Your law course has the potential to change your future, but as the old saying goes "you get out what you put in". Make sure you're making the most of the opportunity by getting prepared, getting involved and getting proactive.
Law in action
Author Martin Partington suggests ways to help you make the most of your legal studies.
Outside your course, your law school or university law society will have a wide range of activities you can get involved in to boost your CV and give you some extra confidence.
Mooting is probably the closest you can get to appearing in a real court while you're still at university. In a moot, law students present a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel and in front of a judge. The whole experience is supposed to be as true to life as possible, so students have to prepare trial bundles and address the judge and opposing counsel formally.
Mooting now forms a compulsory part of certain law courses, but is still a totally voluntary student-organised activity in other law schools. Whether or not mooting is compulsory at your law school, gaining mooting experience can have a positive impact on your future career.
To find out more, visit our mooting pages or take a look at John Snape and Gary Watt's How to Moot.
Street Law or Law Clinic
You may have the opportunity to get involved in a law clinic or street law scheme, where law students give free legal aid to those that need it, under the supervision of a professor or legal professional. As one student puts it, law clinics help you "gain a wider knowledge of the subject and profession. While these things were terrifying to do they have helped me and my friends in the long run as we now feel more confident about our subject". They will give you the opportunity to put what you've learned into practice and get a taste of life as a lawyer.
Student Law Panel
As a law student, you'll be spending a lot of time with your textbooks. At OUP we run a Student Law Panel to make sure that our textbooks are meeting your needs. We ask our panellists to complete short online surveys and reviews and in return, we can offer you credits towards OUP books. If you're interested in joining the panel and making a difference to legal education, visit our Student Law Panel pages and complete the application form.
Studying for a law degree is very different to studying for your 'A' levels or Highers;- your professors' expectations will be much higher and the learning experience will not be what you're used to. But don't despair! There are ways to prepare yourself for these changes. Build your study skills now to make life easier for yourself at university.
- How to Write Law Essays and Exams does exactly what it says on the tin, giving you the foundations of how to succeed in your essays.
- Legal Skills highlights those skills specific to studying and practising law that will be all important throughout your studies and into your future career.
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