How my Law with Politics degree has set me up for a successful career
Law with Politics LLB student Alexander Brown shares his experiences of studying at The University of Manchester.
Why Law with Politics at Manchester
I was always set on doing a law degree but developed a strong interest in politics during my A Levels. I thought that the course was intriguing because of the strong relationship between the two disciplines and the fact that it is not offered by many institutions. I knew by doing this course I would be able to satisfy my desire to get a law degree as well as to explore the subject of politics in more detail.
The best parts of being a UoM student
Manchester is a great place to be, the culture and the general feeling around the city excites me still after being here for a few years. In terms of the Law School, I am continuously in awe of the intelligence and knowledge of the academics who teach me.
They are so passionate about their subject areas and many are authorities in their field, whether as researchers or practitioners. Every day, when I go to university I know I am being taught by the best!
My personal highlight was completing my first case with the Legal Advice Centre. The client was distraught and desperate for some help with a problem. Being able to be a voice of calm when meeting her and then provide her with clear, concise and practical advice to help solve the problem was very satisfying. Being commended by the manager of the centre for the quality of my advice letter was an added bonus.
I have been involved in the Legal Advice Centre which provides free legal advice to members of the public who cannot access legal advice elsewhere. It also provides students like me with the opportunity to experience the process of dealing with a client, from the initial meeting to understand the problem, to researching the law and then providing relevant and concise advice. It is not only extremely satisfying to be able to help those who otherwise would not be able to access legal advice, but it is also early experience which will prove invaluable when going into practice.
I have recently been approached to be involved in the Black Lawyers Matter programme. This is a Law social responsibility project that seeks to work in collaboration with the University and external partners to address the under-representation of black males in the legal and criminal justice professions. This project is heavily supported by the Chancellor of the University, Lemn Sissay, who has created a bursary to encourage more black male students from low socio-economic backgrounds to study at the Manchester Law School.
This programme is a testament to the progressive nature of the Law department and the University and will encourage more black students to pursue their goals regardless of skin colour or socio-economic background. I will contribute to raising awareness of the cause, participate in events and mentor students who are part of the programme even after I have graduated.
Black Lawyers Matter will undoubtedly aid my development and help me to increase my professional network. This is a great cause and I am very proud to be part of a University and School who are willing to take active steps to challenge underrepresentation of black males in the field and on their own courses.
One moment that stands out from my time at Manchester
One valuable experience that I will always cherish from Manchester is meeting and attending a talk by Baroness Hale, the President of the UK Supreme Court. She provided unrivalled insight into the legal field as well as giving insight into how she overcame barriers in the profession to become one of the greatest legal minds in the country despite the misogyny she faced in her early career.
My studies at Manchester have given me great tools to prepare me for a successful career in law and I plan to go into practice as a solicitor after graduating. The core skills of analysis, communication and research are transferrable and will serve me well in practice in a similar way to how they have during the course of my degree.
Practical experience such as that gained through being able to volunteer at the Legal Advice Centre as well as the professional networks that will be gained from the Black Lawyers Matter project will also prepare me well for my career outside of university.
My advice to prospective Law students
Work hard as certain areas of law are not easy to grasp! The degree will test your resolve at times but a mixture of hard work and resilience will see you through. Make use of the great academic staff within the Law School, approach them with queries and concerns, that’s what they are there for.
Finally, take advantage of the wealth of extra-curricular activities which are provided by the Law department. Not only will they aid your development and make you a more rounded individual, they will also make you more employable. Everyone has a degree these days, its other experiences in conjunction with a degree from this great institution which will vastly improve your CV and career prospects.