Yes, there is as much reading as people tell you. And yes, you really do spend so much time in the library that it practically becomes your second home. Up to the challenge of a law degree? Read on for an insight into my typical Monday as a second-year law student…
7:30 am Wake up
As my alarm goes up at 7.30am, I instantly get up and head down to the kitchen for breakfast, knowing that I have a busy day (make that week) ahead of me. Although my house mates may think its slightly strange for a student, I enjoy getting up early to seize the day and make good use of my time.
8.00 am Swim
Fortunately, we’re lucky enough to live right next to a gym and swimming pool, so I head to the pool for an early morning workout to prepare myself for the week ahead. When studying law, it is quite difficult to juggle the workload, a social life and exercise, but organisation is key to ensuring that you get the balance right.
10.30 am Leave for Uni
As the clock hits 10.30, my housemates and I assemble at the door for a walk to Uni, as we all begin lectures at 11am on a Monday. When selecting a house, living within walking distance of Queen Mary was high on our list of priorities, and we always have a great catch-up and a giggle along the way; a much more enjoyable journey than having to cram into the tube. Just before we leave, I always find time to grab a quick coffee to give myself a much needed caffeine fix for the long day ahead.
11 am Tort Law Lecture
As I make my way into my first lecture of the week, I always proceed to the same spot in the lecture hall to find my friends already there. We usually get the chance for a quick 5 minute catch-up before Professor Mulheron begins our two-hour tort lectures. Whilst Tort is a compulsory module for all second-year students, Professor Mulheron’s lectures are interesting and engaging, which makes the two-hour slot go considerably faster. We however leave the lecture exhausted, and upon reviewing my notes, I find that on a typical two hour lecture I have typed around 14 pages of notes.
1 pm Lunch Break
When our Tort Law lecture finishes, I race to meet my friends for lunch in an attempt to skip the queue. We usually head to Ground, which is a high-street style café ran by Queen Mary Student’s Union. With Ground offering a great range of sandwiches, salads and Sushi, we grab a (relatively) healthy lunch and settle in the comfy sofas to recharge our batteries, and our laptops, for the next lecture.
2 pm Administrative Law Lecture
Administrative law is a compulsory half-module for second year students, so I head to the luxury of Arts Two Lecture Theatre for an hour’s lecture on Administrative Law. The module focuses on ideas of administrative justice, and we learn about concepts such as judicial review and the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
3 pm Library
After our Administrative Law lecture, I head to the library to tackle some of the reading set for the week ahead. With each module typically setting around 100 pages of reading per week, in addition to cases and journal reading, I try to stick to a schedule in order to keep up with the pace of the work load. On the way up the stairs, I often bump into fellow law students and we make our way to the designated law section of the library for mutual support as we begin working in silence.
5 pm Tort Law Tutorial
At 5pm, I make my way over to the law building for a Tort Law tutorial. Tutorials are typically taught in smaller groups of around 10 people, and you are assigned reading and questions for each week. Having done all the reading for the tutorial and prepared answers to the questions over the weekend, I settle down in the classroom ready to engage in discussion. Tort Law tutorials generally consist of a case presentation, followed by a lengthy problem question on a particular tort. After debating the intricate and controversial points of the law, we leave the tutorial at 6pm fulfilled by the knowledge gained, but often still disagreeing on the answers to a question!
6 pm Home Time
As it begins to get dark, I begin my walk home after my tutorial. When walking home alone, I call my mum for a catch-up and to let her know how my day has been. Wherever your parents are in the world, it’s always comforting to hear from them and to keep each other updated; although one of my greatest concerns is always how my horses and dogs are at home and if they have been behaving themselves without me!
6.30pm Dinner Time
I arrive home at 6.30 to my best friend waiting in the kitchen, with dinner ready for me. As cooking for yourself whilst at University can be expensive, time-consuming and require a lot of effort, we decide to cook for each other and have designated days to fit around one another’s schedule. As we tuck into great food, we discuss our day and often proceed to plan our next night out or holiday.
7pm Back to studying
Feeling full and satisfied, I then head to my room to continue studying. Monday nights often consist of Administrative Law reading for my oncoming tutorial later in the week, and I settle down to read and make notes on the textbook, before reading the assigned cases and journals to enable myself to answer the questions set.
11pm Bed time
By the time it reaches 11pm, I often begin yawning and my body clock tells me it’s time for bed. Feeling exhausted, I climb into bed and set my alarm for my two-hour International Human Rights Seminar at 9am the following morning…