Robert is a current student on the LLB Hons programme. He started at the Law School in 2015 and is entering his second year.
Why did you choose to study law and why at Edinburgh Law School?
Edinburgh University Law School is well-known throughout the UK as a top law school. It is also situated in a fantastic city with a variety of things to do and see, so when I received an offer it was an easy decision to make.
In what ways does it differ from your expectations going in?
As a subject, I did not really know what to expect from Law. One of the main benefits of the subject is that the vast majority of fellow students at Edinburgh are all starting from the same place and have no prior experience of studying the subject. This makes it a more enjoyable learning experience as we are all learning new things together.
"...Edinburgh University Law School is well-known throughout the UK as a top law school. It is also situated in a fantastic city with a variety of things to do and see, so when I received an offer it was an easy decision to make...."
The law school has been very approachable throughout first year. Naturally, as new students, there is a degree of apprehension. This is recognised by the law school and so I have always felt if I had an issue then I could speak to someone and it would be resolved promptly.
What support did they provide in the early weeks?
There is a helpful introductory lecture in freshers' week which enables students to understand more about the workings of the law school and the degree they're studying. As lectures began, our professors were very aware that Law can be quite an overwhelming subject and went at a pace that was challenging but appropriate.
"...our professors were very aware that Law can be quite an overwhelming subject and went at a pace that was challenging but appropriate..."
In first year, lectures would start at 10am which compared to school was a much more sociable start time. Typically we would have two lectures a day on a range of subjects from Family Law to Contract Law. In the afternoon, we would have tutorials of around 15 people at which we would discuss and solve legal problems that had been given to us the week before.
What are the staff like? Who teaches you?
The staff are very friendly and approachable. I've been lucky to have been taught by Katy Macfarlane who took me for Family Law lectures, an SLS tutorial and Employment Law lectures in first year. She is very friendly and as such is popular amongst students.
Professor George Gretton took us for SLS. His wit, and deep knowledge of the course, made the subject much more enjoyable.
How many courses do you take in first year?
First year consists of 6 compulsory Law courses. These are divided so that I had 3 each semester. I then took one optional course each semester: international law in the first, and employment law in the second. Taking a law-related optional course is not compulsory, but I thought it was helpful.
What is the workload like? Is it very different from school?
Workload is manageable. It is very important, however, that you start working from the beginning. Leaving it to the last minute is very difficult. Also, attending lectures is one thing, actually absorbing the information is another. It's easy to get distracted during lectures but it's so important that you stay focussed.
"...It's easy to get distracted during lectures but it's so important that you stay focussed...."
On average around 15 hours.
Is there a lot of public speaking involved?
You can speak in front of your lectures if you like. I took part in hustings for class representative so I had to speak to my lecture hall. It was worth it, as I was elected, but it was also totally optional. I joined the law school mooting society which I would definitely recommend - it puts into practice the legal knowledge you learn as well as helping to develop courtroom skills.
Do you have to write lots of essays?
No, not as many as school. I found the essays were manageable as the law school want your essays to be concise; the hard part of the essays is cutting words down rather than writing more.
What was exam season like? What are the exam papers like?
It is much like a school exam period and is long but manageable. The exam papers are challenging but if the revision has been done then they're not insurmountable.
What has been your favourite subject so far and why?
Contract law: this is very interesting as it covers so many different areas of life and explores many legal issues. It is also very well taught.
Are you a member of any Law School societies?
The mooting society as well as a first year rep for the law [students'] council.
Do you know what you want to do when you finish the LLB?
I'm not sure what I would like to to in the immediate aftermath, but I hope to one day pursue a career of some sort in politics.