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Life at UCL Laws

At UCL Faculty of Laws, we take pride in the student experience. Our students are involved in a wide range of activities, from socials and balls, to career events and mentoring

UCL Graduate Law Society

You can choose from an array of activities both within the faculty and in the wider UCL community – some of which add greatly to your legal education, some of which are just about having a good time.

As a UCL Laws student, you can get involved with our pro bono initiatives, mooting, client interviewing and negotiation competitions, mentoring opportunities and, if you can find the time, writing for the UCL Laws student magazine, Silk v Brief or for our student-led journal, the UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence.

There are plenty of opportunities to let your hair down too, with socials, balls and end of term parties, as well as regular professional networking events, including the prestigious annual Barristers’ Cocktail Party. Many events are run for and by students through the undergraduate and graduate law societies, which work to provide support and advice for all of our students.

You’ll also be able to take advantage of all the clubs, societies and facilities offered by UCL’s student union, UCLU, and the University of London Union, ULU. Whatever you’re interested in – anime, boxing, folk music, water polo, or anything in between – you’re sure to find some new friends who share your passion.

Law societies

The law societies at UCL Laws are run by students, for students.

The Law Society and the Graduate Law Society organise and deliver a packed programme of careers events, mooting and negotiation competitions, pro bono projects and socials each term, and work with the Faculty and law firms to help all students at UCL Laws make the most of their studies.

The law societies’ presidents and officers are elected each year by students, and the societies’ activities are governed by their constitutions.

UCL Law Society 

The UCL Law Society plays a vital role within UCL Laws, and is run by a committee elected annually by the student body. This society supplements academic activities by organising social and sporting functions during the year and also provides a programme of talks by eminent academics and practitioners from outside UCL. It is in conjunction with the Law Society that the faculty successfully maintains its strong links with the legal profession in London and elsewhere, and a thriving careers programme.

Members of the Law Society assist in many ways in the extracurricular life of UCL Laws. They organise moots – simulated judicial proceedings – in which all students are encouraged to participate and which are usually judged by eminent members of the legal profession. They also help to organise a client-interviewing competition and a negotiation competition. Additionally, the society arranges a substantial programme of careers talks and events.

Every effort is made at UCL to ensure that a friendly community exists. Within the faculty building, there is a pleasant common room and a number of social and intellectual events are arranged throughout term for students.

Last, but definitely not least, the Law Society exists to represent undergraduate student interests in UCL Laws. The society’s elected officers and student representatives sit on the faculty’s Staff/Student Consultative Committee and on the Faculty Board – the governing body of UCL Laws. Student representatives liaise constantly with Faculty Officers over all matters of student concern.

Olga Thomas
Faculty Tutor, UCL Laws

UCL Law Society online

Stay up to date with all the latest news, events and opportunities from the Law Society on their website.

Graduate Law Society

The UCL Graduate Law Society is here to help LLM students at UCL Laws spend their time enjoyably and successfully throughout the academic year.

The Graduate Law Society was founded by UCL Laws graduate students with the aim of promoting friendship and networking opportunities among students on the largest graduate programme at UCL. The Society strives to ensure that you maintain long-term contacts beyond your LLM programme.

Specifically, the UCL Graduate Law Society has the following aims and objectives:

  • To create opportunities for cross-cultural exchange between members
  • To promote friendships, contacts and networking between members
  • To promote relationships and co-operation between law firms and members
  • To ensure that you get an invaluable experience for your CV

The UCL Graduate Law Society welcomes all graduate students reading for an LLM degree at UCL.

For more information please see the LLM Programme Moodle page.

UCL Graduate Law Society Committee 2020-21

President: Jean Hee 
Secretary: Charles Brook
Treasurer: Magdalene So
Communications Officer: Sarah Tyler 
Employability Officer: Onosetalese Ogbebor
Events Officer: Zeyu Luo  
Sports Officer: Fintan White

Programme and Faculty Representatives

As a UCL Laws student, you can run for election as Programme Representative to represent students’ views to the Law Faculty. Programme representatives represent undergraduate, postgraduate and research students.  

The representatives sit on various committees such as the Staff Student Consultative Committee to act as the voice of students, ensuring that the Faculty hears the students’ views as part of its decision-making processes. One of the course reps will be asked to act as the ‘lead’ representative, co-chairing the SSCC meeting.

In addition to Programme Reps, the UCL Students' Union will seek and appoint an UG, PGT and PGR Faculty Representative. That role is distinct from the course representative roles. The Faculty sit on Union Council and thereby represent the Faculty at the wider University level.  

Please see the Students’ Union website for further information.

Mooting

Studying law will probably be different from how you imagined it. We tend to think of lawyers as public speakers in packed courtrooms, cleverly questioning witnesses, giving heart rending pleas of mitigation and the like.

However, the average law student will spend most of their time reading in the library, attending lectures and tutorials, and writing essays. While all of these are terribly important, at UCL Laws, we also place a great deal of emphasis on mooting – giving our students the opportunity to combine their academic studies with what it is like to be a practicing lawyer.

What is Mooting?

In a moot, two pairs of ‘advocates’ argue a fictitious legal appeal case in front of a ‘judge’ or panel of ‘judges’. The winning mooting team does not necessarily have to win the legal case on the merits or substance of the law. Instead, they are the team which makes the best presentation of their legal arguments.

Why Moot?

Mooting is useful for developing the legal skills of analysis and interpretation, but also personal skills of argument and public speaking. These are vital skills for any students looking for a career in Law and it is certainly a skill that employers will be looking for.

Mooting at UCL Laws

Internal moots are organised by the undergraduate UCL Law Society Mooting Officers. Each year, the undergraduate Law Society runs a schedule of training for freshers, as well as moot competitions for all year groups. Students can compete in internal competitions, as well as moots against students from other universities. A high court judge or prominent lawyer always judges internal UCL Moot Competition Finals.

UCL Laws also participates in prestigious international mooting competitions, like the Jessup, Vis and Oxford International IP Moot.  The mooting teams for these external moots are often a mix of undergraduate and graduate law students, giving participants the opportunity to meet and work with colleagues across different programmes. UCL regularly advances to the international rounds in these moots – providing participants with a further opportunity to meet fellow mooters from around the world.   

To get the most out of mooting, a lot of work is required to prepare winning written submissions and argue cases successfully.  But as most experienced mooters will tell you, it is well worth the time and effort!

Pro Bono 

At UCL Laws, we encourage our students to put their knowledge and skills to practical use in the community and see how the law can be used as an effective instrument for social change.

We provide opportunities and support students in a range of activities from shadowing lawyers on active casework to educating local school children about their rights and working on international human rights campaigns. These activities are managed and overseen the UCL Centre for Access to Justice (CAJ), which was launched in March 2013.

In addition, we run a Public International Law Pro Bono Project – which brings together highly motivated LLM and PhD students with a background in relevant subject areas, and provides them with opportunities to engage in cutting edge legal research, analysis and advice to assist leading international organisations in addressing some of the world’s most pressing and difficult challenges.

A full listing of the Faculty’s pro bono programme can be found on the Pro Bono Projects page of the UCL CAJ website.

UCL Laws also recognises the importance of clinical legal education and provides a unique opportunity for students to take a final year course entitled Access to Justice and Community Engagement through the UCL CAJ.

This course allows students to conduct casework together with leading UK legal charities in the areas of social welfare, employment, and education law.

To find out more about Pro Bono projects at UCL Laws, and further details about the Access to Justice and Community Engagement module, visit the UCL CAJ website. 

Join the conversation

The UCL Centre for Access to Justice Blog is a new online forum through which students and staff that are involved in pro bono work and passionate about social justice can write and share blog posts reflecting on their experiences and/or discussing pressing access to justice issues that give rise to the need for pro bono work today.

The aim of the Blog is to raise awareness of the importance of pro bono work and the major hurdles that currently limit access to justice for all. The Blog also analyses the role of law in society and the ways in which law can be utilised as a tool for individual justice, as well as the barriers lawyers and individuals face in achieving this end.

LawWithoutWalls

UCL offers LLM students the opportunity to take part in the innovative and global LWOW programme. This non-accredited course is taught in conjunction with leading law schools across the globe including University of Miami School of Law, IE University, University of St Gallen and University of Sydney.  

LWOW is a truly unique and transformative experience for those who participate, providing a rare opportunity to collaborate with global experts from industry and academia to co-create solutions to real-word challenges that sit at the intersection of law and technology.   

More details of the programme can be found on the LWOW website

LWOW Sprint 2022

Programme Director  
Dr Anna Donovan (anna.donovan@ucl.ac.uk)  

Programme Summary  
LWOW 2022 comprises of a three day sprint in Segovia, Spain hosted by IE Law on 25-27 March (inclusive).  During the sprint (hackathon) students will work in teams with mentors from industry and academia to identify an innovative solution to a problem facing the sector.  Each team is sponsored by a corporate legal department, law firm or legal tech company that assigns a narrow business-of-law challenge or corporate social responsibility (or ESG) challenge.  The programme will introduce you to skills that are essential to navigate the increasingly changing legal environment, preparing you to become agile problem solvers and innovative thinkers. 

To prepare for Segovia, the week before the sprint students will attend a series of virtual training seminars that explore the skills that are essential for both the sprint and the workplace of the future. These seminars are mandatory and cover themes such as project management, collaboration and innovative ideation skills.

There are a small number of places available for UCL students on LWOW 2022 and selection for the programme is competitive.  However, participation on LWOW offers immeasurable benefits including individual mentorship from leading academics and practitioners, hearing from guest speakers, experiencing new media learning technologies and the acquisition of a diverse range of law related and business skills.  

Students will travel to Spain on 24 March 2022 and return on 28 March 2022.    

Note that enhanced safety protocols will be employed at the in-person sprint and any other in-person LWOW events. These protocols include adherence to EU health and safety guidelines as they stand.  Travel to Spain is, of course, subject to travel restrictions and guidelines in place at the time. If travel is not possible it is expected, although not guaranteed, that a virtual sprint will be conducted instead.

How to apply

Details of the application process can be found on the LWOW website

Please note that UCL operates a slightly different process and deadlines. As such, the deadline to apply for UCL students is  20 October 2021 (midnight). Full details will be given in the induction.

Please ensure that you email your video submission and CV to Dr Anna Donovan (anna.donovan@ucl.ac.uk) as well as submitting it online via the LWOW website. 

Recognition

LawWithoutWalls has won an InnovAction Award for its ingenuity in the management of the practice of law from the College of Law Practice Management.

News about other awards and press coverage for LWOW can be found on the LawWithoutWalls news page.

 

Academic Legal Writing

Academic Legal Writing courses are offered by UCL Laws to provide support and guidance on legal writing and theory, reading and note-taking techniques, coursework assessment (formative and summative), research essays and examination preparation.

The courses are aimed at both undergraduate and postgraduate students who may have little or no experience of legal writing as well as those who do and who are aiming to enhance their grades.

One of the key aspects of the courses is the understanding of the assessment criteria and the requirements of exam questions. By analysing module coursework, research essays and examination scripts, as well as completing weekly timed essays, students develop the skills required to write within the academic legal context.

The Academic Legal Writing courses run during the first two terms of the LLB programme. Year 1 students have a number of sessions during Term 1 to introduce them to academic legal writing. In Term 2, Years 2 & 3 students can opt to attend sessions which focus on, for example, dissertation support, the Big Book and weekly mock examination essay practice.

The Academic Legal Writing courses are delivered to LLM students over the first two terms of the programme. Term one takes a theoretical look at legal writing and focuses on improving accuracy, clarity and coherence of writing, as well as providing weekly practice for LLM Students. While term two prepares for exams with weekly essay writing assignments based on LLM students’ own modules, as well as support during the different stages of the drafting of the research essays.

Reference materials and reading lists are provided via the online Moodle pages which students will have access to upon enrolment. One to one tutorial sessions are available upon request.

The courses introduce students to academic legal writing and provide a comprehensive overview of the issues students are likely to meet while preparing for and writing their assignments on the LLB and LLM programmes.


Programme for Law Teachers

The Programme for Law Teachers comprises a small number of non-accredited sessions for present and intending law teachers who are currently registered as graduate students at UCL Laws

This optional module is free, and does not constitute any part of the curriculum for the graduate degree programme on which students are formally registered.

Further information about the programme and how to register will be issued to graduate students in induction packs when they arrive at UCL Laws.

Student Prizes

UCL Laws awards prizes and scholarships to graduate students who have achieved top marks in their examinations or who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement.

Each of our prizes are made possible through the generous support of a wide range of sponsors and benefactors, including legal firms and alumni who maintain strong links with UCL Laws and who recognise the excellence of our students.

Recent winners
  • Baker & McKenzie LLP Prize for Overall Best Performance in the Intellectual Property LLM: Awarded to LLM Students taking IP Law modules.
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Prize for International Arbitration: Awarded to the two students attaining the highest individual marks ion the “International Arbitration” module.
  • Cheng Cheng-Nan Prize For Public International Law: Awarded to the best graduate Public International Law student.
  • International Corporate Rescue Award for Excellence: Awarded to the author of the best LLB or LLM dissertation in the area of Financial and/or Corporate Law as recommended by the UCL Centre for Commercial Law.
  • Jevons Institute Prize for Top Competition Law Students: Awarded to LLM candidates who excel in the Competition Law and Economics module.
  • Pump Court Tax Chambers Prize: Awarded to the student with the highest mark in International and Comparative Law of Trusts module.
  • Rouse Prize for Excellence in International and Comparative Trade Marks, Designs and Unfair Competition: Awarded to LLM students taking the International and Comparative Trade Marks and Unfair Competition modules.
  • Val Korah Prize for Excellence in Competition Law: Awarded to the best candidate specialising in Competition Law and chosen by the Val Korah Prize Committee.
Prizewinners ceremonies

Galleries of our most recent UCL Laws Prizewinners Ceremonies can be found on the UCL Laws Flickr page.

Student Support

If you feel like you’re in need of some support or advice during your studies, there are lots of resources available to all UCL Laws students that might help.

Academic Mentors

All undergraduate students are assigned an Academic Mentor, who is a full-time member of academic staff and will be able to provide support during your time at UCL Laws.

We attach great importance to the academic mentor system, and as a student you can raise, in confidence any matter – academic or personal – that might be causing you concern. Your mentor will be able to give advice and if necessary, refer you to one of UCL’s student support and welfare services.

Programme Directors

The Undergraduate and Graduate Taught Programme Directors have responsibility for the general academic and pastoral oversight of all students in the Faculty, and can provide advice and direction to students on academic, financial or personal issues.

 
UCL Student Centre

The UCL Student Centre brings together services from across UCL to provide advice about welfare, student disability services, fees and funding, rights and advice, and graduation ceremonies.

Visit the UCL Student Centre website to find out more

UCLU

University College London Union, UCLU, exists to provide all UCL students with a range of services to support and help develop their skills and interests while they are at UCL.

All students are automatically registered as members of UCLU (although you may choose to opt-out), and the Union is led by ten full-time student sabbatical officers elected by students in an annual cross-campus ballot.

UCLU runs over 200 clubs and societies for students, as well as a number of bars, cafes and shops across campus. They also provide opportunities for students to get involved in campaigning and volunteering, find part-time work and develop your employability skills.

Visit the UCLU website to find out more