Sarah Hall has been a Study Skills Coordinator with The University of Law since December 2014. Based at London Bloomsbury, Sarah assists students with honing their study skills and techniques across both our Moorgate and Bloomsbury campuses. We sat down with her to discuss how she came to work at the University and what she loves about working with our students.
I’ve had a rather unconventional career path. Having done a first degree in Modern Languages and Law, and completed my legal education in what was then The College of Law, Guildford, I qualified as a solicitor in the Litigation department of Clyde and Co. After two years in practice I decided to re-train as a teacher. Since then I have worked in primary, FE and HE education and also taught EFL overseas with the British Council in some exciting locations including the Czech Republic, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and the Cameroon. I worked at City, University of London before I came to ULaw, running the in-sessional English for Academic Purposes courses initially, and subsequently as Programme Director of the MA Legal Translation, the only course of its kind in the UK.
One of the things I really like about my job is that there is no such thing as a typical day. I spend a lot of time in one-to-one meetings with students, advising them on a range of study skill issues including time management, exams and revision. I help to develop their legal and essay writing skills, find out about their learning styles and help them improve their techniques for preparing and consolidating their workshops. I also regularly do online workshops on study skills topics so I can help students based outside the London and online. In addition, I have created study skills materials online which are available on our online resource hub, and I’m always looking for ways of expanding and improving these and making them more visible. I liaise with study skills contacts at other campuses, and am involved in various cross university projects and initiatives.
There are lots of things I enjoy about working at ULaw. I like my work with students and always hope I am making a positive difference to the people I meet and advise. I find ULaw a very friendly place to work and enjoy the contact with my colleagues and the opportunity to work with people from different departments on a range of different projects. I also like the fact that ULaw is very open to new ideas, and that no two working days are ever the same. Finally I feel very lucky to have found a role that combines my legal knowledge with my teaching experience and enables me to use that for the benefit of others.
There are two pieces of advice I give students that I think are very important in my view. Firstly I strongly advise anyone who needs support to seek it sooner rather than later. Staff here all want our students to be successful, whether they are academic staff or Business Professionals, and everyone is very friendly and non-judgmental. There is a wide support network available, so do make use of it as it can make a big difference to your studies. Secondly bear in mind that everyone is different, and we all have different ways of approaching things, so don’t compare yourself with other people; try to find out what strategies work best for you as an individual.
Many different people have inspired my career, going right back to my first teacher at primary school. I am very fortunate in having had a very varied and interesting career path, and I have met inspirational role models along the way. I have been particularly lucky in having excellent and supportive line managers, most notably in the translation department at City, University of London and here in Student Support Services at ULaw.
I’m privileged to work with our students, some of whom have overcome real difficulties and faced significant challenges to be here. I find many of their stories very inspirational and really like working with them to find solutions to their study skills issues that will help them complete their courses successfully and go on to become the lawyers of the future.
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