that I’d be a tad late due to this however, so I don’t need to rush as they are fine with it.

10.37am: I arrive at the Liberty Building, and we check that we have everything we need for the presentation before getting in the taxi and driving across the city to Chapeltown where the school is. I’m a bit nervous, but we’ve done lots of work to prepare and I know that we are a really good team, so we’ll be fine no matter what.

11.20am-12.45pm: We deliver the presentation and workshop, and it goes down really well, which is such a relief. We then stay and eat lunch with the children, and they ask us questions about studying at university. They were a great bunch of children, and we’ll see them again when they visit us in the School of Law next month.

1.45pm: We arrive back at the Liberty Building, and I’m now free until 3pm, so I stay a while to chat to the other group members. I’ve completed all my work for this week, and I have time tomorrow to start next week’s work, so I’m in no rush. About 2.15pm I do however head to the Refectory and start looking over the Torts seminar for Monday.

3-4pm: I have my course representative training in the SU. There was one for the School of Law specifically that I was supposed to have attended, but I completely forgot to go so I went to this general one instead. I’m glad I did though, as I got to meet people from all over the university.

4-5pm: French lecture, before a quick dash to the Liberty Building for my next lecture.

A note on lecture frequency: Normally, key modules (like Torts, Criminal Law, Contract Law, etc. – the compulsory ones) have two one-hour lectures each week. I also had the same for my optional module, and that is indeed the typical structure. For the 10-credit modules I had ongoing that semester however, we had one roughly every other week so this week they were not on. My French lecture was every other week, and it just so happened that this was the week it fell on.

5-6pm: Competition Law lecture to round the day off with.

6.15pm: I return home, and we make tortilla pizzas for tea together as a flat.

I have a relaxed evening in light of the busy few days and the fact that I have no weekend plans, so I can do work then.

Friday
9-10.30am: Another early start for my Criminal Law seminar. The seminar group is comprised solely of us doing LLB Law with Languages, so it’s also a bit of an occasion to see my cohort – there are nine of us this year as we lost a few between first and second year (some dropped out, one dropped to straight LLB Law).

10.45am-1.30pm: I head home again since I have nothing on until 3pm. I check my emails. start doing some of the Torts reading and I have a look at what I need to do for the Cerebra pro bono project meeting on Wednesday. Now that StreetLaw is out of the way I can focus on this project.

1.30-3pm: I head out and go to Blackwell’s to buy the textbook for Competition Law. I’d started out by getting the textbook from the library to see if I could get away with not having a copy, but now all the copies are being requested so I’ve given in. I then have a browse of the books in there because I’m a sucker for books and I set off too early.

3-4pm: My final contact hour of the week is a Competition Law lecture, and after that I’m done! Sometimes I stay in the Liberty Building to do some work before heading home for the weekend, but not this week.

4.15pm: I arrive home, and chill before making pasta for tea for everyone. My flatmate’s boyfriend is arriving this evening so we’re all going to Fruity at the SU tonight, which we tend to do about once a month.

The weekend
I’m a fan of sleeping in at the weekends, particularly on a Saturday after Fruity. Since I have no plans, I use the time to relax and to get my Torts preparation done for Monday, as well as do my French work and start on next week’s Competition seminar – since it’s a one-semester module (unusual), I have to do what would normally be spread over two semesters in one semester so it’s intense like that.
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Johnny ~
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I've done this now! It took me a tad longer than I thought to piece everything together, and I got a tad carried away so it's possibly a bit more detailed than you were expecting.

I've had a look through my diary from last year, and I've chosen what seems to me to be a fairly typical week (as much as possible) from semester one of second year. It's week 6 of teaching (5th-11th November 2018). While I can’t remember exactly what I did during this week, what I am saying I did is representative of what I would have done and most of the detail I do genuinely remember.

I have two law seminars this week (and two French ones, but they're much less preparation), and two next week that I need to bear in mind and start prepping for at the end of this week. I also have work to do for two pro bono projects and the negotiating competition, as well as a commercial awareness event, course representative training and a meeting with my careers mentor at a law firm in the city centre. It’s a busy week, but I like to keep busy and have few weeks that I’d describe as quiet.

Monday
10am-11am: The week begins with my French speaking seminar, so I'm up and out of the door before the rest of my flat, who don't have anything else until later in the day.

11.15am: I return home, as I don't have anything else until 2pm, and I may as well eat at home and get some work done where I have all my resources.

11.30am-12.30pm: During this time I would have done work, probably preparation for the seminar I have on Thursday for Competition Law.

A word on seminar preparation: This typically involves doing the listed readings, and answering the questions that have been set beforehand to guide preparation. Seminars themselves revolve around this prep, though discussion may include other aspects of the subject if the flow of the seminar drifts that way, or the question may be altered by the seminar leader during the session itself to test and boost your understanding. Listed readings may include textbook chapters, cases (usually from the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court), academic articles and occasionally blog posts by academics (such as Mark Elliott for Constitutional Law). Preparation for a seminar takes between two and eight hours depending on the subject and the amount of reading required, so it pays to stay ahead! I normally begin prepping for a seminar a week to five days beforehand to make sure I have plenty of time. It's likely that for this Competition Law seminar I am merely continuing preparation that I started on Friday or over the weekend.

12.30-1pm: Lunchtime - as well as eating, I usually use this time to check and reply to emails, as well as general life admin. Occasionally I'll watch a video or two or an episode of a TV series if I have a long time when I'm not in uni or I'm less busy, but I wouldn't have done on this day.

1-1.30pm: A bit more work and then packing my stuff for my lecture at 2pm.

2-3pm: Criminal Law lecture. I meet up with my other flatmate who does LLB Law with Languages and we sit together, as this is a first-year subject for those doing straight LLB Law, so our other flatmates are not with us.
After lecture I pop to the shop to get some food for the rest of the week.

4.30-6pm: After getting home and putting the shopping away, I settle down to get some more work done before teatime. One of my flatmates is cooking today, so I don’t need to do that. During this time I probably got some work done for my Criminal Law seminar on Friday (which usually involves reading a few chapters of the textbook plus some academic articles to help answer the questions). I would also have checked I had everything organised for my meeting with my StreetLaw project group the next day. We’re delivering our presentation on the gender pay gap and our workshop on debating skills to teach a group of year 7 children public speaking skills at their school on Thursday.

6pm: I sit down with my flat to eat tea before heading to Hyde Park for the bonfire night celebrations.

9pm: We return home and watch an episode of something with a cup of tea before heading to bed. I probably check TSR and do some reading before falling asleep about 12.30am.

Tuesday
10am: I’m not in university until 12pm so I don’t get up early when I don’t need to! Besides, today will be a long, busy day so I feel no guilt at having a lazy morning. I have breakfast and then crack on with some more seminar prep before making a packed lunch, getting my stuff together and meeting the rest of my flat in the living room just after 11.30am. We’re all in this lecture together, so we walk into uni together which is nice!

12-1pm: Torts lecture.

1-2pm: I now have an hour gap, which is not that long given I need to find somewhere to sit and then head to my next contact hour a bit in advance so I’m there on time. I’ll likely head to the Refectory and try and find a seat upstairs to eat my packed lunch. During this time I’ll also do the work I got from my French speaking seminar yesterday, ready for next week. It doesn’t take long, so an hour gap is perfect for this work.

2-3pm: French seminar. It finishes at 2.55pm technically, to allow us to get to the next place if we have something after the seminar. I do, and it’s about an eight-minute walk away, so I need to hurry up. Luckily since it’s another Torts lecture, my flat is already there and will have saved me a seat.
3-4pm: Torts lecture. It’s unusual to have both lectures for a subject on the same day, but it’s happened for us this semester!

4-5pm: StreetLaw meeting. This is our final meeting before we present on Thursday, so it’s mostly a case of ensuring we have our timings sorted, all our resources are in place, and that all of our presentation slides look good even from the back of the room. It’s a fairly business-like meeting, as at this stage we need to make sure everything is ready, and because the Community Engagement staff member is attending to ensure that we are ready.

5-6.30pm: I attend a commercial awareness session run by BPP, which I find really useful. I also meet a group of first years who I am placed in a team with for the negotiating exercise at the end, and who seem a bit in awe of my negotiating skills. I tell them that I’m not the best negotiator, just that I seem good because I have a bit more experience than they do!

6.40pm: I arrive home, and see that my flat is just sitting down to eat, which is perfect since one of my flatmates and I needs to leave at 7pm! I quickly eat my food, get changed and get my stuff together to go to dance practice with the Dancesport society.

7.05pm: We set off late, but that’s fine since we were aiming to set off early to give us enough time. Normally dance is at the Refectory, but this week we’ve been relocated to Stage at Leeds Beckett (the dance society is unusually tied to both universities), which adds about ten minutes to our journey time, hence setting off early.

7.30-9pm: We have our beginner dance session.

9.30pm: We arrive home, and put our pyjamas on. As per our Tuesday ritual, we make tea and cakes in a mug. Sadly Bake Off finished last week, so we watch an episode of something else instead before bed.

Wednesday
10-11am: It’s an early-ish start again for the second and final Criminal Law lecture of the week. My flatmate and I walk in together for it.

11am: I have negotiating in half an hour with my flatmate (and uni best friend – the one I go to dance with), so we meet in the SU and find an empty room to go over our strategy again. We prepped it at the end of last week, so a refresher will just help.

11.30-11.50am: We have our negotiating round, and we’re pleased with how it went. Hopefully we’ll progress to the next round and get to hone our skills further! (Spoiler: we do!). I’m now done for the day, and for my flatmate it’s her free day, so we walk home and have lunch together.

1pm-4.30pm: I have three and a half hours before I need to cook tea, so I finish off the prep for my Competition Law seminar tomorrow. I also make the few minor tweaks to the StreetLaw presentation that we identified needed doing yesterday, and I message the group to say that it’s done.

4.30pm: I start making the risotto for tea. I’m making it early as I need to leave at 5.25pm for a meeting with my careers mentor in the city centre at 6pm. I make the food, eat my portion and leave the rest for the others, get changed, and leave nice and on time.

5.55pm: After a pleasant walk through the city, I arrive on time at the law firm (for me a tad early is on time for such things), and inform the receptionists that I’ve arrived.

6.15pm: My mentor was busy working on something when I arrived, so we begin the meeting a tad late (which is completely understandable and fine, she’s a busy woman!). We talk a bit about my CV, which I had sent over to her in advance of the meeting, and my ambition. I ask her questions about what she does as I had never heard of public procurement before, and about what her route into a legal career was.

7.30pm: I arrive home, and get changed into my pyjamas to get comfy. I check my emails and TSR, and finish off my Criminal seminar preparation as I don’t know if I will have chance to get it finished off tomorrow during the day, and I don’t want to be staying up late to do it.

9.30pm: My flatmate and I watch another episode (of whatever it is we were watching at the time) before bed again. We ordinarily meet in the living room between 9 and 9.30pm, depending on what we get doing. I requested the later time to allow me to finish off that prep.

Thursday
9-10.30am: It’s a bright and early start for my Competition Law seminar. This is the first one, so I’m not completely sure what to expect, but I love the subject and I really like the lecturer. The seminar goes well, and I contribute more than I expected to as the group is a fairly shy one and I’m just enthusiastic about this module. When it finishes, I’m immediately due back over at the Liberty Building (the School of Law) for StreetLaw, which is about a six-minute walk away. I’ve told my StreetLaw group and the staff member that I’d be a tad late due to this however, so I don’t need to rush as they are fine with it.

10.37am: I arrive at the Liberty Building, and we check that we have everything we need for the presentation before getting in the taxi and driving across the city to Chapeltown where the school is. I’m a bit nervous, but we’ve done lots of work to prepare and I know that we are a really good team, so we’ll be fine no matter what.

11.20am-12.45pm: We deliver the presentation and workshop, and it goes down really well, which is such a relief. We then stay and eat lunch with the children, and they ask us questions about studying at university. They were a great bunch of children, and we’ll see them again when they visit us in the School of Law next month.

1.45pm: We arrive back at the Liberty Building, and I’m now free until 3pm, so I stay a while to chat to the other group members. I’ve completed all my work for this week, and I have time tomorrow to start next week’s work, so I’m in no rush. About 2.15pm I do however head to the Refectory and start looking over the Torts seminar for Monday.

3-4pm: I have my course representative training in the SU. There was one for the School of Law specifically that I was supposed to have attended, but I completely forgot to go so I went to this general one instead. I’m glad I did though, as I got to meet people from all over the university.

4-5pm: French lecture, before a quick dash to the Liberty Building for my next lecture.

A note on lecture frequency: Normally, key modules (like Torts, Criminal Law, Contract Law, etc. – the compulsory ones) have two one-hour lectures each week. I also had the same for my optional module, and that is indeed the typical structure. For the 10-credit modules I had ongoing that semester however, we had one roughly every other week so this week they were not on. My French lecture was every other week, and it just so happened that this was the week it fell on.

5-6pm: Competition Law lecture to round the day off with.

6.15pm: I return home, and we make tortilla pizzas for tea together as a flat.

I have a relaxed evening in light of the busy few days and the fact that I have no weekend plans, so I can do work then.

Friday
9-10.30am: Another early start for my Criminal Law seminar. The seminar group is comprised solely of us doing LLB Law with Languages, so it’s also a bit of an occasion to see my cohort – there are nine of us this year as we lost a few between first and second year (some dropped out, one dropped to straight LLB Law).

10.45am-1.30pm: I head home again since I have nothing on until 3pm. I check my emails. start doing some of the Torts reading and I have a look at what I need to do for the Cerebra pro bono project meeting on Wednesday. Now that StreetLaw is out of the way I can focus on this project.

1.30-3pm: I head out and go to Blackwell’s to buy the textbook for Competition Law. I’d started out by getting the textbook from the library to see if I could get away with not having a copy, but now all the copies are being requested so I’ve given in. I then have a browse of the books in there because I’m a sucker for books and I set off too early.

3-4pm: My final contact hour of the week is a Competition Law lecture, and after that I’m done! Sometimes I stay in the Liberty Building to do some work before heading home for the weekend, but not this week.

4.15pm: I arrive home, and chill before making pasta for tea for everyone. My flatmate’s boyfriend is arriving this evening so we’re all going to Fruity at the SU tonight, which we tend to do about once a month.

The weekend
I’m a fan of sleeping in at the weekends, particularly on a Saturday after Fruity. Since I have no plans, I use the time to relax and to get my Torts preparation done for Monday, as well as do my French work and start on next week’s Competition seminar – since it’s a one-semester module (unusual), I have to do what would normally be spread over two semesters in one semester so it’s intense like that.
This is great, thank you! I'm a law graduate who's working so I'm no longer in a position to need this (even though I do wish that I had access to something like it when I was applying :/), but it's incredibly useful for potential applicants!
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
This is great, thank you! I'm a law graduate who's working so I'm no longer in a position to need this (even though I do wish that I had access to something like it when I was applying :/), but it's incredibly useful for potential applicants!
Definitely yes I've saved it as a Word document too in case it can be of use anywhere else/to anyone else in the future.

What might be interesting is to ask what differences you see in what I get up to as a law undergrad and the sorts of work and routines that you had as a law undergrad.
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
I'm currently in my third (and penultimate) year studying Law at The University of Leeds.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about studying Law, and I will do my best to answer. Please note however that there will be differences between different universities, as each university has its own approach to course structure, content, etc.

I specifically study LLB Law with French Law, so I can also discuss a bit about studying abroad and what it's like to study a language/a different legal system alongside English law, what it's like to learn in your second language, etc. I do however know as much about straight Law courses too, so don't worry about that!

This thread forms part of TSR's Ask a Uni Student series, which has been set up particularly in light of the cancellation of many open days and offer-holder days at this time.

I hope this may be of use to you!
Hi
Do you have any plans for after you graduate? & if you did apply for jobs what year of uni did you start applying?
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CatusStarbright
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Hi
Do you have any plans for after you graduate? & if you did apply for jobs what year of uni did you start applying?
Hi there
Yes, I (very stereotypically) want to do commercial law at an international law firm. I'll break down this career path for you as it's not as simple as just applying for a job.

Becoming a solicitor involves:
1. A qualifying law degree, or a degree in another subject plus the GLD (a one-year law conversion course).
2. The LPC (which is a vocational post-grad qualification, typically lasting a year or six months for the accelerated course).
3. A two-year period of training, known as the training contract (TC).

Law firms thus recruit two years in advance. Note also that the Solicitor's Regulation Authority is trying to make this more flexible with the introduction of the SQE (that nobody properly understands for the moment).

My route so far has been to do first-year schemes in my second year (firms treated me as a first year then due to my four-year course), and this year I have applied to vacation schemes (VS, which are basically legal internships which range between 2-4 weeks typically) as firms recruit for their TCs from their VS participants. I have one VS secured for this summer (which so far looks to be going ahead, though some other firms have cancelled). If I don't get a TC from that, then I have to choose whether to apply for more VSs or for direct TCs. Each has their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to applying in final year.
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harrysbar
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Thank you for doing this, it's really useful.

My question is How did you choose your uni and would you recommend Law at Leeds?
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Thank you for doing this, it's really useful.

My question is How did you choose your uni and would you recommend Law at Leeds?
I chose Leeds as my uni because I could really see myself fitting in there, and feeling at home. Of the unis that I visited/applied for (about seven or eight) I only felt that way about three universities. When choosing my firm it came down to the choice between Leeds and Durham, and eventually I chose Leeds because I really wanted to do LLB Law with French Law (which Durham doesn't offer, or didn't at the time - they just had LLB Law with a year abroad option). I have never regretted that choice.

I would certainly recommend Law at Leeds. I've loved every minute of my degree so far (okay maybe not the exams, but you get what I mean), and I can't wait to go back and have my final year. There's a great community feel within the School of Law, and the staff are really supportive and eager to help. Each staff member has weekly support hours where you can drop in and ask them about anything without an appointment, which is really useful.

Naturally there are other good Law courses at different unis (disclaimer!), but I've never wished to be anywhere else.
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
Definitely yes I've saved it as a Word document too in case it can be of use anywhere else/to anyone else in the future.

What might be interesting is to ask what differences you see in what I get up to as a law undergrad and the sorts of work and routines that you had as a law undergrad.
Hey - as promised, I wanted to reply to your question about how my day compared (been a little busy this week). I went to a London RG for undergrad so things will probably be a little different. Your post is very specific so I've just written out how my life compared in general + a few other thoughts/memories in the spirit of giving applicants as much information as possible.

Spoiler:
Show


I think that, by third year, I got into the habit of waking up early by force (e.g. up 9 am) no matter how late I'd gone to bed the previous night. I found it useful to be able to do half an hour or an hour of work before going to uni/classes/etc.

I honestly have never counted the number of hours it took me to prepare for each class. I had the (not very) unconventional approach of going in unprepared half the time and doing overkill prep the other half. My estimate for readings was that doing the core & further readings for a single week for one module should take between 2 to 4 days of just working (I used to work for a 'clean' 8 to 10 hours a day during term time at the very best - exam season was a different story). But then again I didn't really do any reading for half the topics I was taught so it was fine. There was a lot of variation in my schedule over the course of my second year due to applications and stuff. There were weeks when I'd spend the day at uni, then at some dumb grad rec presentation/evening thing, etc. I’d barely get any serious work done during the week because I was so tired and was running around the place.

I think that my extracurriculars towards the end of uni were a lot more flexible that yours – most could be done remotely (including through video conferencing software), and I only occasionally had to travel outside of London for one of them. That meant that my schedule was less fixed than many – it wasn’t a matter of ‘hockey practice at 6 pm’, more like ‘tentative group call at 4 pm unless X can’t make it’. I also did a lot of mentoring/volunteering remotely with a law clinic. I honestly valued the flexibility because I could do the ECs as a break between full concentrated work. I found that travelling to get to classes, law firm stuff, and my law clinic volunteering commitment was a massive hassle and resulted in a lot of mornings and afternoons being written off work wise (perhaps this is a London issue or a me issue idk).

Because I was often busy with other stuff, I’d often frontload or backload readings and be rather quiet in class (as opposed to preparing each week’s reading the week before). There were times when I had finished the entire reading for one module before Christmas and had done barely any real work on the others. This wasn’t great and I don’t recommend it because it resulted in me engaging less and not feeling very attached to the whole degree (the degree turned into a pile of reading lists I had to dispatch of, and that sucked).

I think that my 'going out' days were very fixed. Friday night was the main one (sometimes Saturday instead of Friday if there was a birthday party or something). I wouldn’t allow myself time off for anything more than a quick coffee or drink during the other days unless I had planned and accounted for it in advance. That’s just me though I'm not great at spontaneous stuff because I plan out my days quite carefully and feel bad if I don't stick to the plan (this sucks in the world of work btw because you can rarely stick to your to do in the order in which you neatly set it out the previous evening)

I think that, because I lived far enough away from campus for the trek to suck, I would basically ‘camp’ on campus (usually in the library) all day and use that as a base of operations. So I’d turn up in the morning, get a seat, and then go to whatever commitments I needed to do. In the evening, I’d just return and try to do more serious/concentrated work. In third year, I was pretty much eating lunch and dinner in the library and only returning home when it closed or when I got exhausted (the Tube/lack of availability of night buses to get me back to where I lived featured heavily on my mind).

My method of working really changed over the course of the three years. In first year, I would revise and hang out a lot in my halls of residence. In second year, I hated my room so I started spending my entire week at the library (literally 9 am to 9+ pm every day, including weekends… sometimes). In third year, I got a bit of a balance and had ‘uni days’ (when I’d use the gym close to campus, do the readings I could only access in physical copy in the library, etc.) and ‘non-uni days’ (usually involving me doing focused work on my dissertation at home and/or going out). I think that it has to change as your circumstances change and you figure out what works for you (working in my room all day resulted in a lot of lost productivity, looking back).
The one mistake I made with the library was that it became a second home and not a place for studying. It wasn’t uncommon for us to watch football matches on our laptops in third year and waste our time chatting and doing other dumb stuff (constant cigarette breaks are one of them – and they’re a very London uni thing lol). So I think that I kinda ruined the only true ‘sanctuary’ I had for quiet, focused studying!

Like you, I would only have about 12 contact hours a week, and I stopped going to some lectures by the end of each year, so that number would go down to 4-8. However, I a) didn’t mind because I would see my friends in the library or in other places as opposed to lectures, and b) used the time ‘saved’ by not going to study! I also came to value classes and one-on-one office hours a lot more – lectures were comparatively useless. I was always the sort of person who prefers figuring things out himself and only then asking someone for answers to a very, very specific list of questions. I don’t like being ‘taught’ stuff by another person, especially not in an essay subject.

In terms of how I approached the reading, my younger (and inexperienced) self merely had one big documents into which the notes were inserted sequentially (I did each reading in the order in which it appeared on the reading list). My older (and wiser) self started seeing the many downsides of this approach, and instead chose to a) create a topic outline using the lecture slides and past papers, which would in turn be filled in with b) notes on the cases + articles on the reading list and c) reading from outside the reading list that I had found through the footnotes of the reading on the reading list. I would then skim through the textbook at the very end of this process to see if I had missed anything. This was more difficult and time-consuming but had a noticeable difference to my grades.

Hope this some of this is vaguely informative...
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Anonymous36617
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Hi, this thread is super helpful BTW? I was wondering if having a part time job would be possible whilst studying law?Thank you. Also, is is possible to get journalism internships even when studying law?
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
Hey - as promised, I wanted to reply to your question about how my day compared (been a little busy this week). I went to a London RG for undergrad so things will probably be a little different. Your post is very specific so I've just written out how my life compared in general + a few other thoughts/memories in the spirit of giving applicants as much information as possible.
This is really interesting, thanks for taking the time to do this! I'm just going to comment on a few things that stuck out to me/where I thought I might be able to add something.

I think that, by third year, I got into the habit of waking up early by force (e.g. up 9 am) no matter how late I'd gone to bed the previous night. I found it useful to be able to do half an hour or an hour of work before going to uni/classes/etc.
I get what you mean about getting up and squeezing extra time into the day. In first year I lived in catered halls and breakfast ended at 9am, so I had a daily arrangement to meet my friend at 8.45am (or earlier if we had a 9am) for breakfast, which really helped. In second year, I was almost always up by 10.30am, if not 10am during the week.

I honestly have never counted the number of hours it took me to prepare for each class. I had the (not very) unconventional approach of going in unprepared half the time and doing overkill prep the other half. My estimate for readings was that doing the core & further readings for a single week for one module should take between 2 to 4 days of just working (I used to work for a 'clean' 8 to 10 hours a day during term time at the very best - exam season was a different story). But then again I didn't really do any reading for half the topics I was taught so it was fine. There was a lot of variation in my schedule over the course of my second year due to applications and stuff. There were weeks when I'd spend the day at uni, then at some dumb grad rec presentation/evening thing, etc. I’d barely get any serious work done during the week because I was so tired and was running around the place.
I counted just because it would help me know how much time I needed to dedicate to each seminar - it helped me plan my days/weeks and avoid being under-prepared. I went to a seminar in first year under-prepared once (I'd not been well in my defence) and it was the worst thing ever, so it's definitely to be avoided. You get more out of it the more prepared you are, I find.

I really relate to what you say here about applications and careers events. There were definitely days in second year where I felt that all I'd done is run around all day. There's one or two of those in the week I outlined.

I think that my extracurriculars towards the end of uni were a lot more flexible that yours – most could be done remotely (including through video conferencing software), and I only occasionally had to travel outside of London for one of them. That meant that my schedule was less fixed than many – it wasn’t a matter of ‘hockey practice at 6 pm’, more like ‘tentative group call at 4 pm unless X can’t make it’. I also did a lot of mentoring/volunteering remotely with a law clinic. I honestly valued the flexibility because I could do the ECs as a break between full concentrated work. I found that travelling to get to classes, law firm stuff, and my law clinic volunteering commitment was a massive hassle and resulted in a lot of mornings and afternoons being written off work wise (perhaps this is a London issue or a me issue idk).
Ah I see. The pro bono projects I describe were fairly flexible, but there were meetings to attend (albeit most of them were set at times that worked around my schedule, not the other way round).

Because I was often busy with other stuff, I’d often frontload or backload readings and be rather quiet in class (as opposed to preparing each week’s reading the week before). There were times when I had finished the entire reading for one module before Christmas and had done barely any real work on the others. This wasn’t great and I don’t recommend it because it resulted in me engaging less and not feeling very attached to the whole degree (the degree turned into a pile of reading lists I had to dispatch of, and that sucked).
I wouldn't recommend this strategy either!

I think that my 'going out' days were very fixed. Friday night was the main one (sometimes Saturday instead of Friday if there was a birthday party or something). I wouldn’t allow myself time off for anything more than a quick coffee or drink during the other days unless I had planned and accounted for it in advance. That’s just me though I'm not great at spontaneous stuff because I plan out my days quite carefully and feel bad if I don't stick to the plan (this sucks in the world of work btw because you can rarely stick to your to do in the order in which you neatly set it out the previous evening)
The Leeds night out is basically Friday, though there are mid-week ones too. Saturday is mostly for non-students.
I quite like to keep things flexible, so I can make spontaneous decisions. To me, as long as I get the work done, I don't particuraly care about how I do it.

I think that, because I lived far enough away from campus for the trek to suck, I would basically ‘camp’ on campus (usually in the library) all day and use that as a base of operations. So I’d turn up in the morning, get a seat, and then go to whatever commitments I needed to do. In the evening, I’d just return and try to do more serious/concentrated work. In third year, I was pretty much eating lunch and dinner in the library and only returning home when it closed or when I got exhausted (the Tube/lack of availability of night buses to get me back to where I lived featured heavily on my mind).

My method of working really changed over the course of the three years. In first year, I would revise and hang out a lot in my halls of residence. In second year, I hated my room so I started spending my entire week at the library (literally 9 am to 9+ pm every day, including weekends… sometimes). In third year, I got a bit of a balance and had ‘uni days’ (when I’d use the gym close to campus, do the readings I could only access in physical copy in the library, etc.) and ‘non-uni days’ (usually involving me doing focused work on my dissertation at home and/or going out). I think that it has to change as your circumstances change and you figure out what works for you (working in my room all day resulted in a lot of lost productivity, looking back).
The one mistake I made with the library was that it became a second home and not a place for studying. It wasn’t uncommon for us to watch football matches on our laptops in third year and waste our time chatting and doing other dumb stuff (constant cigarette breaks are one of them – and they’re a very London uni thing lol). So I think that I kinda ruined the only true ‘sanctuary’ I had for quiet, focused studying!
The maximum distance I've lived from campus has been a 25-minute walk, in first year, which was certainly doable. I did enjoy being a touch closer in second year though - a 20-minute walk roughly.

Mine has changed slightly. In first year I would do work at home in halls when I was home for a block of time, though on days where I had more contact hours I would camp somewhere in the gaps (even if they were two-hour gaps) as it wasn't worth going home in that time. I'd waste almost an hour walking to get an hour at home. In second year, living a touch closer (and a lot closer to the Law building) meant that popping home became more doable, so I did more work in my flat than in first year. I also got an entire day off most weeks (which I didn't have in first year) so that day became a day where I would break the back of a lot of stuff and really use it to crack on.

Like you, I would only have about 12 contact hours a week, and I stopped going to some lectures by the end of each year, so that number would go down to 4-8. However, I a) didn’t mind because I would see my friends in the library or in other places as opposed to lectures, and b) used the time ‘saved’ by not going to study! I also came to value classes and one-on-one office hours a lot more – lectures were comparatively useless. I was always the sort of person who prefers figuring things out himself and only then asking someone for answers to a very, very specific list of questions. I don’t like being ‘taught’ stuff by another person, especially not in an essay subject.
I think 12-14 hours is about standard for a Law degree, yes. I do like lectures, but nowadays I treat them as an introduction to the topic. The real learning comes from me sitting at home, doing the reading and puzzling it out, so I agree with you to some extent on that. I do think that lectures are valuable though, and a worth attending.

In terms of how I approached the reading, my younger (and inexperienced) self merely had one big documents into which the notes were inserted sequentially (I did each reading in the order in which it appeared on the reading list). My older (and wiser) self started seeing the many downsides of this approach, and instead chose to a) create a topic outline using the lecture slides and past papers, which would in turn be filled in with b) notes on the cases + articles on the reading list and c) reading from outside the reading list that I had found through the footnotes of the reading on the reading list. I would then skim through the textbook at the very end of this process to see if I had missed anything. This was more difficult and time-consuming but had a noticeable difference to my grades.
The strategy you developed is definitely better than the one you started off with. My approach is a tad different. I make notes for each reading in a separate word document (unless they're very short, or don't add much to what I already know) and then use those to answer the seminar questions (as I go along). I then keep a separate document for each module where I make a list of all the controversial/developing areas from each topic, and I anticipate what questions might be asked on those and add the arguments/information from the readings as I progress through the year.

(Original post by Anonymous36617)
Hi, this thread is super helpful BTW? I was wondering if having a part time job would be possible whilst studying law?Thank you. Also, is is possible to get journalism internships even when studying law?
Hello there, glad you've found this useful!

Having a part-time job is certainly possible, but if I'm honest it's not that common for law students to do so. Those that do find time management pretty stressful, or their academics suffer if they can't manage their time well. Common student jobs include working in the students' union (e.g. bartending, working in the SU shop, etc.), working in local shops./businesses, etc. Online tutoring could be an option too.

I know next to nothing about getting into journalism, but it's a fairly common career for those with a law degree. You'd have to have a look around and see which ones you could apply to. It would also be worth getting involved with the student newspaper!
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