Victoria knew she wanted to be a lawyer when she realised she never let her mum win an argument. Growing up, Victoria’s interest in the subject of law and desire to make a positive impact on the world only grew, leading to her decision to change careers and study the PGDL online.
By Elena Carruthers. Published 28 June 2022. Last updated 11 January 2023.
I have always wanted to help people as part of my job – whatever that looked like, so that, combined with my tenacious drive to win every single family argument, combines beautifully with a career in law.
I currently live in London and am studying the PGDL full-time online. I am half kiwi, half English and worked as a winemaker before this course. My undergraduate degree from New Zealand is in chemistry, marine biology and environmental science - so this is something very different for me.
The PGDL has always been in the back of my mind since I first heard about it years ago. I kept toying with the idea but couldn’t fully commit to it for several reasons, as it is such a huge undertaking. After the tumultuous last couple of years and the enormous amount of change that occurred, I finally decided to embark on the PGDL as I realised that online learning (the new normal) would work well for me. After countless hours of research, it was very clear that the PGDL at The University of Law was the best choice for me.
The flexibility is the best part for me. I love that I can go at my own pace, spending longer on what I struggle with and moving more quickly through the units that perhaps come more naturally. The ability to study anywhere in the world is also great – and something I have definitely utilised. I enjoy the depth and breadth of the content as it really gives a great overview of law as a whole.
I have made some fabulous friends at The University of Law that no doubt will be life-long friends. We stay connected in a couple of different ways – we have weekly student support sessions with our smaller tutor groups, so that is a great time to touch base. Also, getting involved in as many extracurricular things as possible has been a brilliant way to stay connected with other students. I have done a lot of pro bono work and am on several committees, so I feel a great sense of community with the wider university student body.
The best way to stay focused is to create a solid routine and stick to it as much as possible. My calendar is organised into sections across the whole day, so I know that in two weeks between 10-12 on a Wednesday, I am doing my tort reading, for example. Also, it’s a good idea to map out everything you need to do for the semester. In the first week of term, I look at everything I need to hand in and when, and write a list out – it’s such a satisfying feeling slowly crossing them all off as you go through the year. This not only keeps me accountable and aware, but also is a good indication of my progress.
The manuals for each course are invaluable. There is also a huge amount of support available if you ask. The Library and Study Skills and Careers Team are fabulous, I have had many one-on-one sessions with all of them where I can get to grips with what learning techniques are most effective for me.
My advice to anyone considering online study at The University of Law? Stay organised from the start and reach out if you need help. It is a full-on course, so try to make friends with some of the class members so you can celebrate and commiserate together. I was mulling it over for so long and am delighted that I just committed to studying here. Enrol - it will be great!