Throughout high school, students wanting to go into law are told all about how competitive it is, the difficulty, the amount of reading required and that the slim chances of getting into part two and beyond. As a result, I had my eyes set on one thing, and that was to get into part two. So now I’m here, over halfway through the year, and what are my thoughts??
Actual Law School
Paper wise, you don’t really get a choice. If you are doing a conjoint, you have to complete 4 part two papers over 2nd and 3rd year as well as Law 298. The papers are criminal, public, contract and tort. I’m unsure why but it seems to be the pattern that you do crim and pub in 2nd year, I heard that they help set you up for the latter two but mixing them up won’t disadvantage you at all!!
Law 201 – Criminal Law
Classes – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – 3 streams in the morning, midday and afternoon, tutorial once a fortnight
Assessments – Court observation worth 0% but you have to pass it or else you can’t pass the course, test worth 20%, tutorial essay worth 10% and an exam worth 70%
Review – I’m actually really enjoying this paper as it’s interesting and relevant to society. It involves a lot of real-world information whether it be cases or things you see on TV which helps you understand it and apply it. It isn’t for the faint of heart due to the topics discussed e.g. sexual assault, murder etc. However, that is what you will be faced with if you become a lawyer so if you have issues with what is discussed it is good to know now. Be prepared now, quite a bit of reading involved.
Law 211 – Public Law
Classes – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – 2 streams, and a tutorial once a fortnight
Assessments – Tutorial Quizzes worth 5%, 15% test, 10% essay and a 70% exam – plussage applies in this course
Review – This course started off quite interesting with lectures being about the branches of public law. However, for me, the more we got into it, the less interesting it has become. To be fair the lecturer also warned us that it would be like that, so we were prepared. (If I’m being honest, I am quite a way behind in this paper just because I got sick, and since it is a whole year paper, I focused on catching up on more pressing things.) Of the two, I much prefer crim as I feel it involves practical skills opposed to pub which I would say feels like a more theoretical paper.
Law 298 – Legal Research Writing and Communication
Lecturers – This isn’t your typical course as it doesn’t have lectures, just 2 hr workshops, therefore it is only worth 10 credits. It is an interactive, skills-based course designed to help you build confidence in handling legal materials and to prepare for assessments in all subjects in Law.
Classes – Once a fortnight for the academic year
Assessments – Two online tests worth 10% each, a case analysis worth 20%, elements analysis worth 20%, legal memo worth 20% and a moot also worth 20%. I thought there was a participation mark but it isn’t in the syllabus so I must be wrong.
Review – This paper requires less effort than a normal paper. It takes about 15 minutes if that to prepare for the class and under 3 hours to work through modules required to sit the 10% tests. The classes are small, so you get to know people and feel comfortable interacting and discussing, which is good as you are in the same workshop for the year. It does go over things you have learnt before and that are written in the workbook, but hey its only 2 hours out of your life for easy participation marks.
The Best Bit about Law School
As I said in my little sub-heading, there is a best bit about law school and for me, it’s the social element. I was prepared to make no friends at Law School and spend all my time learning. However, the social side of Law School makes the hard work all worth it. You could say Law students work hard and play hard lol. Going to Law Camp at the beginning of the year is the reason I’ve got a lot more involved socially this year. When you don’t know anyone, it can be hard to join in with events, so Law Camp was the perfect opportunity to do that and find a group. As a result, I went to the stein, pub crawl, law revue and ball and can quite easily say it’s some of the most fun I’ve had this year.
At times Law School may seem like the worst decision you have ever made, and that graduation will never come (trust me I think we have all felt that) but it can also be the best experience. The content is interesting a majority of the time, you can tell people you do Law, and Law Students Society throw some pretty lit events. Make the most of it, and know that the time you spend at law school is an investment for your future!