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Lauren Kilbride


United Kingdom
The work I completed ranged from conducting client interviews, taking attendance notes, drafting letters of advice and telephone advice, attending team meetings and client meetings off premises, organising pro bono events and managing the Student Pro Bono Committee.

More about Lauren

When I came to an open day at NTU, it was the first university where I could see myself living for the next few years. I came to Nottingham on the train, so going through the city centre to get to the university showed how close the university was to everything. Once my friends and myself got to the university, the small city campus was so welcoming: the modern lecture theatres and seminar rooms, plenty of study space, the library, the chance to volunteer in legal work at the Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre and even the Students Union was a great place to relax.

When I attended the NTU Law talk to think about studying here, it was well structured and enthusiastically given, this made me want to be a part of this university.

NTU was the first university where the Student Ambassadors made me feel at ease and where I felt I could ask any question about the university or the course itself. I didn’t get this at any other university.

I came across to study law at university by accident. I never thought I could study law at university because I didn’t think I was smart enough. I was originally looking around universities to study Geography as I had always enjoyed that subject at school. However, once I attended a law taster session at a university open day, I instantly knew it was what I wanted to study. Having never studied Law at A-Level, I didn’t think about studying it.

Studying law is so interesting, it applies to everything you do, in every aspect, you just don’t notice until you study it! Having a law degree is a transferable degree to have, employers love it. Even if you did not want to progress further into the legal profession by becoming a solicitor or barrister, I know people that have gone on to different job sectors and found the skills they learned doing a law degree have considerably helped them in their current career.

There was a much bigger range of modules that you could study at NTU compared to other universities. I found this more beneficial when choosing where to go to university because I had no idea what area of law I wanted to specialise in and thought the bigger the range of modules that would be available to me, the better.

NTU offered the law course where you could undertake a placement year, which essentially means, you go out to work for a year in the legal sector. I didn’t originally opt for this course, but transferred over from my course to this course because of how beneficial this placement year would be for me.

The other thing that stood out for me at NTU and to study law here was the Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre. I had not come across a university yet where the law school had its own law firm within the law school that offers the students the chance to volunteer in the Centre  and work on real life cases.

Every module I have done in some aspect has helped me be more aware/helped when living at university. Contract law and Land law have especially helped me when it comes to reading contracts for signing for accommodation etc.

The modules I have enjoyed the most are Commercial law and Company law, I find these the most  challenging modules I have done but enjoy learning about them and may be the area where I would like to specialise in, in the future.

The library is a great modern space to study in, there are certain zones in the library such as ‘quiet zones’ which helps me to study and keep distractions to a minimum. The law section in the library is a great help and there is a wide range of materials available to help you study your modules.

I use NOW everyday, it is a brilliant website to contain all of the modules you are studying, showing what seminars and lectures you have, what work there is to be done, as well as, hints and tips in every module and how to do well. There is also a specific module resource list to help when studying for seminars and exams if you want to branch out your research.

I have tried to make the most out of my time at NTU, I still can’t believe I am in my fourth and final year of my undergraduate degree, I don’t want to leave!

I undertook a placement year at the NLS Legal Advice Centre, this has probably been the highlight of my undergraduate degree. I learned so much and developed personally and professionally. Throughout the year I undertook caseloads in a range of areas including: Commercial, Employment, Intellectual Property, Housing, Property, Commercial Property, Family and Social Welfare.

The work I completed ranged from conducting client interviews, taking attendance notes, drafting letters of advice and telephone advice, attending team meetings and client meetings off premises, organising pro bono events and managing the Student Pro Bono Committee. I also represented clients in the Social Security Tribunal across the East Midlands including Nottingham, Chesterfield, Derby and Lincoln through the organisation the Free Representation Unit. I met with clients, drafted written submissions for Tribunal and presented oral submissions to the Judge and panel at the appeal hearing.

I am now continuing my pro bono work experience by being involved in the Free Representation Unit and the Business and Enterprise Law Service in my final year.

I encourage everyone that comes to study law at NTU to get involved with the NLS Legal Advice Centre, the skills I have learned personally and professionally have helped me considerably when applying for vacation schemes, networking and in interviews.

The experiences from my placement year have allowed me to apply for roles that I never thought I would have the confidence to do so. This year I was chosen to be Deputy Chair of the Student Pro Bono Committee and elected Vice President of NTU’s Student Law Society.

I have grown personally and professionally since I started in 2015, this happened majorly in my placement year. In my first year I struggled to even speak to somebody/speak in front of my seminar group. Now, mostly because of my placement year, my confidence has grown, I can now present lectures, represent clients in the Tribunal without it bothering me.

Nottingham is a small city and studying at the city campus is beneficial as everything is within walking distance. There is so much to do in Nottingham so you can never be bored!

I plan to study the Legal Practice Course (LPC) after I have completed my Law degree this year. I hope to qualify as a solicitor in the future and undertake my training contract in a commercial law firm in the Midlands.

My advice to students coming to university, whether that be NTU or somewhere else, make sure you make the most out of your time at university, the time will fly by! I can’t believe my time at NTU is coming to an end this year, having been here for 4 years, I don’t want to leave. University really is the best time of your life, so make the most out of it!

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