I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I graduated! I remember being discouraged from choosing Leeds Beckett University by some people whose opinions I sought when deciding where to study; the naysayers kept pointing me towards the league tables. However, I am glad I followed my intuition, because studying at Leeds Law School has been one of the best decisions I have made so far!

Being part of the first cohort to study the Law with Management LLB course (now Law with International Business and Management) was not the easiest course but there was support available at each challenging turn. From day one, I had access to some incredible resources: the open-door policy with my tutors, the 24/7 library and dedicated legal librarians, the online academic subscriptions, career advice, work experience and networking opportunities and a lot more. 

In my first year, I had the opportunity to apply for and participate in the legal mentorship program. My mentor, a practicing solicitor, gave me some advice that helped me make the most of my time at the Law School and Leeds Beckett in general. She said that gaining a first-class degree was good, but it would be better to have a 2:1 with a lot of experience that would show prospective employers the skills I acquired and how well-rounded I was. I took that and ran with it. 

There are so many highlights of my time at Leeds Law School. One would be going to a law firm in Bradford as a first year, with some third-year students for an experience day. To have this insight into what practicing law looked like so early on in my legal studies was such a rewarding experience. Another such experience was the Law Clinic module in my third year. Working with my course mates to interview actual clients and research their problems to be able to properly advise them, was a surreal experience. The four months I spent doing this helped me use and develop skills I had only been taught in theory.  There were so many opportunities to step up as a student.

I also cannot overemphasise the amount of support that is available to all students. While in my third year, I decided to go volunteering in the US during the summer of my graduation and the Law school did not just verbally encourage me, they supported me financially too.  Careers support was also extensive and included specialist help with my CV, mock interviews, job searches, filling in applications too. 

And of course, there is no way I could talk of my time in Leeds without mentioning the opportunities I was given to contribute to the growth of the law school. As a student it was important to me that I was listened to by the people who were responsible for providing me and other students with a well-rounded quality education.  I was a student rep and treated with respect at all of the meetings I went to.   In conclusion, I think the best thing about studying at Leeds Law School is that you do not feel like a number but a person who opinions, growth, academic development and success really matters.

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By Nykki-Marie Smith
08 Jul 2021
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