Thinking about studying law?
If you’re thinking about studying law, or are due to start your course this year, Gordon Dean, a solicitors practice in Norwich, offer tips to those beginning their studies as well as a few reasons why it’s a fantastic course to take.
Law students work hard and play hard – Law societies are often the most closed and active ones on campus. When you’re not working, your timetable will be bursting with debates, law balls, and other social events. Throw yourself into the social side of your degree as these extracurricular activities are a fantastic way of networking, gaining experience and getting yourself noticed by the right kinds of people.
The law is constantly changing – Living in the society we do, we are always going to need the law. Not only will your studies always be relevant, but there are also opportunities to continue your learning. For example, changes in technology and the Internet have resulted in a lot more cases surrounding IT law.
Your job will never be simply ‘law’ – Despite this being your specialism, law touches pretty much every other industry giving you the opportunity to pursue a branch of law that interests you the most. It could be anything from international law, economics and foreign policies, to family law and social issues.
“… the opportunity to pursue a branch of law that interests you the most”
But remember, studying law isn’t all work and no play. The course is likely to be the most intense academic challenge you’ve faced so far and it will be a steep learning curve. Here are a few tips that should help make your first few weeks less challenging:
Law is not meant to be easy – Remember that you’ll spend a lot of your first semester (and likely the second and third) feeling a little lost. Feeling bewildered and like you ‘don’t get it’ is perfectly normal for all undergrads. Just try to stay on top of your work, complete the suggested reading and never be afraid to ask questions.
Be passionate about your work – enjoying your studies will help you find studying law easier. As you get into the subject you will begin to see that it is an art form. You will become a pro at reading cases and solving problems, you will constantly have to question yours and other people’s judgements and look at things from a multitude of perspectives. Try to always ask questions, speak out and reject stereotypes.
“You will become a pro at reading cases …”
It is also vital that you try to be political, read a variety of papers (broadsheets and tabloids) and get involved in debating societies. Look for work experience and say yes to all opportunities, this will help to broaden your horizons and allow you to see the law from different angles.
Don’t just rely on your textbooks – Read and research as much as possible whenever and wherever you can, explore different sources and think, form your own opinions on what you read and constantly question what you learn. This will soon help to separate you from your peers who solely rely on lecture notes and example cases.
This article was written by Laura Harrison. Laura is a recent graduate from The University of Manchester.