Oxford Law course experience

Evie Towersey, Oxford Law 2015 -
27 Jun 2018

What’s special about studying Law at Oxford apart from its name value?

Aside from its prestigious reputation, Oxford University offers a range of experiences and resources that truly make reading Law a unique experience as compared to other UK universities.

Oxford Law students are privileged to be offered tutorials as the primary method of learning. This involves discussing the week’s reading and written work with leading academics, usually in groups of students no bigger than three. Not only does this provide the opportunity to engage in in depth discussions with experts in the relevant field (many of which have in fact written the textbook from which the weekly reading is taken!) but also to build a personal rapport with tutors who are able to offer individual advice and guide your progress on a far more individual level than is available at other universities.

This is also supplemented by the extensive range of resources available to Oxford Law students, from libraries to online databases. Whether you prefer the more traditional, Harry Potter-style grandeur of the Bodleian Libraries or a more modern layout, there is a library that will suit everyone’s taste in Oxford. All of these are freely accessible and stocked with all the resources any Law student needs to complete their weekly reading lists. In addition, Oxford University provides access to a whole host of online resources and databases, further enriching the information available to students and allowing them to engage in in depth analysis of the dilemmas that the law often presents.

As will be discussed in more depth later in this document, the careers advice and exposure to recruiting law firms (as well as more non-conventional career options) is also second to none at Oxford University. Individual appointments with the experienced careers services are available throughout the term, and not a day goes by where some form of recruitment or insight event is being run, allowing students to consider a variety of options for their future career paths.

What’s the typical week of an Oxford University Law student?

There is no such thing as a typical week at Oxford University as a Law student; every week involves different demands, activities and opportunities! However, from an academic perspective, generally students should expect to be completing at least three pieces of written work every two weeks - this may be in the format of an essay or a response to a set of facts in the form of a problem question. As well as this, one or two tutorials per week is also normal - these usually last an hour and require some additional preparation in addition to the written work for the week. On top of this, optional lectures run throughout the week and students are welcome to attend as many or as few of these as they prefer - this is completely dependent on personal learning preference.

While this may at first appear daunting, once the routine of tutorials and proscribed reading is settled into this becomes much less intimidating. Tutors offer advice regarding structure and content of written work early on during the course through the form of written feedback, and you will quickly master the art of processing information from the weekly reading lists in a fashion which allows you to work effectively and efficiently.

Although it cannot be denied that the workload is challenging in terms of sheer volume, by establishing an organised routine there is still plenty of time for extra-curricular activities as well as much-needed relaxation. Personally, I have been part of both my college and University law society which has allowed me to attend many events run by law firms to introduce students into the world of commercial law, and I also rowed for my college. In addition to this, I was able to spend some of my spare time assisting with the access work of the Law Faculty. This involved attending events and conferences, sharing my experiences of my journey to university and encouraging prospective students to be confident in their ability to follow the same path. I was able to enjoy a brilliant balance between my academic and extra-curricular demands.

How many Korean, Chinese, Singaporean students in Oxford Law?

In my experience, the students accepted onto the Oxford Law course are very diverse. I am unable to discuss this in precise terms as my knowledge simply does not extend this far, but I am sure these admission statistics are available on the central University website. I have made many friends from all walks of life so this is definitely not something that should be viewed as of concern. There are many societies which support groups who share similar cultural heritage - I attended a Bulgarian Society event last term and the sense of community was incredible!

In terms of after-graduation career paths, what is the trend of Oxford Law graduates? How active is the recruiting during 2nd and 3rd years for Law? Internships? Do international students tend to remain in the US or go back?

Perhaps the greatest advantage of attending Oxford University as a Law student is the time, money and resources spent both by the careers service and Law firms/employers on promoting employment opportunities to students. While many students decide to pursue training contracts at commercial firms, this is by no means the only option available. Employers ranging from consultancy firms to the Royal Air Force attend formal events such as the Law Careers Fair held in Michaelmas Term each year, but also come to Oxford throughout the year to hold insight days and dinners to allow students to get a better feel for the opportunities available to them and ask questions to current employees. This level of exposure to employers means that students are able to apply with confidence for internships and work experience schemes, having already gained a great deal of knowledge as to what may be involved in the application process. There is no ‘typical’ path for any type of Oxford student - there are simply too many opportunities to generalise! Not only are these opportunities available throughout second and third year, they are also available to first year students - you truly can hit the ground running, should you wish to do so.

What’s it like living in Oxford as a student?

Oxford is a fantastic city for students to live in - there is always something going on! As well as the typical clubs and bars present in all student cities, there are a whole host of other activities ranging from University-run societies (everything from dancing to Pokemon club!) to local attractions such as museums, mini golf and country walks. Furthermore, many colleges also arrange events such as bouncy castles, petting zoos and treasure hunts throughout the term - although these may seem trivial, you’ll be surprised how much students embrace them and have a wail of a time! There truly is something for everyone in Oxford, and almost everything is in walking or cycling distance - you really don’t need to look far for some fun!