Fresh-faced and eager to learn

In Commentary on August 18, 2012 at 10:00 am

No, the above isn’t the name of the latest X-Factor winning boy-band, but a description of the many students who got their A-Level results this week. First of all, well done to all of you!

Some books because I’ve read that every blog post should have a picture. You’re welcome.

The aim of this article is to provide some insight into the sorts of things I wish had been told when I started at university. it’s aimed mainly at fellow law students, but can be pretty much generalised to any other subject.

Herein lie the pearls of wisdom.

1) Be that annoying swot who asks questions. Mainly in tutorials. No one likes the guy that puts his hand up in a lecture. No one.

2) Read every case on the ‘compulsory’ reading list, and a few from the ‘further reading’ list. You don’t  have to read each case in full, but being able to lay down a few facts from an obscure case will be the legal equivalent of the sort of name dropping that gets you into the hippest of clubs. People are still using ‘hip’ right?

3) Do not think that simply diving into the nearest text-book will guarantee you success. You’ll do well at university, but if you want to make a career out of law, you’ll need to capitalise on all the experiences that university has to offer.

4) Examples of said experiences: taking part in events/ competitions organised by the university law society. Joining a few other societies that relate to your hobbies and interests – if you can’t find one that does, start your own and you’ll gain the sort of leadership experience that you can use to pad out your CV for years to come

5) Don’t think that the recommended text for your course will be your only lifeline. If you’re struggling with it because it seems dense or even badly written, find another book on the same subject that’s more suited to you.

6) Try and cram in as much work experience in your holidays as you can, but don’t limit yourself to just the legal sector. Other professions such as accountancy and insurance utilise many of the same skills, and employers are increasingly looking for candidates with non-traditional backgrounds.

7) Try and do some charity work, whether its volunteering at your local Citizens Advice Bureau or even an old people’s home. People like people who help other people.

8) Organise your notes as you go along. Nothing is worse than reaching that point a month before your exams start where you’re trying to peel crumpled lecture handouts off of crisp packets from the bottom of your bag.

9) Be smart and revise with someone. This doesn’t mean you should memorize exactly the same stuff, but you can bounce ideas off of each other if you work with someone who revises at the same pace as you.

10) Finally, ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS. It may seem like the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do but believe me, it’s a veritable mardi gras compared the graduate race for employment.

I hope that helps and hasn’t completely put you off studying law at university. Feel free to add any of your tips in the comments section.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: