Second-year law student Nivedita S talks about life at Birmingham Law School.
Title: Birmingham Law Student: Nivedita S
I think that the fact that the Birmingham University is a red-brick institution is a key factor in inspiring me. The moment you walk into campus I find it so inspiring you just feel like you are in university. The Harding Law Library especially cos you have all the books necessary which help you to progress in you law degree and the librarians are absolutely friendly so any time you need any help just go up to them, smile and help you so basically all the information you need at your fingertips.
The teacher, the lecturers here especially, they are at the forefront in their respective fields. So it’s amazing to be taught by them especially when they have written books and you read the books and you see your lectures name and you’re like ‘oh wow’ you know you just feel more inspired to just go to the lectures and concentrate and study and get taught by wonderful people.
The careers service here from the Law Society itself as well as the Director of Careers in the Law academic side as well. They both advertise major firms, open days and when the firms come down to give presentations you get the chance to interact with the solicitors and learn tips basically on how to apply for vacation schemes, training contracts etc. They also advertise activities happening outside campus, so you get a chance to go to the firm itself and find out what it’s like, career at the Bar or a career as a solicitor and find out basically what you want to do in the future.
I heard about mooting before even arriving at campus but I was looking forward to it, I didn’t know there was so many opportunities to take part in mooting here. For the first year there is the Allen & Overy First Year Cup, it’s a competition for just purely for first years, so it’s judged by the lecturers themselves and then the finals are judged by the partner from Allen & Overy. I took part in it hoping to win but I didn’t know how if was going to go cos it was my first time at mooting and I was really scared when I first did it, I was so scared that I didn’t answer any of the judges questions. Every time he asked me a question I panicked and all I could say was thank you my Lord for your suggestions but I am unable to assist you at this point in time. I just kept repeating that again and again, but throughout it all I improved upon it and eventually I did win the cup which was a huge achievement for me, cos you actually get a cup, it says Allen & Overy a silver cup, which is amazing. Throughout the whole mooting experience I’ve learnt much about not just a career at the bar, which I am considering now after having done mooting, but also the ability to read all the cases thoroughly and be able to summarise all the facts succinctly and excellently so that you are able to convey your point in the limited amount of time you have to moot.
The Law School offers so many different non-academic activities such as the Law Drama Society, which puts on dramas every year. The best part about that Society compared to all the other university drama societies is that it’s among the Law students so they know when your deadlines are, they know, they understand what you’re going through, so they schedule the rehearsals in line with your deadlines, so you are sure that your deadlines and rehearsals won’t clash. At the same time you get to meet students from different years of the same programme so you get tips from seniors on how to succeed in law as well, and that’s a really good opportunity available here.
I actually have several options. My first consideration is obviously is to try for the Bar but it is a highly competitive area so I’m waiting to see what is going to happen there. The alternative is to do a Masters and then once again try for the Bar. So basically the ultimate goal is to become a barrister but we just have to wait and see.