Learning the law
Solent Law student Noah Forde talks through his first few months at Solent Law School
September 2021 and I began my first semester at Solent Law School. At first everybody was quiet and nervous but we soon loosened up and dived right into a unit on civil litigation.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but it was great. Our classes are great fun; they are engaging, practical, and sometimes we can really get stuck into the debate, arguing back and forth among ourselves. And my experience of the law faculty has been such a positive and inspiring one. The professors, department leads, and lecturers are incredibly welcoming and encouraging.
I have also been appointed a student mentor, Ruthie, and often chat with her about my course work, assignments, aspirations and student life. It’s really helped me settle in quickly and build my confidence, and Ruthie has helped me understand some complex areas such as tort law and contract law.
Outside of class, the Law Society has put together some socials to help us get to know each other – they make for a great night out, with all years from the course mixing and sharing advice and stories, and we often end up going out for drinks or clubbing afterwards.
Putting the spotlight on careers
But one of the extra-curricular activities I have really enjoyed has been the law career spotlight sessions put on by Solent Law School. These events enhance my understanding of law in practice, career choices within the industry, the types of skills I will develop throughout my law studies, and some scenarios I might come across whilst working in law.
The sessions are led by expert facilitators and have been invaluable to my learnings and career aspirations. They have opened my eyes to the world of possibilities and opportunities that my law degree will give me. There have been a number of spotlight sessions, and I have particularly enjoyed:
COLP (College of Legal Practice)
COLP has partnered with Solent Law School to offer an SQE (Solicitors Qualifying Examination) prep course. We were able to discuss with COLP the different routes to becoming a solicitor, gain insights into how the assessment sittings work, and understand what law firms are doing to prepare for this new qualification route. The prep course not only helps and prepares you for the SQE1 examination, but it is also an optional module in third year and counts towards the overall degree classification.
Members of the Shoosmiths team spoke with us about their own experiences of training and working in the legal industry. We heard about their stories of how they qualified and their career paths. This session was an excellent opportunity to network and ask specific questions about how to stand-out when we apply for jobs, the many different roles within a large law firm, and what we can put in place now to achieve our career ambitions.
BDB Pitmans LLP
This was a practical workshop focusing on mediation and dispute resolution. We had exposure to a simulated boundary dispute scenario and used role play to reach a theoretical settlement. I learnt about the different skills and techniques used in mediation, how to maintain a professional approach, and the emotional complexities of clients.
Stowe Family Law LLP
In this session we were able to experience the complexities of a child arrangement case from start to finish. We were able to review and prepare a case using expert reports and witness statements. As always there was a Q&A session afterwards where we had access to experts in this field – a local judge, barrister and solicitors.
Solent Law School stood out to me because of its commitment to providing the best possible teaching whilst enabling its students to have hands-on experience. From the open days I felt welcomed and very comfortable with the department team and student reps.
They answered any questions we had, the good and the bad, and it was the open days that really made me go “Yes, Solent!” We went on a tour of the campus and saw the great facilities that Solent has to offer, such as the law library and courtroom.
Since starting Solent this year my expectations have been exceeded. I hoped I would really enjoy my studies, but I didn’t expect to be even more excited by a career in law, or to have access to such informative sessions and guest speakers with a wealth of knowledge.
The support and encouragement of the faculty and Solent University has been amazing. I am so pleased that I joined Solent; the staff and lecturers are so engaging and always there when I need support and help.
Want to know more? Visit our law subject page to find out all about studying law at Solent.