A holistic academic experience
The overall academic experience at the School of Law at Queen Mary is good. There are plenty of academic opportunities to improve various skills and acquire a better understanding of the law, and legal practice in general.
The academic team is established and has a vast amount of experience in teaching. This means that lectures are delivered in an easy-to-understand manner with a holistic touch. Most lectures are recorded, giving students the opportunity to play back past lectures and clarify any questions that may come up in the course of additional reading. The academic team have office hours and are available for meetings by way of appointment. I find these meetings extremely helpful for a one-to-one discussion about the law and to resolve complicated questions that may not be convenient to raise in a lecture.
Tutorials are a good forum to discuss knowledge gained from lectures and reading, to contemplate the state of the law and inevitable insufficiencies. Most importantly, tutorials provide opportunities for students to draft answers to tutorial questions. These answers range from short answers to full length essays that are about three to four pages long. These exercises allow students to practice writing skills, argumentative skills and apply the law. Refining these skills are crucial for a student to be able to answer an exam question under time pressure.
The wide selection of academic modules cover different areas of the law. This provides opportunities to select modules that garner genuine interest. This is crucial as students may have ambitions in particular areas of law. Selection of modules consistent with these career ambitions will provide a good start and allow students to acquire in-depth knowledge to either confirm their ambitions or help them move on to other areas of interest.
A well-balanced student life
The student life experience at Queen Mary University is holistic and well-balanced. The Freshers’ Week that kicks off in September is a great way for new students to assimilate into university life. There are many events including a treasure hunt, social events and tours around London. Teaming up with other freshers for the treasure hunt and meeting people during these events forges lasting friendships. Societies at Queen Mary also set up booths at a fair. This way, students are able to gain more information about the activities these societies focus on and how they benefit students. There is no limit on the number of societies a student may join but it is highly recommended to join about three societies, to meet more people at events.
Career-related events are frequently organized to prepare students for life after university. The career events cover different career opportunities but naturally the School of Law has a specific focus on legal practice. A law fair is held, inviting mostly city law firms to set up booths and interact with students. Speaking to graduate recruiters and trainee solicitors at this event provides a clear picture of the recruiting criteria, work life at the firm, and legal practice in general.
The Mooting Society runs their flagship George Hinde Mooting Competition every year. Mooting is an academic exercise of a court procedure. Students receive a legal problem in advance, and after preparation, have to present their case to a judge. The George Hinde Moot is consistently held to a high standard and this may be attributed to the workshops run before and during the tournament. The judge for the final round last term was Lord Hoffmann, an eminent English judge. This is a further testament as to the standard of the competition and the amount of improvement participants will see in themselves from start to end of the tournament.