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Shadya Alkharusi is from Oman and progressed to an LLB Law degree at Reading upon completion of her International Foundation Programme (IFP). Here she discusses her life changing experience of studying Law at Reading.

Shadha wanted to study law ever since she worked on a school project in which she had to cut articles out of newspapers. While she worked, she noticed that most of the news stories were related to law and order and legal issues. This sparked a curiosity in the young Shadha, who began a journey of research on the subject that has since led her to a career in the legal profession.

"As I began to correlate the advantages of a strong and enforced legal system with equality of people and the economic development of a country, I became more and more enthusiastic to study law."

When researching and deciding upon a university, Shadha knew she wanted to study somewhere which offered an academically stimulating course, whilst also being in a place where she would enjoy living in.

"I decided to pursue a law degree at Reading as I was looking for a University with a good ranking, good teaching faculty, multicultural community and sufficiently close to London in proximity."

Shadha joined the University's International Foundation Programme before progressing to her undergraduate degree.

"I believe the foundation year was somewhat like a stage between high school and university, which really gave me the required skills to transition between school and university smoothly. It gave the academic training, language and study skills to start my undergraduate studies. For example, it included modules such as academic skills which basically aimed at teaching us how to reference in a correct way, write academic essays and so much more. "

Reaching your full potential

Shadha's time at the School of Law was not only academic. It shaped her character and allowed her to learn how to communicate with different personalities and cultures, which had a positive impact on her career.

"The highlight of my course at Reading was the interactive seminar sessions. They gave me a platform for developing my skills of discussion and debate and the confidence I required and lacked to be a lawyer."

The School of Law allows for 20 module credits to be taken outside the School. Shadha took advantage of this and took modules in Psychology in her first, French in her second and Entrepreneurship in her third year of study.

"At that time, I did it out of interest and did not realise how much this could help me in my legal career. However, one year into practice, I saw the way in which exploring outside of the School furthered the shaping of my personality."

During her time at Reading, Shadha trained with a law clinic in London which looked at pro bono criminal appeal cases for those wrongfully convicted. She also interned with a leading telecommunication company and an international firm back home in Oman.

"These opportunities allowed me to apply the modules learnt such as Criminal Law and Contract Law in practice to ongoing cases. It also helped me get a better understanding of the legal system in both the UK and Oman and gave me a better sense of what I would want to do and avoid in the early stages of my career."

A springboard to a rewarding career

Following her graduation, Shadha started working at Oman's leading law firm Al Busaidy, Mansoor Jamal & Co in September 2019 as a Trainee Lawyer where she is involved with the Corporate and Capital Markets and the Litigation team.

Her job responsibilities include advising clients on commercial agencies, company formations, corporate governance, regulatory compliance, IPO's and a range of regulatory compliance matters.

She also appears before the Omani Primary Courts and Administrative Court on a range of cases including commercial, civil and employment cases and conducts investigations prior to criminal cases.

"Studying a law degree at Reading gave me the right foundation to launch my legal career. What I have learnt as part of the Contract and Commercial Law modules have significantly assisted me in my cases. I still return to my seminar and lecture notes and books to this very day, despite the significant difference in the UK and Oman’s legal system. The way in which the teaching faculty delivered the material will always remain active in my mind."

Lasting connections

Looking back at her time at the University, Shadha agrees Reading has much to offer beyond just lectures and seminars.

"Do take the opportunity to ask, research and explore. The teaching and support staff have proven to be very helpful in my four years in Reading (Foundation and Undergraduate). All I had to do was send one email and all was set! It has been over a year since graduation and I am still in contact with my lecturers. I will always be grateful for my time at Reading!"

Kashmeera Nadkarni: wanted to make a positive difference

Studying LLB Law at Reading gave Kashmeera the right opportunities to put what she was learning into practice and make a positive difference.

Manon Williams: took advantage of all the co-curricular opportunities

During her time at the Reading School of Law, Manon took part in moots, client interviewing competitions, and pro bono work. These experiences helped her overcome her shyness and secure a place on a graduate scheme.

Rebecca Walker: made the most of opportunities

As part of her degree, Rebecca has completed work placements and pro bono work, attended weekly careers sessions and travelled with the Law Society.