7 Questions with Choi Ching Jack
23 May 2019
Choi Ching Jack is a first-year Law student and the first-year Course Representative for the Faculty of Laws and the UCL Student Law Society. He was recognised as a faculty winner for the Academic Rep of the Year Awards 2019.
Why are you interested in [your course subject] and what do you plan to do in the future?
My decision to pursue law as a degree and a career was affirmed during my A level studies − Law was one of my subjects. Traditionally, Law has not been deemed a “facilitating subject” in the eyes of the average A Level student or even by the lecturers who teach them. One senior student at my school’s subject fair even warned me that choosing Law may even diminish my chances at a Russell Group university. Yet, I was drawn to it. As a previous science-stream student back in high school, I always found those type of subjects as rigorous and lacking space for persuasive argumentation and critical thinking. Law was unlike that – our lecturer constantly reminded us that there is no such thing as a “right answer” and that all opinions are acceptable so long as they are supported by adequate evidence. This, along with my one-week internship at a regional law firm in Malaysia, provided me with all the affirmation I needed to choose law as a degree and a career. My ambition is to become a solicitor working in a City law firm.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?
The most interesting aspect of my UCL journey is definitely being part of the UCL Student Law Society Committee. Not a dull day goes by in Laws – we organise an event (a competition, career event or social gathering) almost every day during term time. As a committee member, we have never strictly been told to attend every single event, but we try our best to do so anyway. Getting in touch with the different law firms in the City that sponsor our events has also made me more commercially aware and more confident in my future career path.
Have you discovered any ‘hidden gems’ during your time at UCL?
I may be a tad biased on this, but I genuinely feel that Bentham House is one of the best locations on campus. The newly refurbished Bentham House opened just over a year ago and it houses the family of law students and faculty staff. Not only is the wooden architecture there breathtaking, it is also a conducive environment for students to socialise and study. The moot court on the ground floor is definitely the pearl in the clam, it simulates a real-life courtroom and it is where the Law Society hosts its mooting competitions.
Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London
Firstly, I think it is important to explore outside the Bloomsbury area. Sometimes as university students we tend to stay in the libraries or mingle around near-campus locations. Secondly, London possesses a plethora of beautiful cafés. If you are a coffee lover like me, I highly recommend café-hopping to explore the styles of different baristas. Thirdly, go watch a musical! London is a city of the arts.
If you were Provost for the day, what one thing would you do?
If I were Provost for a day, I would initiate the distribution of a sort of “Exam Package” goodie bag during examination season. Some universities have already started doing this. The goodie bag would include some stationery, a notebook and some information about examination guidance and where to find someone to talk to in a time of need. It could even include some chocolate bars or a stress ball!
Who inspires you and why?
I am constantly in awe of the academics in the Faculty of Laws. They are extremely passionate not only in their research, but also their teaching. Throughout the year, they make sure that the courses are well structured and during revision season, the lecturers dedicatedly respond to all of our questions. I hope that in the future I too will find passion in my work in the same way they do.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I was a part-time Korean language tutor during my A level studies. Although juggling work and study can be tough at times, I really enjoyed teaching and in hindsight, I am glad I persevered. This is because future employers assess you in the round, and they look at all your work experiences, regardless of how big or small the responsibilities may seem to be. Having this extra bit of work experience allowed me to gain the necessary soft skills to showcase in my applications.