A warm welcome
William credits the staff at Reading with creating such a friendly, supportive environment within the School of Law:
"I found I got on really well with staff I spoke to. One of the lecturers, Chris Newdick, gave a lecture on medical law and I just thought it sounded amazing. The staff are all enthusiastic and friendly."
"The staff remembered me from the Open Day visit and, when I returned as a student, one of the lecturers greeted me with 'you made it!' Reading really has that personal touch."
"I also made use of the Student Support Services, who are amazing. They gave me loads of help and advice about studying and how to work efficiently. I also got really lucky with my academic tutor — she's brilliant and the tutor scheme in general seems excellent."
The opportunity to undertake pro bono work as an undergraduate was a big draw for William, who cites this type of voluntary work as a key reason why he chose to apply to the School of Law:
"Extra-curricular opportunities are important; mooting was a big one for me, and I got involved in internal competitions through the Law Society, even making it through to the semi-finals. There's a real buzz when you're speaking and being questioned and have to think on your feet to find an argument - it's a lot of fun."
"Mooting is great, especially for first years. If you want to be a barrister, or just want to improve your public-speaking skills, it's excellent practice. Mooting was, by far, my best experience as part of the Law Society."
"There are also plenty of courts in Reading: the Crown Court, Magistrates Court and County Court are only ten minutes down the road. You can watch a whole case quite quickly at the Magistrates Court and it brings the subject to life."
William recognises the support and guidance in place for law students which will help to set them apart from other graduates:
"The staff have lots of contacts who come in regularly to speak to the students, from barristers to people working in the public sector. They discuss their jobs and answer questions, which is great for developing commercial awareness outside of our academic study. A contract lawyer gave a session and he had some incredible stories — it's interesting to see how our learning fits in with the realities of the job."
"My academic tutor was a barrister before she was a lecturer. It's great that there are a number of academics from different backgrounds — if you're interested in a career in a particular field, they're amazing to talk to. They have experience in the world of work."
"There's also lots of help with CV preparation and both academic tutors and students services work hard to support you where needed."
A natural progression
Following the completion of his undergraduate degree, William felt that his journey with law and with Reading has not quite finished yet. William has decided to stay back to complete an MRes in Law & Society and will apply for his PhD studies next year.
"With the amazing support of the postgraduate studies team in the School of Law, I was able to secure a fully-funded 1+3 SeNSS ESRC studentship, which was one of the key reasons I chose to stay at Reading. Additionally, over the past 3 years, I have come to love the School of Law more and more and all the staff that make it excellent, so it’s a real pleasure to be able to stay back."
"I would recommend Reading School of Law to anyone interested in studying law. It's been a really positive experience for me."