What to know as an incoming law student at the University of Aberdeen
2022-09-14

Starting university can be a stressful and overwhelming time for many students. This is especially true for those starting a Law degree because this usually isn’t a subject that’s taught in school. But fear not! You will soon discover, as I did, that there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve outlined a few points below which I hope will aid your transition into university.

Induction Week

As an incoming law student at the University of Aberdeen, you will no doubt have questions about what to expect from your studies and what is expected of you. Most of these answers can be found by attending induction events taking place during Freshers’ Week. You can find the full programme here. The Law School has organised multiple events, during which you will have a chance to meet your fellow students, find out about modes of teaching and assessment, and note key contacts within the university. You will also learn about the path to qualifying as a lawyer and the opportunities available to you after finishing your degree. Tours of the Taylor Library (i.e. the Law Library) are also included, as well as talks about textbooks, academic writing and preparing for classes. Make sure to note down key dates, times and locations for each event so that you don’t miss out on essential information!

Student Life

Of course, there’s more to university than just your degree. With over 200 student societies and sports clubs, there’s plenty of opportunity to have fun and live out the full student experience at the University of Aberdeen! You can hear directly from our student groups at the Freshers’ Fayres and take part in ‘give-it-a-go’ sessions throughout Freshers’ Week. A list of all the events can be found on the AUSA Freshers’ Week page. The key to having a successful Freshers’ experience is to step out of your comfort zone and try new things! One of my biggest regrets from my own Freshers’ experience - I was too shy to try anything new. In doing so, I missed out on a great opportunity to make friends and meet students from other degree disciplines. Having a hobby outside of your studies is also a great way of boosting your employability. The skills and experience you gain from participating in extracurricular activities could be your key to acing law firm interviews when the time comes!

Law Student Activities

It’s beneficial to spend some of your spare time learning about the legal profession and taking part in pro bono work. There is no shortage of opportunity to do so at the University of Aberdeen. The main law-specific activities available to students at the University are the following: (i) Aberdeen Law Project, (ii) Aberdeen Student Law Review, (iii) Aberdeen University Law Society, (iv) Aberdeen University Mooting Society, (v) Aberdeen University Lawyers Without Borders, (vi) Aberdeen University Commercial Law Society, (vii) Aberdeen University Junior Lawyers Against Poverty, and (viii) Aberdeen University Bar Society. More information is available on the Law School website. You’ll hear briefly from these groups at the induction event on Thursday 15th September at 10am-12pm in the Arts Lecture Theatre. Remember to keep an eye out at the Freshers’ Fayres as well if you want to speak directly with representatives! Membership for all student societies can be purchased on the AUSA website.

Employability

One of the University’s greatest assets is its Careers and Employability Service. As a student here, you can benefit immensely (in both a personal and professional capacity) from the countless services and initiatives offered by the Careers team. These services include CV writing workshops, interview practice, law fairs, application feedback and skills development programmes. The Careers and Employability Service also circulates weekly newsletters containing information about work experience and job opportunities available to students. These newsletters also include details about upcoming deadlines for law firm Vacation Scheme and Training Contract applications. More information can be found on the Careers and Employability Service website.

General Advice

To finish off, I’d like to offer a few pieces of advice. Firstly, and most importantly, make the most of opportunities to socialise. Sign up to Freshers’ Week events, attend your degree induction talks and try your hand at ‘give-it-a-go’ sessions. These are all perfect places to meet new people and make friends. While the idea of introducing yourself to new people may be very daunting at first (especially if, like myself, you’re quite shy), it helps to remember that everybody is in the same boat and most people will appreciate you making the first move. A small ‘hello’ can go a long way, and it might just form the beginning of a lifelong friendship. On a similar note, step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new hobby? Open-mindedness and a willingness to explore new ideas and activities will serve you very well in both your university career and beyond. Lastly, dare to ask questions. Such acts of bravery seldom go unrewarded. As the saying goes: there is no such thing as a stupid question! I can tell you from personal experience that staff at the University of Aberdeen, especially within the School of Law, are incredibly supportive and are quick to offer additional clarification and guidance where necessary.

So go forth, be brave, and have fun! I have no doubt that you’ll love your time here at the University of Aberdeen.

Published by School of Law, University of Aberdeen

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