What is it like studying for a law degree?

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Law students share their experiences of university

If you’re contemplating taking a law degree, whether as an undergraduate or on a postgraduate conversion course, you might be wondering what your day-to-day life as a law student would look like.  

We’ve spoken to a couple of students from The University of Law to get their thoughts on exactly what to expect, from the intensity of the workload to the level of support provided by the tutors. 
 

Expect interactive learning

No matter where you choose to take your law degree, you’ll probably be expected to engage beyond just turning up for lectures and taking notes – which will in turn help develop the kind of skills you’ll need to succeed in the legal field.

“My course is practical insofar as each week I was required to prepare for workshops as opposed to lectures,” explains Braxton Bonsu, MA Law (Conversion) student at The University of Law.

“This student-led learning was extremely effective and engaging. It enabled me to gain practical legal skills at a rapid rate.

“Such skills included critical analysis, logical reasoning and oral communication. Now, as a bar student, I recognise how vital such skills are and how effective the learning style was.” 
 

Be prepared to read a lot

It’s no secret that a law degree involves a fair amount of reading – but you might surprise yourself with how quickly you can adapt to getting through a high volume of texts.

“I was never a big reader, but after nine months of daily reading it became a habit, and now I am more prepared to step into a legal industry,” says Barbara Kranjcec, Postgraduate Diploma in Law student at The University of Law.

“There is a lot of self-guided learning involved, which sounds scary especially if you’ve never done anything with law, but that overwhelming feeling quickly disappears as you start seeing results of your hard work. 

“In the end, you walk away a more confident person with great skills and established work habits.”

You’ll learn how to apply knowledge to the real world

Of course, you’re not expected to just read for the sake of reading – you’ll also practice applying everything you’ve learned to real-world scenarios. 

“They equipped us with knowledge but also the way in which that knowledge should be applied in the real world,” says Barbara.

“There is a lot of self-learning and prep involved prior to the workshops where we all come together and apply the learnt knowledge. 

“It’s helpful and practical, which means that you don’t just learn a sheer volume of information without any idea of what to do with it.”

 

Preparation for your qualifying exams could be built in

There are various qualifications you’ll need to take to become a solicitor or barrister after you’ve finished your degree, so some courses will have built-in preparation to help you pass. 

“Regarding the exams, The University of Law prepared me all throughout the year with a rich bank of questions and past papers,” says Braxton. 

“Now that I must prepare for the centralised exams with the Bar Standards Board, I appreciate just how effective that exam preparation was.”

You’ll work with knowledgeable and supportive tutors

Your tutors should be deeply knowledgeable about the law and a great source of help and advice, whether you’re wrestling with a particular piece of case law or mapping out your potential career path.

“The tutors at The University of Law went above and beyond to support me in my legal career,” says Braxton. “From referencing to supervision, the personal approach given to me by each tutor was unparalleled to any institution I have ever studied at. 

“Having been former practitioners themselves, they provided unique insight into my studies and career development. No request was ever too tedious for them. They always inspired and encouraged me to supersede my limits.” 

“The support from tutors is absolutely incredible,” adds Barbara. “They are always highly professional and up to a task. I particularly like the fact that if I’d ask something beyond the scope of the manual (for general knowledge) they’d either always have the answer or get back to me via email with the answer.”

The workload can be heavy

There’s no getting away from the fact that a law degree will involve an intense workload, and there may be times when you feel like you’re falling behind. 

“The biggest challenge was definitely the workload,” says Barbara. “You need to start working from day one. You need to be fully committed to the course and keep going forward. 

“Life happens and there will be days when you can’t stay on top of it all: it happened to all of us. In these cases, make a realistic study calendar and stick to it. Ask your tutors to help, they are used to it. We all asked at one point. 

“In the end, all the pieces will come together and you will see the results. Overall, the challenges students come across are part of the process and everyone goes through them. But you learn how to overcome them all.”

If you’re struggling you can ask for help

And if it ever does get too much to cope with, don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

“It's important to note that mentors care about your life outside of your studies,” says Barbara. “I struggled a lot at the beginning with the volume of reading required and talked to one mentor about it.

“She emailed back with a long list of helpful advice and materials on how to stay on top of everything. 

“But what surprised me the most is the fact she’d check in with me from time to time to see how I’m getting on, even after she stopped teaching us.”

Our partnership with The University of Law

The University of Law

The Student Room is proud to work with The University of Law as the official partner of our law hub, where current and future law students can find the advice and guidance they need.

The University of Law welcomes intelligent, ambitious students interested in the world around them; people who question systems, procedures and behaviours, and are not afraid to challenge convention.

Study at The University of Law and you’ll be equipped with the professional knowledge you need to excel in your chosen career, and supported by an award-winning employability service to help you get there.