From around the age of 13, I had always wanted to study law at university. Everyday, the law affects each and every one of us, although often we don't realise it. From purchasing products to driving, the law is incredibly influential and I wanted to learn more about it.
Getting into a university law school is difficult and often they are looking for more than just decent grades. Law departments want to see some effort being made to understand the law before you apply. For this reason, I read some generic texts that explained the law to potential first year law students which I think showed my commitment to studying law when mentioning them in my application. I also think my A level choices helped me to get offers from university, especially History, which Nottingham Law School considers to be an important subject.
As part of my university applications, I sat something called the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT). The LNAT test is required for nine universities, including Nottingham and Oxford and aims to test students on their ability to extract information from a number of texts. The aim is to separate a number of students who all have the same A level results. I think my LNAT score helped differentiate me from other students that applied to Nottingham, as I achieved a higher than average score. Therefore, I would recommend that you take the LNAT test seriously if it is required to get in to your desired university as if you obtain a high score, it'll enhance your application compared to the hundreds, if not thousands, of other students applying for the same place as you.
I'm glad that I put enough work in to my A levels to gain a place at my first choice university. The University of Nottingham is part of The Russell Group of universities and, unfortunately, law firms and barrister's chambers can be very judgmental with regards applications from students. The top law firms focus on the university you went to when you apply to work there and attending The University of Nottingham has already opened doors for me. I have completed work placements with a leading judge in Manchester and have also worked with a number of leading law firms in London. Any work experience you can get in law is useful, both when applying for university courses and when you later apply for jobs. It allows you to experience the inner workings of the law and show that you are committed and determined to pursue a law career. I would recommend contacting local law firms before applying to study law at university in order to gain an insight into the life of a lawyer - the reality is that US TV shows like Suits are tremendously unrealistic.
At The University of Nottingham, you learn about more than just the law itself. You learn the skills that will allow you to apply the law to different situations and adapt it to different contexts. I believe that this is one of the factors that separates the top law schools in the country from the others. Law firms do not want a student who just knows the law; they want a student who knows the formalities and procedures that come with a career in the legal profession.
During my first year I have studied three core areas of law; Contract law, which was by far the hardest module, Tort law, which was the module I found most enjoyable and Public law. Once I graduate, I hope to specialise in Intellectual Property law. I want to combine my interest in Business with my passion for law and I thought that Intellectual Property would allow me to satisfy that aspiration.
A law degree is tough and requires more hours of studying than the majority of courses. You will find the workload tough at the beginning of your studies when what you really want to be doing is exploring the new city you are living in and meeting new people. However, after you get through the first couple of months of you law degree, you will get used to the workload that is required.
Away from studying, The University of Nottingham is a great place to be a student. The campus is stunning and you could not ask for a better city to live in than Nottingham - it really caters for students and there are so many facilities and activities to take part in all over the city. I'm a member of the three University law groups as well as part of the university handball team, which allows me to forget about my studies for at least two hours a week. It really is the perfect place to study.