Dear Denis – this is what studying law in the UK is like

In complete honesty, after high school I was a bit lost. My parents had just got divorced and my mind was not really in the right place. I did not know what I wanted to do with my life. I was a fairly good student, with good grades, but I could just not focus on my studies and my future. I asked around and eventually most of the people suggested the same thing: law is a good thing to start with, it is very useful to know the law, and there is always something to do with a law degree. This is why, at the very last moment, I chose to study law. Now, it has been two years and a half that I pursue this path. I started with French Law at the Sorbonne and continued at King’s with English Law. I am part of the English/French law degree, allowing me to study two years at Kings before going back to Paris for two more years. I am pleased to be able to combine both civil law and common law as I think they are both very important tools in the world we live in, especially for a European. My degree will allow me to acquire a twofold legal education and this is very important to me as I wish to work at a global level. I hope to specialise in Environmental Law and Human Rights once I finish those four years. So far, I have enjoyed the most ‘human modules’ such as criminal law or tort law, and I also liked European law.

A basic day at university often looks like this: we have lectures, tutorials or both. The day tends to be quite short as we rarely have more than 5 hours a day. The rest of the day would be spent either at the library, using the time to catch up with readings, preparing for tutorials, by simply sitting in the cafeteria with friends, do some work as well as having nice conversations. Also, once every two weeks, we have what is called ‘seminars’: in small groups, with are having a conversation about a specific topic that was covered during lectures. This allows us to have a better understanding of the topic, and develop our analytical as well as our thinking skills. I often struggle with the amount of readings, we easily have a minimum of 70 pages to read per module for each week…and we take four modules at a time. What I enjoy the most are tutorials, because we truly get to have a good understanding of the materials and ask questions. I also like the fact that this year, we have time to get involved in extra-curricular activities. That makes our weeks quite heavy but very interesting. I get to do pro-bono work this year, which truly gives me experience as I get to actually be in touch with people in need and apply what I learn in an active way. This year, our lecturers do inspire me, especially one of them who covers every module we have (tort, trust, property) with the same passion and interest. He knows so much about the law and we can truly feel his adoration for it. It is inspiring to have this kind of lecturers as it makes it all more exciting.

I have the chance to live in a developed, peaceful and rather economically strong continent. France is indeed a very powerful country, especially in the European sphere. Nonetheless, in the past years, the country had to face some serious struggles; such as terrorism, unemployment, a highly unappreciated president, the refugee crisis and the loss of a big ally in the European Union. Throughout history, we can see that Europe often had to face difficult challenges, and today, though it has come a long way and changed in certain fundamental aspects, it faces new types of issues which are more modern.

I truly feel that in the Occidental society we live in today, there is unstopping un-satisfaction: no matter how much people will have, they will always want more. Everything around us when walking down Parisian streets for example, or even when staying at home watching television or listening to the radio, constantly pushes us to buy and consume. Our natural needs like eating, having a proper shelter, wear proper clothing accordingly to the weather, have limits. But our ‘un-natural’ needs have none. This issue is problematic and is, in my mind, one of the main reasons of poverty, inequality and conflict. Our planet has enough natural resources for humanity as a whole, but sadly, and because our occidental societies do not know how to use these resources in a proper way, people are quickly divided and a lot suffer poverty, starvation and terrible living conditions. Instead of trying to live in a world of sharing, compassion and love, people are being selfish, caring only about their own little lives.

2 thoughts on “Dear Denis – this is what studying law in the UK is like

  1. Pingback: Veronica and Denis: How does your country facilitate access to justice? – Oxfam Junior Lawyers Against Poverty

  2. Pingback: Mathilde and Bruno: what are the barriers to accessing justice in your country? – Oxfam Junior Lawyers Against Poverty

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