One of our recent Global LLM Study Bursary winners has given us a glimpse into her life as a newbie Master of Laws student during a week of the first semester of her online LLM at Leeds Beckett University.
Obviously each LLM student experience is different, but this weeklong diary offers a great insight into what could be expected of you during your time as an LLM student.
Today I studied Tort Law for 12 hours non-stop in the comfort of my own home without having to worry about traffic jams, petrol or car parking. Since my Master in Laws course is completely online, I can learn from anywhere in the world – cafes, pubs, my friends’ houses, hotels, the park and my garden – I can even study abroad as long as I have Wi-Fi. Since hyper-focusing is one of my preferred learning methods, this course allows me to study around my family life, caring responsibilities, work responsibilities and other interests. This online Master in Laws course offers complete flexibility which is a rare find in a university. I completed a full unit today (non-stop studying) – so I felt very proud of myself.
I travelled to Cardiff to meet with one of the leading educational solicitors in the UK, who the day before had secured a win in the High Court Appeals setting a precedent in case law regarding successfully challenging breaches in statutory duties. My friend, a PhD student, and I, presented some of our ideas to secure justice for the ‘Other’. We were asked to produce our proposals so that they could be presented to the Board of Directors at this leading law firm. When I got home, I read a chapter of Tom Bingham’s Rule of Law.
Today I attended a political conference and met with a well-known politician for a coffee and a chat. He had asked to meet up to talk about making a video about my research about injustice and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Wales. I also took a SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) parent to meet him to explain the issues he has experienced in association with how public communication systems have breached the law towards his disabled children. I was pleased to see the politician act swiftly to remove barriers for this distressed parent by linking him up with key people who could further help him.
In the morning, I was up with the birds doing my day job – I am an online international teacher in China –for four and a half hours without a break. After I had completed my work, I took my mother out for Sunday lunch. Later in the afternoon, my friend, the PhD student and I compiled a comprehensive joint document. I was also asked to attend a meeting with two SEND parents the following day, so I stayed up until 2am reading through key documents, codes of practice and reports in preparation for this meeting.
I attended two meetings in an advocate role for a SEND parent at a school with several professionals from social services and education. It was a productive meeting and it was lovely to meet professionals who listened to the parent It was a long meeting with many successful outcomes. Later I spoke on the phone with Michael O’Brien, author of Death of Justice and miscarriages of justice victim, who had spent 11 years and 43 days in prison for a crime that he did not commit. He asked me about my university course at Leeds Beckett. He began to tell me all about Tort Law case law citing Donoghue and Stevenson (1932) and he was impressed that I was able to tell him a bit about it too, especially as he knows that I do not have a law background. After telling him about the extensive 24/7 library which has all the latest law books online (which means that they can be accessed any time day or night), along with the high level of multi-sensory input in the form of online presentations (that which could be revisited at any time to encourage extra learning), along with the student debate platform which also can be accessed 24/7 and the high quality of the course materials, he stated that he too wanted to do a law course at Leeds Beckett, too!
I focused completely and utterly on my law work today. I completed a full unit of work about Constitutional Law, listening to interesting online presentations, reading through some case law studies and downloading the latest books from the 24/7 online library. I also completed the thought-provoking activities, which required three-dimensional analytical thinking in considering the same situations from many different angles and through the lens of the law. My lecturer was thrilled to speak with Michael O’Brien and invited him to speak at the university about how he had to learn the law to prove his innocence and set precedence. I also found out from a client whom I had helped earlier in the year. This reminded me why I am doing this law course. It was a very productive day.
Another day spent focusing on my law studies. I enjoyed reading all my fellow students’ comments about Constitutional Law. It is amazing how varied everyone’s experiences are as the course is so popular and has attracted international students from far and wide. The results from the Laws, Institutions and Skills exam were in. Thank goodness I passed this exam, as I did not fancy doing a resit! To celebrate this good news, I read through the Parpworth, Loveland and Bingham books. I also read a paper about Dicey’s early life and enjoyed doing a bit of background research about his life and struggles.