Emily-Mae Morland is an LLB Law student who joined our Leeds campus in 2020. Studying throughout a pandemic might have been a challenge but she hasn’t let this stand in the way of her dreams. We caught up with Emily to discuss her journey so far and her ambitions for the future.
By Cara Fielder. Published 22 October 2021. Last updated 19 August 2022.
I chose to study at The University of Law as it had the highest employability rate compared to other universities. Also, when I did the virtual tour, I just loved how it wasn't too big and everyone was just so welcoming and friendly.
My main career ambition is to be in a position where I don’t have to worry about money and I can buy my daughter nice things, compared to now, where I have to count every penny. Another career ambition is to become a law firm partner or be a manager of a section within a firm. I believe, as a young single mother, I could be a great role model. I can prove that if you work hard, no matter what your circumstance, it will eventually pay off.
One of my main educational ambitions which was most important to me was finishing college. In my first year, I was pregnant. After I had my daughter at the beginning of August, I went straight back to college only four weeks later, to start my second year. I felt like giving up and dropping out at many points during these two years. However, I stuck at it, which resulted in me getting all my grades, which were better than expected, and I secured a place at ULaw.
The one clear ambition I had before joining ULaw was to smash it and walk away with a law degree one day. My aim was to prove that anything is possible, not to anyone else but myself and, I am strong enough to do anything.
I have done the majority of my first year at ULaw online, and even though I’d rather be on campus, I have gained many skills from studying online. One of these is improving how I draft formal emails to a lecturer or member of the University. This is going to be a huge benefit for the rest of my working life. Another thing I will take away from ULaw is something I was always told by tutors - no matter what, always make sure you are choosing your career path for yourself and no one else. This is so important.
I have been involved in several schemes that highlight certain routes into law, hosted by law firms. I’ve also spoken to various solicitors about their journey and having mock interviews etc. Doing all this gave me a clearer insight into what law is and the truth about the occupation, not what is portrayed on TV.
I have met many people at ULaw who have the ambition to succeed just like me but everyone has a different reason as to why. This has really helped me because everyone is willing to help each other with classwork, or if you feel as if you have missed something, you can always ask. Everyone shares the desire to succeed and classes are much more productive and interesting with people like me who are willing to put the time and effort in.
My grandmother is my inspiration. She came over from Jamaica to Yorkshire to study nursing. After she was a qualified nurse, she got pregnant and became a single parent. But her career was not over. My grandma continued studying and became a midwife. Her nickname was ‘bookworm’ because she always had her head in a book; she had that ambition to succeed. Over the years, she delivered thousands of babies. I would love to follow in her footsteps because she made a name for herself, despite becoming a parent and was known for her ambition to succeed.
In five years, I see myself still pushing for success, whether doing a master's degree in law or pushing for a promotion in a law firm. I also hope, by that point, that my daughter will understand how much determination it takes to succeed and that everything I am doing is for her so she can have a comfortable life where she won’t have to worry about whether she can go on a school trip or not.
The best advice I could give to new ULaw students is to always keep an open mind. When I first joined ULaw, I thought I would like certain areas of law and presumed I would not like others. However, I was wrong; I enjoyed the subject I assumed I would not. Also, never be afraid or embarrassed to answer/ask questions in lectures. Even if you think you might be wrong, take the risk; that is the best way to learn. Plus, someone else will probably be thinking the same thing.
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