The law course is designed around problem-based learning (PBL), whereby students are divided into groups, or ‘law firms’, at the start of first term. Throughout the term, you are required to work with your ‘law firm’ in solving real-life simulated problems. Each week, one or two problems are distributed to the ‘law firms’.
Lectures and workshops
In between the PBL problems, we have lectures to attend – a standard component of any university degree. In addition, there is the module known as Legal Skills. Here we are taught the essential practices of mooting, negotiations and mediations for mock-clients. Personally, I found these workshops helpful as I was able to build on my current legal experience that I obtained when in Canada. It is a wonderful experience to be able to learn the law in England and reflect back on how the common law system, which exists in both countries, is still fundamentally different.
Studying at law school is best done within groups at the beginning. If I can offer any advice, I would say that it is important to hear from your peers of their viewpoints on an assignment or an activity, before tackling it yourself. I found that this method allowed me to obtain different perspectives on an essay topic, and share the essential building blocks with peers. Once completed, private study is never a bad thing. Cornering yourself in the library, or for me – my flat – gives you time to reflect on what you learnt in lectures, and relate it to the various problems distributed in PBL.
Life outside the lecture theatre
Societies and sport
Alongside the intensive law course at York Law School’s, part of a typical week involves being a part of societies and sports. I am actively involved with the law school staff in promoting the course to outside international students interested in coming to York to study. I am also a Student Ambassador with the university where I hold tours for prospective students or even those that have obtained an offer to study here at York.
On the law side of things, there is the opportunity to attend the various career events that are hosted by the York Law Society (LawSoc). Events include law firm presentations, CV workshops with graduate recruitment managers, commercial law panels and even how to get into law school for non-law students. Currently holding the position of Treasurer, I am in charge of putting money forward to support the running of these careers events for law and non-law students. It has been a fabulous experience being able to work in close association with commercial solicitors across London, in hosting events and networking with them outside of university time.
On the note of careers, our dedicated Employability Tutor Chris Wilkinson is an excellent resource when it comes to law firm applications. He is willing to review your CV and even look over an application letter for you. Once the term gets kickstarted, Chris hosts weekly drop-in sessions where you can ask him anything career-related. He has a great network and is extremely helpful in every way possible!
Being a part of many activities on campus has allowed me to meet an array of individuals and learn about different cultures and views from around the globe. I also am highly tuned into my South Asian roots. As such, I am on the British Asian Society as the Secretary. I assist the President with various cultural activities directed toward students of all nationalities.
On the social side of things, each week, some flats on campus (and off campus) host game nights or even movie nights. It is a great escape from the daily hustle-and-bustle of university and all those long library sessions. Currently, in my flat, we have group-cooking activities. We all go for a massive food shop together and then spend one evening cooking, and enjoying each other’s company. In fact, we are thinking of hosting another meal very soon where we each cook something belonging to our nationality – I’m looking forward to it!
Remember, be sure to have some get-away time while at university. It is not only good for the brain, but for your overall well-being!