So this is my first blog post, and I thought it would be fitting to share with you all why I chose to study Law and why I picked York to do so!
So first, a bit about my background. I come from Scarborough, a small seaside town around 40 minutes away from York and I definitely don’t come from a family with a legal background full of solicitors and barristers. I do think it’s important to mention that in my ‘story so far’ as there seems to be a view that the only way to get into the legal profession is having connections, which is definitely not the case!
I remember like yesterday when at school and college, you are constantly faced with questions regarding your future plans and its always a struggle when you don’t know if you want to be a teacher or a dancer or a brain surgeon. I vividly remember the questions asked from family members, careers advisers and friends:
- ‘What do you want to do when you finish school?’
- ‘What are your career plans?’
- ‘Any thoughts if you want to go to university … what do you want to study?
…and the list goes on.
So how do you progress from studying a number of GCSE’s or A-Level’s to then picking a degree?
I was able to narrow down my search by picking a subject I was good at, and as importantly, something I enjoyed. I always preferred English and essay writing to Maths and Science, so that was a start. I also loved getting involved in a debate, and voicing my opinion (perhaps I just enjoy arguing but it’s worked out well so far!) I was also interested in following interesting cases and stories in the news and on TV (although I now realise how very unrealistic the depiction of lawyers on TV is).
My interest in Law developed further when studying the subject at A Level, I became more and more interested in how the law is relevant to everyone, but also how it is ever-changing as new legislation comes into play. I took the plunge and decided that a degree in Law was right for me, but my next big decision was where did I want to study?
I definitely knew I didn’t want to stray too far away from home, but far away enough that I could still move away and get the uni experience. Obviously, this is all about personal preference. I had friends that were more than happy to move down to London, and others that stayed in my town to study, it’s all about what will suit you best. When picking what university you want to study at, whilst the facilities and the course are extremely important, it’s also important to make sure you are happy with the area you will be living in for the next 3 years.
One of my main places to start was UCAS to see what was on offer and narrow my options down from there. It’s overwhelming the amount of different options available. The best place to start is looking at if the grades the University are asking are achievable, then you can weigh up other options such as location, course type, work placement opportunities etc. After having a nosey at each universities website, I found a great way to figure out whether a university was right for me was to go on an Open Day where you get the opportunity to ask students and academics questions and gain a real insight what it is like to study at that institution as well as see the university for yourself!
I managed to narrow down some options that were around 2 hours away from home. From narrowing down my options I was able to get a feel for not only what the course offered but also the location, the accommodation and the student life. When I visited the University of York I felt it would be the perfect place to study, and live! I had visited the city numerous times as it is the closest city to my home town and always enjoyed days spent in York. I was so happy to find that I love the Law course that York offers – it’s more practical than a traditional law degree. It’s structured around problem-based learning, which means applying a textbook definition of the law to real life scenarios and problems, which is applicable to the work of a solicitor. Although I was unsure about whether I wanted to go into a career practising as a solicitor, the skills required and built upon in the course at York fit perfectly with my strengths and my style of learning.
After applications, interviews, offers and a very anxious wait on results day, I am now here! I have been studying at York for over a year and personally I think I’ve made the best decision for my future! The practical aspects of Problem Based Learning (if you’re still not sure what this is I’ll make sure to cover it in a later blog, but in the meantime you check this clip out –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrZ6O2Pu9No) make this course perfect for me, as does the opportunity to work in Student Law Firms with students from a number of different cultures and countries across the world.
I hope this was somewhat helpful to you all, no matter where you are in the application process, or still choosing where or what you want to study!