Making important life decisions about what to do when leaving school can be extremely stressful, particularly when choosing a degree. A degree in law is always a safe bet, but what does it actually deliver? What could you do, besides being a lawyer, after you’ve collected that hard earned piece of paper from Birmingham Town Hall on graduation day?
Aston University sets out to make this decision a whole lot easier, trying something daring and new with its Law courses.
Yes, you can expect a first-class LLB Law programme, a degree for those students wanting to become a solicitor or barrister, but there’s more to it than that, as programme director Dr Elizabth Dolan points out:
‘One of the advantages of the Law programme is that it’s embedded in Aston Business School.’ She says. ‘This means we can take advantage of the School’s subject expertise, even its masters degrees and, of course, its strong commercial focus.’
Current student, Alexia James loves her degree’s fresh approach.
‘I was surprised to learn that studying law felt like studying life.’ She says. ‘It spans every subject imaginable – history, politics, business, science, philosophy and ethics. A law degree doesn’t just give you knowledge of the law, it gives you knowledge about how everything works, the world and the people in it. No one ever says “I regret getting a degree in law”.’
The Law course at Aston has been designed to help students acquire the knowledge and skills they need to become successful legal practitioners, and to do so within wider contexts, such as international human rights, medicine and commercial law. The whole thing is then tied together with a professional placement year, a rarity amongst most other Law programmes.
Dr Kris Lines, programme director of LLB Law with Management at Aston, explains:
‘The placement year is going to become very important over the next few years, because it’s another way Aston graduates get to demonstrate employability.’
Dr Dolan adds, ‘The placement year makes our graduates highly marketable, commercially aware and demonstrates their keen interest in business and understanding it from the outset.’
The result is a degree providing a solid foundation for many careers where legal knowledge is important, including taxation, human resource management, accountancy, regulation and compliance.
The quality of law graduates coming out of Aston is outstanding, graduates securing positions such as Associate Consultant, Trainee Paralegal, Negotiations Case Handler, Legal Assistant and Trainee Paralegal.
How is this possible from a relatively small university in the heart of Birmingham? Most students cite the ‘small class sizes’, ‘tutors that know your name’, as well as the ‘great facilities and community’ on offer to build your confidence as a legal practitioner.
‘Hearing lecturers’ testimonies of their extensive careers in law enabled me to gain a realistic insight into what would be expected of me as a lawyer, and the challenges and opportunities I would face.’ Says Aston graduate Matt Roberts, now working at Shearman & Sterling LLP. ‘My advice to students wishing to study/work in law is to be focused, resilient and open minded. Your best chance of obtaining a training contract comes from proving to employers that you have a mixture of academics, work experience and extracurricular activities.’ All three of which are in plentifully supply at Aston.
Aston’s Law course can be found at www.aston.ac.uk/law
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