Switching campuses: An interview with Chaunte-Monique Williams
Chaunte-Monique Williams is currently studying her LPC at our Leeds Campus with aspirations to become a Human Rights solicitor. But she started her LLB in our Manchester Campus and switched after her second year. We caught up with Chaunte-Monique to find out about her experience of studying at ULaw and how she found switching campuses part way through her course.
The main reason that I chose to study at ULaw is because the course was modular. I learn best when focusing on a few topics at a time and that is what ULaw offers. A big selling point to ULaw is that almost all the tutors are in practice or have been in practice, which helps them provide a realistic view point within their teaching.
I think that a legal qualification is a good foundation for any career path as it provides you with skills that are transferrable into almost any situation. My goal is to become a solicitor so I kind of need to have a legal qualification, but I do think it challenges the way you think and makes you think practically, which in the “real world” is what’s most important.
The teaching at ULaw is great. It’s very practice-based, so even the tasks set for the workshops are all based on scenarios that are plausible in real life. The expectation is that you not only know the law, but you are able to apply the law to situations. This style of teaching is used on both the LLB and the LPC, and from the beginning of your undergraduate degree they are setting you up for the very practical nature of the LPC course.
A big bonus in the teaching methods at ULaw is the length of workshops and lectures. They are limited to two hours, which means there’s less chance of you switching off due to them being too long. Also the workshops and lectures are within a reasonable time; during my LLB and so far on the LPC, I have not been on campus for a class any earlier than 9:00am and no later than 4:30pm. This has been an advantage for me as it makes me feel like I have a life outside of the ULaw campus.
I started my LLB at the Manchester Campus and then moved to Leeds. I did my final year of the LLB in Leeds, and I’m now studying the LPC in Leeds too. I’m really pleased that I obtained an amazing grade for the LLB and I am currently doing really well on the LPC. I am so happy that I attended ULaw.
My move from Manchester to Leeds went really great. I was a little apprehensive about moving so late in the game but I was really happy that I even had the chance to move. And the transfer process ran so smoothly. It didn’t take a long time, which is a great bonus as you are not left hanging without an answer; this was the result of the fast and effective communication between the Student Services teams in Manchester and Leeds.
One thing that stood out to me on my first day at the Leeds campus was that the staff on arrival and registration knew exactly who I was before I even introduced myself. They really made me feel like a valued student and not just a number. This even carried into my classes, the tutors knew who I was straight away and introduced themselves to me and overall just made me feel very welcome to the campus. My personal tutor and the head of year Gayle Heppell also made me feel very welcome by meeting with me throughout the year, ensuring that everything was going ok and that I was settling in. Finally, the fact that the other students in my year were so nice and welcoming was a bonus, as they did not make me feel like “the new kid” and involved me things from the beginning.
After I complete the LPC I intend to obtain a training contract. Easier said than done, I know. If not I want to secure a position as a paralegal with the view to a training contract. My long-term career ambition is to work as a qualified solicitor in a firm that deals with Human Rights. My ambition is to help the “underdogs” of society and provide access to justice for all. I believe that large corporations and the government should not be able to take advantage of individuals and the fact that they are not as financially advantaged as them in accessing legal services.
I have made good use of the University’s Employability Services. In starting my educational career in Law I was unaware of things to do to actually become a qualified solicitor, I did not know a how to make myself employable. I attended the employability classes throughout the LLB, which gave me insight in how to make myself more employable and appealing to law firms. I have also had a number of meetings with the careers team who have pointed me in the right direction in regards to training contracts, where to start looking and what to look for. They have also helped me tailor my CV to be suitable for the legal profession.
If I could go back, I’d tell my 18-year-old self to stress less and have more fun. Getting a good grade in the degree is obviously very important, but so is having a social life. I spent a lot of time studying (as you should), but not as much time getting out there and having fun.
Check out our website to find out more about how Switch It Up can give you the chance to experience a different campus or change courses part way through your studies at ULaw.