First Year at Warwick Law School – OurWarwick
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First Year at Warwick Law School

So, in a surprising turn of events, first year is over and I spent 1/3 of the academic year at home in Dubai instead of my lovely accommodation at Warwick. Despite these weird circumstances, I thought I would review my first year experience at Warwick Law School.

Academic Side

First thing to note, there were a lot less contact hours than I expected. When I signed up for a law degree I imagined that I would be in classes 90% of the time and desperately trying to stay awake in the library the rest of the time. I was very wrong. In first year I only had 12 hours worth of classes per week and, yes, I did have a lot of prep work for seminars and reading to do, but the workload was absolutely manageable alongside having a social life and sleeping properly. Here’s my thoughts on the first-year modules (which are not optional).

Modern English Legal System (MELS) – a coursework based module in first term; we learnt about the legal system through two main cases. We learnt about reading and interpreting the law and how to write different legal texts. We had to write a judgment, an essay, and a reflection to make up our portfolio for 100% of our module grade. I have a whole blog on this module here! Overall, I would say MELS was a 7.5/10 for me, I tend to prefer exam-based modules but I did enjoy the seminars a lot!

Legal Theory – another coursework based module but in second term; we learnt about the philosophy and theories behind law, why we punish people, what equality is, etc. Our grade was determined by one essay that we wrote from a list of 6 options. Overall, I would give Legal Theory a 7/10, again I much prefer exam modules but I did enjoy writing this essay and ended up doing well in it!

Property Law – sounds boring, but in reality this was probably my favourite module. The first few lectures are all about theory and history which I didn’t love but once we moved onto the step-by-step approach of determining whether or not a client had an easement, or co-ownership, or a valid mortgage, it was actually great. We had great lecturers for both terms and I really enjoyed the logical approach, I felt like you didn’t have to think abstractly for anything, it was all based on facts and rules which I loved. Overall, solid 10/10 for property!

Criminal Law – probably the module that most law students are excited about when they arrive. We dove straight into learning about non-fatal offences and murder and sexual offences which were all really interesting. The seminars were always great and we had very fun debates and discussions. I wasn’t a huge fan of the exam we sat for criminal but I would give the module an 8/10 overall!

Tort Law – I absolutely loved the first term of tort law and it quickly became my favourite module, but then I moved onto second term and made the mistake of not keeping up with the content… there are a LOT of cases in tort law. Like a lot. You don’t need to know them all but it will probably seem overwhelming at first. The cases are interesting though and you’ll learn about some landmark cases that you can still see being applied today! Overall, I would give tort law a 9/10, largely attributed to how amazing Paul Raffield is as a lecturer.

Social Side

There’s so much to talk about when it comes to the social aspects of uni. To keep it short, here is a summary of my best bits / worst bits from year 1!

Best Bits

  • my flat – from the very first week I became super close with my flat, we’re our own little family! We had nights out, nights in, a Christmas party with homemade pizza and Secret Santa, and we are all excited to move in together next year
  • nights out – some of my favourite memories are from nights out, there’s nothing better than getting all dressed up with your friends, having drinks in the kitchen, running to catch the bus, spending your whole night in a club & then going home to eat loads of toast & sleep before you can even take your makeup off.
  • law society – the Warwick law society is huge; if you’re a law student, you’re probably a member of LawSoc. My favourite event was the Law Ball, an amazing night in a beautiful venue & definitely an event I would go to again
  • temp jobs / part-time work – so this isn’t exactly a social thing but it was a highlight of my first year, in the two terms I was on campus I became a student blogger for the law school, a member of the Study Happy Team, and did loads of temp jobs from surveying on campus, to acting as a patient for med school exams, to creating social media content for the Warwick Instagram. These roles are a great way to make money without making long-term commitments & they’re always so much fun!

Worst Bits

  • buses – this is kind of a lie, I actually don’t mind buses. In fact, I spent a lot of first year getting buses to Cardiff to see my boyfriend so I kinda got used to them. However, I do sometimes wish that I didn’t have to take a bus to get to places that aren’t on-campus.
  • strikes – although I wholeheartedly agree with the strikes, the lack of classes meant that a lot of people left campus to go home so there were a few weeks in the year that were quite underwhelming
  • COVID-19 – obviously… nothing broke my heart more than realizing I wasn’t going back to Warwick for term 3. I had to watch my sister move all of my stuff out of my flat & I had to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to see my friends again until Year 2. But, time has passed so quickly & it’s not long now until I’ll be back at Warwick wishing I had never left the Dubai sunshine!

Honestly, my first year had it’s ups and downs. It was everything I expected and nothing at all like I expected all in one go. But I wouldn’t change anything about it & I can’t wait to go back in October.

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