Student profile: Jennifer Kay

Programme: LLM in Criminal Law & Criminal Justice

Having read Law at Cambridge, I wanted an LLM programme which would provide the same intellectual challenge. Birmingham Law School’s reputation within the field of Criminal Law, along with their specialist LLM programme, made the choice easy. The opportunity to apply for a scholarship here (which I was awarded) was also a deciding factor.

The module choice here at Birmingham is unique. I have been able to study such topics as Homicide in considerable detail, whilst also enjoying entirely new courses such as Legal Responses to Terrorism. The best thing though is the opportunity to explore each topic within the seminars. The groups are small, with only five or six students, so the depth of discussion is considerable.

The teaching on the course is very different to undergraduate teaching. Here, you are encouraged to really develop your own ideas based on the reading. I have felt fully supported by all of my lecturers to do this, as they guide the discussions whilst letting you discuss the aspects you found most interesting.

A great aspect of the course at Birmingham is the support you are given to pursue extra-curricular opportunities. I represented the University at the Inner Temple Moot IV, where we were runners-up, winning a mini-pupillage at one of the country’s leading criminal Chambers. I also took part in the university mooting competitions, coming second in the Postgraduate Cup. During the year I have helped to establish a new Howard League society, hosting a well-supported speaker event, and have volunteered two mornings a week at my local Citizens Advice Bureau. Finally, I was allowed to take a week out of Birmingham to undertake an internship at the UN Human Rights Council. It is undoubtedly this breadth of activity combined with my academic studies which has led to my employment.

I eventually hope to pursue a career at the Criminal Bar, where I hope my specialist masters degree will make me stand out from the crowd. Before I do this though, I am already working at the Howard League for Penal Reform, a charity I was involved in as a student whilst at Birmingham.