Practice law in the real world

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Shannon-Georgina Wheeler is a final year LLB (Hons) Law student. Shannon speaks about the practical experience she has gained on the course.

“My two week work placement at Capital Law, based in Cardiff was an amazing opportunity. It allowed me gain an insight of what it’s like to work at a reputable law firm. At Capital Law, my role was to work with associates, mainly on research and drafting documents. I also wrote an article for their website which is still visible today. The two areas of law I worked in were commercial property and commercial litigation.

The practical skills I developed on the law degree prepared me for this placement. In the first year for the Public Law module, we had a moot assessment in the moot courtroom. It gave me a great insight into how law is practised. It was a little daunting at first but exciting at the same time. On reflection, I am really pleased with how I performed and can definitely see the value of the experience. The assessment was a good way of building the skills I need to be successful in the field.

My favourite module has been Law on Trial, which is research and theory based. During classes we’ve looked at feminist legal theory, critical race theory, human rights and the Iraq war amongst other gripping topics. For our assessment we were able to research a topic of our choice. I decided to look into gender in the criminal justice system; focusing on how female rape victims are treated. In the third year, I revisited the topic and progressed my knowledge through the Contemporary Legal Research module. These modules have been critical in developing my ability to confidently research.

When undertaking research, we have free access at the University to the West Law and Lexis Nexis databases.  These live databases provide you with access to what has been reported on, in court. The databases contain new cases and journal articles, which are extremely useful sources of information for assignments. Having this resource has really helped to improve the quality of my assessments and has prepared me for the tasks I would undertake during work experience.

Before my work experience, I never had the chance to practice law in the real world. Now I am able to see the relevance of what I have learnt in the classroom. The experience has also motivated me to continue to put the hard work into my studies, as it’s the only way I can get to where I want to be. I am hoping to secure a training contract with a law firm after I graduate, so I am making the best of every opportunity that comes along. For anyone thinking of studying the course, it’s important to be as organised as possible, make the most of every opportunity to practice what you learn and to stay on top of any changes to the law.”