As a fourth-year law student, I never thought that I would be using online materials to self-study at home due to the coronavirus outbreak. After all, I am paying ten grand for the Legal Practice Course (LPC)! However, against all odds, this experience has proven to be positive and beneficial in some ways. Read on to find out how.
The first semester of studying the LPC has left me and many of my colleagues totally burned out. With classes from 9 am to 5 pm, Mondays to Wednesdays, we would spend the rest of the week at home trying to catch up on sleep and the necessary reading. Don’t get me wrong, the LPC isn’t hard per se, it’s the quantity of work that’s intense. The worst thing was having to study all the ‘core’ and ‘skills’ modules in the first semester, so we were practically preparing for 14 papers all at the same time, but thankfully, we’ve made it through.
Then came the new semester. We were all pretty excited by the idea of studying only three electives, so time was naturally on our side. Although our timetable has been spaced out and we could eat out if we wanted to, there was still so much to do!
More recently, we were informed that the university has taken a decision to suspend all face-to-face teaching due to the COVID-19 situation. At first, we were feeling pretty uneasy as to how things would go but we figured that when life gives us lemons, we’d make lemonade!
While staying at home, I have decided to make the maximum use of my time. Since last week, I’ve discovered the benefit of self-study, as it gave me the flexibility to schedule my own study plan. I am no longer feeling obligated to finish my reading before every Sunday, instead, I have been reading at my own pace, which allows me to spend extra time focusing on understanding a particular topic. My sleep cycle also improves, since I no longer have to wake up early for my 9 am lectures. I even find excess time to prepare for training contract applications and workouts at home.
Although my work placement with the University Law Clinic has been cancelled, I am glad that it has led me to actively search for new ways to expand on my legal work experience, which helps to boost my CV during this lockdown!
I’ve found that a great way to gain work experience without having to step outside of my home is using InsideSherpa to find a virtual experience programme. Launched in 2016, InsideSherpa offers a wide range of company-sponsored virtual internships, such as White & Case, which gives you the opportunity to gain first-hand insight into the firm and necessary skills to become a successful lawyer.
Following the government’s guideline on staying indoors, I have managed to reduce my spending on travelling costs to university. This is particularly helpful because being a student, especially if you are living away from home and having to manage living costs all by yourself, your bank balance tends to be restricted.
So far, this unprecedented life experience has been a learning curve, as it forces me to become more adaptive in life and to think on my feet – a great skill for a great lawyer! Many of my friends are taking up new hobbies as a result and therefore learning new skills. See this negative circumstance as an opportunity to grow if you have the means.
Words: Wing Shuen Ng
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