What is it like to do a part-time Law Degree?
Posted on 25th April 2019
There are so many different reasons why you may be considering working full-time, whilst studying a law degree. You may be looking to change career, or you may just enjoy work. Whatever your reasons, you will want to go into the part-time-law-degree-full-time-work part of your life as prepared as you possibly can be.
So, our Hope Jordan, who is currently embarking on that very journey, has decided to share a few of the pros and cons of choosing to study that way...
I am currently on my third year of a six-year law Degree studying with the Open University. When I first decided that I wanted to embark on a career in law, I went to College to study my A-Levels. I had been told, on more than one occasion, that some Universities did not want students to study law before starting their degree (so that their students have a ‘fresh slate’, I presume). So, with that in mind, I decided to study Biology, French, English Literature and Psychology. I also wanted to gain some experience in the Legal field, so I made enquiries with a few local solicitors near me, and I was accepted by MG Legal, Solicitors in Garstang.
This is when I started to re-consider my path to becoming a Lawyer (see our blog, here, on the difference between Solicitors, Lawyers and Barristers). I enjoyed working so much, I just didn’t want to leave and go away to University, and I certainly didn’t want to lose my work colleagues (which you can find out more about, here). So, once I had completed my two years at College, I decided to take some time to figure out which route into law I wanted to take.
Here were my options:-
A part-time Degree
A full-time Degree (with working any free-days and holidays)
A legal apprenticeship
Now, that’s not to say that my options were an exhaustive list, but they were the things that I felt were more appropriate for me. After a lot of deliberation, I ended up deciding that a part-time Degree would be the best (but by no means the easiest) option.
So, I made some enquiries about Universities that offered part-time Degrees and started doing some research. Now, I know this only happens in the movies, but it was like fate – I saw an old school friend post about studying with the Open University, and I decided to find out some more information. Fast forward 5 months (we can skip past me taking a few online courses to get a head start) and it was time for me to start.
At first, it seemed quite easy. I was told that a lot of people who study through the OU have been out of a studious environment for a while, so the OU like to gently bring people back in, and try to make the transition a little easier – definitely a very helpful few weeks!
Admittedly, it has got harder as the years have gone by, but I couldn’t be happier with how my job and degree run alongside each other. It can be difficult at times to balance working later to finish off work tasks, making sure I complete all my Uni work, and making sure I have a least a little bit of a social event every once in a while, but it’s very rewarding. The OU have a great team, who support you with your work, and are on-hand to answer any questions that you have. You can also interact with other students across the country to support each other with the tasks and exams.
My day-to-day job isn’t too bad either! My colleagues are always very supportive, and working alongside other people who have been through the same Degree, such as Chloe Cardwell and Sarah Lees, helps me to stay on track. Lynsey Oldham is also studying her CILEx qualifications, so we often chat about any law-related questions that crop up. My everyday tasks also help me to put what I learn into practice, and aid my understanding of what I am learning about.
Overall, it’s a great experience, and I couldn’t recommend it enough to any potential law-studying candidates. Yes, it’s not the conventional route, but my hands-on experience can only help my career, and the opportunities that I have been presented with through both work and Uni are invaluable.
So, if you’re thinking of embarking on a part-time law Degree, whilst working, I can only suggest that you research the options open to you, and choose whatever option feels better suited for you. You can always research ‘local solicitors near me’ to find out whether there are any opportunities in your area!
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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