We spoke to Online LLB student, Kieran, and discussed his journey so far at The University of Law. Here, Kieran details why he chose to study the LLB Government and Politics (Online) with us and urges aspiring lawyers to not let obstacles such as location stop you from pursuing your passion in life.
Law, to me, is one of the most essential elements of society. It protects the indefensible, it stops abuse of power, it propels success for disadvantaged members of society, and it grows our business industry.
I first knew I wanted to be a lawyer when I completed a work experience placement in sixth form with a leading UK law firm. During that time, I was exposed to the role of a commercial lawyer and the skills needed: commercial acumen, teamwork, innovation, and resilience. Seeing business questions be resolved by lawyers really interested me. During university, I have done numerous internships with and accumulated over two years of legal experience – all of this solidified my belief in becoming a lawyer. As to where my future aspirations are - becoming a judge sounds nice.
The University of Law tailors courses in a practical way and teaches you how to be a lawyer. The university also was prepared to give me the flexibility of studying virtually which tied in well with my career aspirations to work and focus on succeeding in my career. It is all about what suits you, and for me, the university’s flexibility and support while also focusing on the key skills needed to be a lawyer, was essential to me and is a decision I stand by to this day.
For anybody considering online study, my main advice is to engage with university members –engage with clubs and activities. You also have an amazing employability team right behind you, and you have supportive staff who want to see you succeed.
I currently work full-time as a paralegal alongside my studies. I plan my week in advance, identifying times at the evening and weekends to shift my focus from work towards studying. To be able to handle both, not only do you need a lot of willpower, but you need to be able to organise yourself. I won’t say it is smooth sailing, it is a challenge to balance, but the experience, to me, is self-fulfilling enough. The other side is remembering your life should not be about work or studying. You need ‘me time’ to switch off and focus on your wellbeing. It can take a toll, so doing things you enjoy makes sure your energy levels remain consistent.
The employability team is such a valuable resource. The team has been absolutely amazing in providing confidential and realistic advice to me to achieve my aspirations. They want to see you succeed and their experience in various sectors of law and recruitment gives them the cutting edge when it comes to applications. Even if it’s just for a 30-minute chat on “where do I want to be?” – they will look at your options, talent, skillset, and make the advice personalised to you.
The portal for employability opportunities is also really useful. There are a lot of talks and events which you can attend which cover a broad scale of issues, plenty of recruitment events, and scholarship events advertised. Alongside the portal, the regular communication of mental health resources and study advice is also great as it helps students who are either struggling with their mental health or need that support in studying to be able to excel.
Finally, don’t let anything stop you from trying to achieve your ambitions. I was asked at one school by a student: “I am from the North, I want to be a commercial lawyer, but I don’t think I will ever be one.” I told them that the law is different now. If you have the goal to be a commercial lawyer, nothing stops you anymore. I come from a working-class family, I did not attend a private school, I was the first student to attend university. I have had great success in my career, and I feel like being from the North has not changed my chances. If anything, it has made me fight even harder for what I want. Law firms like that. The student who asked me that question is now studying in law and has just secured a vacation scheme with a top ten law firm. Have faith, put in the hard work, and show the world what you are capable of.