Leeds Beckett University - City Campus,
A Week in the Life of a Master of Laws Student
Gail wrote a blog about a week studying the LLM Master of Laws (Distance Learning) with Leeds Law School.
Since my course is online, I was able to study for twelve hours non-stop on Tort Law in the comfort of my own home without having to worry about traffic jams, petrol or car parking. I also love that I can study wherever I want, including cafes, hotels, the park, and even at the pub. Due to the flexibility of the course, which is a rare find in a university, I was able to complete a full unit today (non-stop studying) – so I felt very proud of myself.
I travelled to Cardiff to meet with one of the leading educational solicitors in the UK, who the day before had secured a win in the High Court Appeals setting a precedent in case law regarding successfully challenging breaches in statutory duties. A PhD student and I then presented some of our ideas. We were asked to produce a proposal so that they could be presented to the Board of Directors at a leading law firm. We sat in the pub and drafted some of our ideas over fish and chips and a pint of larger. When I got home, I read a chapter of Tom Bingham’s Rule of Law.
I attended a political conference and met with a well-known politician for a coffee and a chat, and was asked if I would make a video with him about my research regarding injustice and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Wales. I also took a SEND parent to meet the politician, who listened to how public communication systems have breached the law towards his disabled children.
In the morning, I worked with my students, and I was proud of their achievements as they had made excellent progress. I then completed all my assessment and celebrated by going for a meal with my mum. Later in the afternoon, my friend and I compiled a comprehensive joint document using Google Docs. After this, I was asked to attend a meeting with two SEND parents the following day. I stayed up late reading through key documents, codes of practice and reports in preparation for a meeting.
I attended two meetings in an advocate role for a SEND parent at a school with several professionals from social services and education. It was lovely to meet professionals who listened to the parent. Later I called Michael O’Brien, author and miscarriages of justice victim, who asked me about my university course at Leeds Beckett. He told me all about Tort Law cases, citing Donoghue and Stevenson (1932) and was so impressed that I was able to tell him a bit about it. After hearing about my course, Mike stated that he too wanted to do a law course at Leeds Beckett.
I focused completely on my law work today. I finished a full unit of work about Constitutional Law. I also completed the thought-provoking activities which required three-dimensional analytical thinking in considering the same situations from many different angles and through the lens of the law. My lecturer was thrilled to speak with Michael O’Brien and invited him to speak at the university about how he had to learn the law to prove his innocence and set precedence. More good news followed as I was informed that I was one of fifteen lucky winners who had won a £500 bursary from Postgrad Solutions towards the cost of my studies. I also found out from a client that she had received official notification that she can now have face-to-face contact with her children after years of unlawful separation. This reminded me why I am doing this law course.
Today was another day of focusing on my law studies. I enjoyed reading my fellow students’ comments about constitutional law. It’s amazing how varied and diverse everyone’s experiences are. The results from the Laws, Institutions and Skills exam were in and I passed. To celebrate this good news, I read through the Parpworth, Loveland and Bingham books. I also read a paper about Dicey’s early life and enjoyed doing a bit of background research about his life and struggles. This background reading put the Dicey’s Rule of Law into context for me and I found the life of Dicey very fascinating to read.
Final thoughts on the week
I had a busy but rewarding week. My husband is now checking out all the last-minute flights to Spain. I’m feeling quite liberated as I won’t have to worry about my attendance at university because I can access my Master of Laws course online whilst sipping cool drinks and dipping my toes in the pool.
Life doesn’t any get better than this.
You can read more about Gail and her research at White Rose eTheses online.