After the success of my Career Inspiration series I’ve created Uni Life. The purpose behind this new interview series is to give prospective and current students an insight into life at university, what it takes to get there and how to survive.
It’s hard to know what path to take when you’re in college and there’s a lot of pressure to go to university or dive straight into the world of work. I hope that this series will give those of you a chance to learn from current students about the courses you’re interested in.
This week I’m sharing an interview with Laura, a third year Law LLB student at Northumbria University. She’s also an avid blogger and you can find her on Twitter. She welcomes any questions and comments you might have about her uni life or Law LLB.
What course are you studying at university?
I’m studying Law LLB which is a 3 year course in Northumbria University, one of the many law courses that are available there.
Did you have to study specific subjects at college to get onto the course?
No, you just had to get AAB in your A-Levels.
How did you know this was the right course for you?
I went on a random trip to Liverpool Crown Court in Year 12 and decided it would be interesting to study.
What do you enjoy most about your course?
Some of the modules like Criminal law and Tort are quite interesting. You study real cases involving murder, clinical negligence etc. As awful as they are, they do interest you and make you think about the stories you see in the papers. If I see someone throw a punch I now instantly think “Thats battery and assault and maybe even ABH”. It’s things like that, that I find interesting.
What do you find most challenging about your course?
Lack of options until third year. I’m better at coursework and 90% of my first two years were exams. I love the flexibility of my final year picking most of my options so the first couple of years are challenging in that sense.
Are internships easy to come by in your field?
No! If you would like to be a solicitor after uni, you need experience with a law firm or a court for example. Even once you have gotten that, you need to study a Legal Practice Course and apply for training contracts with solicitor firms 2 years in advance.
Please tell us about an internship/work experience that you’ve gained something positive from.
I haven’t gotten any! I realised in Semester 2 of my second year that although I find the course interesting, I don’t wish to practice law.
Do you have any career plans in mind for when you’ve graduated?
I’m currently applying for graduate jobs in fields like retail, sales, marketing, recruitment etc as I’m not sure what I want to do. Having a law degree is good as I’m not limited to one specific type of job.
Do you take part in any student groups or outside activities?
I try to, but sometimes it’s extra stress. I enjoy raising money for charity when I can.
What do you do in your spare time?
In first year it was all about drinking in clubs 2-4 times a week, barely any sleep etc. Second year it died down a little and in third year I’ve been out once!
I live in a flat with my boyfriend who is also a student (we were allocated rooms next to each other in a flat in first year and have been together since the second semester of first year). I enjoy being in a student relationship and living together. We both blog, we love to chill out and rest from doing so much work. I think the best thing we do in spare time is plan our next travelling trips for when uni is over!
What would you’ve liked to know about university life before you started?
That you shouldn’t trust the first people you meet with your life. Seriously. I fell straight into the hands of a bully and didn’t bother making many friends because I genuinely thought she was a new best friend. She wasn’t and I was bullied throughout most of my second year living in a house with her. Unfortunately you do meet people like that in uni, they don’t magically disappear. I wish I had been wise and got to know a lot of people.
What keeps you motivated?
Knowing that the work ends at some point. I’ll have an academic degree (I say this as I’m useless at being creative) that I worked my hardest towards. Having people around you really helps you get through those 100 page cases.
What advice would you offer to prospective Law students?
Look at the types of course on offer and assess your personal skills. I’m incredibly glad I chose Northumbria otherwise I wouldn’t had met my boyfriend. But had I thought about my lack of confidence, I wouldn’t have chosen the course I was originally on. I was on the MLaw (masters in law with the LPC for 4 years) until my final year where I changed to a traditional LLB course. It was too demanding for me and I could have gotten into a red brick uni, or a uni more suited to my needs if I had sat down and taken it a little bit slower.
Visit open days and talk to current students whilst you are there. Law is a hard subject and if your heart isn’t in it, you will find it difficult to find the motivation to power through. It is really interesting studying certain modules, but as a UK requirement you have to study the 7 foundations including things like EU Law which are boring.
Finally, what is your go to meal after a busy day of lectures?
Nothing is better than a chicken tikka masala!
I want to say a big thank you to Laura for taking part in this interview. Laura demonstrates that you can study for a degree that you find interesting without having to commit to a specific career path.
If you would like to take part in my Uni Life series then drop me a message on Twitter.