Law student perspective: Tymothy Yew

LLB Law student Tymothy from Singapore spoke to us about his experiences studying Law here at Birmingham Law School

a portrait of Law student Tymothy Yew"I found that law was where my passions lay and that I wanted to study in the UK. I chose the University of Birmingham primarily because it was on the narrow list of accepted universities I could study at if I wanted to qualify as a lawyer back in Singapore. On research, I found that it was an excellent university with a beautiful campus, located in a nice city and I decided to apply. 

My first impression of the University was awe. The first time I saw it in person, I had walked down from the Vale along the footpath. I had been focused on the map on my phone, attempting to navigate, and hadn’t been paying attention to my surroundings. Suddenly, I found myself surrounded by the stunning red brick architecture, vibrant green spaces and of course, Old Joe looming over me. It was a beautiful sunlit day at the end of summer and I was amazed by the view. 

I find the study of law to be mentally challenging and stimulating. There is a ton of information to absorb, analyse and make sense of. As an avid reader, writer and presenter, studying law suits my abilities while constantly pushing me to develop myself intellectually. What I really find meaningful is the intersection of law and other disciplines. We frequently examine the moral and societal implications of law in various modules. It is a very practical and vocational course, certain modules are more structured and substantive, relating to aspects of everyday life such as commercial dealings and property. 

There is strong support for the large community of international students at Birmingham Law School. The International Student Team caters specifically to us and will provide all the assistance and information you need to assimilate to life here. The University also puts on welcome events and talks at the start of the academic year for international students. After which, the International Student Team and other organisations within the college regularly have sessions such as academic workshops and social events. Not to be overlooked, personal tutors are extremely helpful in both your academic and personal life. I’ve found my own tutors to be very caring and I frequently go to them for advice. 

I’m the Streetlaw Coordinator for Employment Tribunal in the University’s Pro Bono Group, where I organise presentations for litigants in person to enable them to understand the Employment Tribunal system and navigate their case. I’m also on the recruitment team for the pioneering committee of the University’s Legal Empowerment branch of Global Brigades, which runs volunteer missions to disadvantaged communities all over the world. Additionally, I serve as the link between the student body and the staff team as a Student Representative. Primarily, I gather feedback from my cohort and raise issues at the staff forums. Last year, I was in the Mountaineering Club and the Singapore Society. I’ve also joined various law societies such as the Holdsworth Club, the European Law Students' Association (ELSA) and Aspiring Solicitors.

I am an avid mooter. Last year I competed in the Advocate of the Year Competition by BPP Law School and Birmingham Law School’s Negotiation Competition. This year, I’m doing the European Human Rights Moot Court Competition by the European Law Students’ Association which is really exciting because the final round takes place at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. 

I’m hoping to qualify and practice as a commercial litigator in Birmingham. The Law School and Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research (CEPLER) have done a fantastic job in preparing me for my future career. The University of Birmingham is one of the top universities graduate recruiters seek to recruit from, for good reason. Since first year, I’ve regularly attended seminars, workshops and networking events organised by CEPLER. This has given me a good understanding of the legal profession in the UK and what it takes to enter it. Through partnered events with firms, I’ve gotten the opportunity to get to know people at the law firms that I aspire to work at and I’m sure this will have a large impact on my future career. 

Birmingham is definitely a great city to study in. As the second largest city in the UK, there’s loads to do. The nightlife is great and there are fun places to visit such as gardens and museums. It’s situated in the West Midlands, which is central in the UK and just an hour and a half away from London by train. It’s great for students as it’s more affordable than London in terms of accommodation, food and so on. My favourite thing about Birmingham is all the natural and green areas. I appreciate that the city is quieter and less dense than larger cities. I love to run by the network of canals that runs throughout the city and walk in the beautiful parks. 

I would tell international students considering Law at Birmingham that it was the best decision of my life, and I don’t say that lightly. Since coming here, I’ve gotten such amazing opportunities and have had a wonderful time. Birmingham and this University are extremely diverse, I’ve always felt welcome despite coming from halfway around the world. It’s a great university and I’m sure you’ll benefit from the excellent education and experience that I now enjoy. Do check out the Singapore Student Guide to Studying Law in the UK in which I give more advice for Singaporeans."