We spoke to Lawrence, a current LLB student at Swansea University, about his experience of the course and of the university in general. Read on for an insight into why he decided to study law there and what to expect from the course.
Why did you decide to study your LLB at Swansea?
Of the universities I had shortlisted to apply to, Swansea was my preference due to it being relatively close to home, and its LLB structure was appealing because you complete all elected subjects in the final year. However, after attending an open day, my mind was set. The level of attention that Swansea paid to its prospective students was outstanding compared to the other universities I had visited. One professor took the time, after giving a talk, to answer my questions and reassure me that studying law with dyslexia was not an obstacle and additional help was available if needed. When I got home, I confirmed my offer to study at Swansea.
What is the best part about studying at Swansea?
The best part is the feeling of community between staff and students. The staff at Swansea are always available to give advice or additional feedback on any aspect of the course, which is reassuring because law can be a challenging degree at times, and you get the feeling that people genuinely want you to succeed. Both campuses of the university being effectively on the beachfront is an added bonus too.
What is the worst part about studying at Swansea University?
Friends who travel to Swansea by car have noted that parking can be difficult, but this is probably more of an inconvenience on the Bay campus than it is for Singleton – where the law faculty is based. Also, although Swansea is a great city and has huge development plans being undertaken over the next few years, it is obviously not as big as some other cities you could study, but this is a matter of preference; I personally like living in a smaller city and not spending hours sitting in traffic.
How can applicants make themselves stand out when applying to Swansea?
More than simply stating that you are interested in studying law, specify why in detail; give examples from your experiences – part-time jobs, family members, work experience, etc. Also, an applicant will stand out if they can display to the admissions team that they have qualities necessary to successfully study – e.g. determination – and gives examples for them too. Finally, try to do these things while avoiding generic statements and clichés – if the reader can anticipate how a sentence is going to end, it will be unremarkable.
What do you enjoy most about the course you’re studying?
I enjoy that law is such an interesting and varied course. It sometimes seems like history, business and sociology all combined. Amazingly, some areas of the law have remained unchanged in 400 years whilst others may have changed since last month. And the facts of some cases are truly unbelievable (particularly in criminal law). Also, the law is relevant to virtually every aspect of day-to-day life to a varying degree. Therefore, it is easy to find something interesting in the topics studied.
How do you manage your time?
Time management is a key skill to successfully study law as much of the work needs to be done in preparation for seminars. I find it most effective to keep a timetable of work and then stick to it. It’s easier to dedicate a certain time to studying and then spend the remainder as you see fit, rather than leaving work until the last minute and then having to spend most of your time frantically trying to catch up – the organised option is far less stressful.
What extracurricular activities can you get involved in to start building up legal work experience?
I think the availability of extracurricular activities is a particular strength of Swansea University; there is a massive range of options that you can become involved in. The University organises talks with practitioners and internships providers and skills competitions – such as mooting, debating and client interviewing.
There’s also a very proactive law and bar student society which organises sessions and competitions themselves. The crucial thing is immersing yourself in the opportunities because they are certainly there. For example, I have been able to take part in various skills competitions, have conducted research with the university during an internship, and even completed a summer placement in California.
Swansea School of Law has clearing places available – find out more.
Interview with Lawrence Thomas
An LLB law degree might be your first choice if you’re considering studying law at university. But what is the LLB, what are some LLB courses on offer, and will you have to take the LNAT? Find out!