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Southampton Law School Our alumni

Amber Griggs LLB Law graduate 2017

Amber Griggs's Photo

I chose Southampton because it wasn’t too far from home, but still an excellent, Russell Group university. I knew there was a diverse range of other students, and I have since made friends with people from the other side of the world I would not otherwise have met. I’d also heard amazing things from friends who already studied at Southampton; about how much of a great time they’d had and how they felt that the university had made them well rounded, employable people.

I enjoyed the course and its content, and being able to study and receive excellent academic support in something I have a genuine passion and interest in. My studies and extra-curricular activities at Southampton have helped me become a better, more rounded person.

I was anxious about studying for a law degree before coming to Southampton. It is a notoriously hard degree with a lot of reading and hard work involved. I was worried about my work life balance and having enough time to be able to make friends, keep up hobbies as well as studying towards the course.

Whilst the degree does involve a lot of work, it is also really enjoyable and rewarding. As long as you are willing to put the work in, you will achieve great things and get the results you want. The massive range of societies, both curricular and extra-curricular highlights the university’s huge efforts to encourage all students to get involved within their course and also outside of it, from the Law Society, to sporting activities, to a cake decorating society.

Studying at Southampton gives the perfect environment to enjoy an even work life balance. Lectures and tutorials are challenging, but always interesting and lecturers are always on hand to help. You will almost always get a same day reply if you wish to contact a member of Law School staff. Staff will always offer their time to meet with you to discuss any concerns you have; whether course related or otherwise. As for the atmosphere on campus, it is very rare to walk across the Red Brick area without coming across some sort of fundraiser, market, or activity going on, it’s always buzzing with people and some sort of entertainment. There is also a great variety of food outlets, shops and even a great pub on campus which means you don’t really have to stray far during the day when you’re there.

The library resources are excellent, books are often available and the librarians are willing to help you find resources and even assist you in getting hold of more niche literature you may need for your studies. The library is open 24 hours during exam periods, meaning you are able to study at times that suit you. The Law School itself has rooms which are available to book for group work as well as the Undergraduate Room which is a brilliant room giving a more casual working environment.

With regards to my course, I am a member of the Law and Inns of Court Society. In my first year I participated in the Internal Negotiation Competition ran by the society, and in my second year I was lucky enough to apply what I had learnt and become a Negotiation Judge. I went on an entirely cost free trip to the Supreme Court and Houses of Parliament in my first year, which gave me a great insight into the practical side of what I was studying. I have also participated in a number of networking sessions offered by the society and Faculty, such as the Law Fair and quiz nights. The careers team work tirelessly all year and we receive opportunities through email practically every day regarding a variety of different career options; law and non-law. Outside my course, I am a member of Southampton University Boat Club, where I have represented the University for rowing in a number of competitions, often very successfully. Having this fun, yet disciplined sport outside of my course allows me to separate my time spent studying with my own leisure time, yet I have learnt many transferable skills I can apply to my studies.

Highlights of the past two years have been winning Reading Regatta with the Boat Club, and finally winning a gold medal for rowing after far too many times coming second! Another highlight is being offered two vacation schemes and a Training Contract off the back of a scheme with Pinsent Masons; a leading international law firm. I could not have secured vacation schemes nor a Training Contract without the help of the Law School.

Both my studies and extra-curricular activities at Southampton have helped me become a better, more rounded person. I am much better at managing my time and I realise the importance of allowing myself to relax and have fun as well as getting down to work when it really counts. I have also enjoyed learning more in areas of law I am really passionate, and having the opportunity to always go further and deepen my knowledge. Through initiatives such as Street Law; a pro- bono programme where LLB students educate local school children on areas of law which may apply to their everyday life; I have been supported in finding out more about aspects of law my course did not cover and I did not even consider before. Also having the chance to take up a rowing, a new sport I have never had the opportunity to do before has made me a more disciplined and determined individual. But with regular socials organised by all the societies, you definitely don’t forget how to have fun and it is a great way to meet so many different people from different backgrounds and cultures.

I’m mainly just enjoying the course and its content itself, and finally being able to study and receive excellent academic support in something I have a genuine passion and interest in. Whilst for the first two years, all modules are compulsory, you are given a huge range of different modules in third year so you can start to specialise in what you are truly interested in studying more deeply.

In final year, students are allowed to choose outside the sphere of strictly legal modules. I am studying this year towards a half year module in German language, which I believe will set me apart from other candidates and finally gives me an opportunity to study a language I have not been able to before. There are also other modules available from other social and political sciences which you can select to study towards in the final year of your degree.

I was never in Halls of Residence, and instead have always stayed in Private Rented accommodation. In my first year, the University sent me links to assist me in finding a house and made me aware of various contacts I could use if I were ever to encounter any difficulties with landlords in the area. I absolutely loved being in my own house in first year, it encouraged me to be instantly independent straight after moving out of home and it was a much cheaper option than halls. Housing in Southampton is not ridiculously priced for a Southern city. I was lucky enough to live in a house with 9 others, who were complete strangers before but who I got on with very well and I met a massive variety of people through these housemates who I am still friends with now.

There is so much to do in Southampton and the surrounding areas. The New Forest is a short train ride away and brilliant for walks and a pub lunch, as well as the beaches at Bournemouth and also the quaint city of Winchester. The shopping at West Quay is fantastic and the new Watermark building has great restaurants and entertainment as well.

I feel really safe in Southampton, both around the university in Portswood and Highfield as well as in the City Centre. Taxis are cheap and reliable; Uber is available as well as an independent chain Radio Taxis. There is a great variety of nightlife, with loads of pubs, clubs and bars and there really is something for everyone, whichever mood you are in. There is also excellent transport links to all over the UK, it is just over an hour on the train to London, and there is also an international airport. Additionally, the city is not too expensive to live in, housing, transport and nights out are all very affordable.

If I had to use one word to sum up my university experience, it would be diverse. The variety of different things I have been given the opportunity to do which I would not have been able to do anywhere else has made my experience one that is never boring, and there is always something else to do or to get involved in.

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