Lara Pierre-Francois, LLB Law
I will be honest, I am obsessed with legal TV shows such as “Murder” and “Suits”. You should never feel ashamed to admit it. However, aspiring law students should always remember that these TV series do not depict reality.
When I decided to study law, I was mainly interested in the human rights field. I realised that knowing your rights is really empowering. This degree is also a mix of the other subjects that I was interested in such as economics, politics and history. Indeed the legal system of a country is the fruit of its history and of its culture.
There are many specialities in law and you will get to determine what you are passionate about. You could study human rights, immigration, asylum law or contract law for example. If you are interested in the business world, you could attend the Law with Business and Management LLB at the University of Bradford.
A-Levels vs. University: Help on your transition to University
The transition from college to university can be quite difficult. You might feel overwhelmed but you will quickly adapt to your new life. As a law student, you will need to study more independently.
You cannot content yourself with only what you learned during the lectures. You need to do research on your own. Do not hesitate to seek advice from your personal tutor or from librarians. When writing essays, the main goal is to always develop a critical analysis regarding the topic. You need to give your opinion but you should back it up with legal theories and cases. I usually use legal websites such as Westlaw or LexisNexis.
Get the most out of your degree at Bradford: Pro Bono Work
As a law student in Bradford, you will get many opportunities to do pro bono work.
In your third year, you can be part of the law clinic. You will work in the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) and get to offer legal advice to clients. It is an amazing practical experience that will help you go outside of your comfort zone. You will learn how to work as a team and how to interact with real customers. You should also definitely try to be part of mock trials (where you pretend to be a barrister). It can be quite scary but it will help you develop your public speaking and your confidence.
There are many opportunities available and you are the one that gets to decide what you want your university experience to be.
Prepare yourself for post-graduation
Many companies and even governmental organisations organise insight days or weeks for first-year university students. Attending one of them will help you determine where you want to go career-wise and maybe even get an internship for the next year (as a law student you will need to apply to law scheme).
My biggest advice is to start networking as early as possible. It will help you learn about the industry and create opportunities for you. You should attend networking events (organised by the BPP) or attend trials and try to talk to a barrister. You should definitely get in touch with the Careers and Employability Services at the University. They will help you find a part-time job, write your CV and figure out your career plan. I attended several of their workshops and got to meet potential employers and alumni from the University.
University is all about challenging yourself and finding your path. Completing a law degree will lead to amazing opportunities you never would have thought of.