You studied both the LLB and LLM at UCL Laws. What encouraged you to stay at UCL Laws after completing your undergraduate degree?
After graduating with a LLB in 2008, I went on to study the LLM at UCL Laws in the following year, as I'd developed interests during my LLB that I wanted to study in more detail. I decided to stay at UCL Laws for my postgraduate studies partly because I was happy there but also because UCL had a good jurisprudence department, which was one of my interests.
What key factors made you apply to UCL?
A combination of the reputation and prestige of the Faculty and its great location in Bloomsbury, central London, were key factors in my decision to studying at UCL Laws.
What have you gone on to do since graduating?
After I graduated, I qualified as a solicitor. I trained at Hodge Jones and Allen and then moved to Leigh Day where I work in their Clinical Negligence department.
What advice would you give to prospective or current students at UCL?
When it comes to studying and academic life, I’d advise prospective and current students to:
- Read full judgments of important cases, but don't feel like you have to read full judgments of every case. Some cases are only important for one or two discrete points which you can pick up by reading a case summary. This isn't laziness; it's practical. You will physically not have time to read full judgments for every case on a case list. If unsure about which to prioritise, ask your tutor.
- Take advantage of office hours - you should feel very much at liberty to discuss things with your tutors. It's common to feel like you are bothering them, or that by asking questions or raising concerns you are somehow coming off as a bad student, but it is really quite the opposite. Most questions are not "stupid", but even if you do ask a question that perhaps you should have known the answer to, you are still far better off having asked.
- Finally, don't worry if you feel everyone else is smarter than you. It's very common to think that, particularly during your first few months, and it's not true!
Do you have any careers advice for people who wish to enter the legal profession, and for those thinking of going into careers outside of law?
On the careers side, my advice would be:
- Don't feel like you should go into legal practice just because you are studying law. Academic law is very different to legal practice and your skills will be highly transferable to all sorts of careers.
- If you do want to go into legal practice, I’d encourage you to consider: which jurisdiction would you want to practice in? What type of lawyer (e.g. solicitor/barrister if in the UK)? What subject matter would interest you, and what type of client do you want to work for?
- This final point is probably the most overlooked, but it is really important: you will find that, once you are qualified, what really makes a difference is working on law within an industry that interests you and working with clients that you like. You can easily research this online; but nothing beats hands-on experience, so try to get as much as you can. For example, I quickly realised that I liked working for people and individuals, and I had little interest in working with client companies or businesses. That led me to realise that commercial law was not for me, which was quite a revelation at the time!