Studying law offers not only the ability for students to learn how the Scottish Legal System works, but also opens the doors to numerous career opportunities. There are many different areas of law you study within the degree, from family to commercial law. This wide variety of subjects allows you to develop a broad understanding of the subject but also enables you to discover which area suits you best. To highlight why I enjoyed studying this fascinating topic, I thought of the following three points:-
Law plays an important part in everyday life, encompassing almost everything we do. From purchasing a house to entering into employment, the law is usually involved. The significant involvement of it in our lives makes studying law stand out from other degrees. For example, during the commercial law module of my degree I learned how a company was formed, the different types of business structures available and the duties of a Director. This understanding of how law operates is what I find enjoyable, as you get to see how law plays such an important role within everyday life.
One of the exciting aspects is arguing for or against a point of law. During the degree there are many occasions where you are given a position in which you are to present against an opposing side. This involves knowing your case, the opposition’s and what it is you need to get across to win. I found this exciting due to the in-depth planning required to understand your position and how to present a well-rounded argument, which covers all the points and highlights issues with the opposing argument. Presenting allows you to experience the role of a solicitor and develops your ability to respond quickly when issues are raised.
There is also the good feeling you get when you win your case!
Studying law involves a large amount of research. This includes locating legislation, cases and legal commentators’ opinions. This is an interesting and demanding aspect of studying the degree, due to the challenge of finding what you are looking for. By working out exactly what you need and how best to go about your research, it makes studying law far from boring.
A key piece of advice I have is the importance of work experience. Through seeing how law works in a professional setting you can decide whether this is a career path which you would like to follow. Morton Fraser offers students this valuable opportunity. The firm’s work experience programme offers students the chance to spend a week shadowing trainee solicitors within at least three different areas of law. I myself was fortunate enough to experience this opportunity, which provided me with an important insight into the role of a solicitor.
This week I had the chance to supervise a work experience student. I was able to answer his questions regarding studying law and the traineeship, while providing him with some of the jobs I commonly do. This allowed him to see what it is we do on a day to day basis, and experience the working environment of a law firm. If you can I would recommend applying for a work experience placement to assist with your decision whether or not to study law.
As you can imagine I was nervous about my first day as a trainee solicitor. I was wondering how I would fit into the team, the sort of tasks I would be given and the worry of being given tasks that I had no idea of how to complete. This was not the case. I was made to feel welcome and part of the team by everyone at the firm straight away. I was not thrown in at the deep end but guided by the team through my role and the tasks I would be given. Each task was explained clearly and if I needed any help someone was always there; whether this be fellow trainees, solicitors and even partners.
This assistance and guidance, together with the legal experiences I have been fortunate enough to have so far, has made my first months as a trainee educational and enjoyable.