18 November 2019
My first year studying law at ARU has been fantastic! It’s not been easy - however, when you really want something you work hard for it.
Some of my friends have said things like 'The first year doesn’t count', and think I’m crazy to study so much but it is worth it. By the time second year rolls round, I will be familiar with tackling assignments efficiently, Oscola referencing (special referencing for law), time management, different ways to study and I will know where to research and get help.
I know when second year comes, it will be challenging, but I will have the basics mastered so I can focus on the course content. I won’t need to stress about how to find a certain article on the library website or how to access Westlaw (special site for finding law materials) because I’ve been doing it well throughout my first year.
Studying hard pays off in other ways, too. For example, many vacation schemes in law firms will demand certain grades/classifications from your first year. Vacation schemes often lead to training contracts depending on your performance with that law firm, so I need to make sure I am competitive.
I don’t think you should go crazy with studies but do a little every day: consistency is the key.
As I am a January starter, I had the Constitutional and Administrative Law and Legal Method and Skills modules in my first semester. Constitutional and Administrative Law was very interesting as I finally got my head around Brexit and things which are very relevant to the public. Meanwhile, Legal Method and Skills taught me all the legal skills good law students should know. We also did seminars in the University's mock court room, which made me confident to get up on my feet and speak in front of people. We had exams, coursework and a group presentation to complete in our first semester, which went really well. Team work was the strength of our group.
All of my module tutors and leaders were extremely kind, supportive, helpful and full of expertise in their area of law which was excellent. My tutors knew me by my face and name. As a January starter I was in a small group of students, which had its perks. There were regular interactions, conversations and group discussions which helped me grow in confidence and tackle public speaking.
Now I am coming to the end of my second semester, doing Criminal Law and Contract Law. I have exams in less than a month, an assignment and a moot (where you present a legal argument with another person doing the same course as you, and your tutor as judge).
Yes, it is definitely a lot of work, but I keep thinking that in three years’ time I will be closer to my dream job. It will, undoubtedly, all be worth it.
If you're interested in studying law in Cambridge or Chelmsford, come along to an Open Day to find out more about life at ARU.