Bethany Buendia, LLB student
Bethany Buendia, 19, is studying the LLB full-time.
Derby's LLB: the ideal first step towards becoming a solicitor
"I chose the LLB degree because of my aspiration to become a solicitor. Essentially an LLB teaches you the fundamental elements of law (contract law, criminal law and tort law).
"The University of Derby stood out to me for its dedication to give students experience of the practical aspects of being a lawyer. The prospectus talked about about how key lawyer skills, such as advocating and negotiating, were compulsory parts of the course – something which many universities do not offer."
Law students can still have fun
"Three years does fly by and it is because you are having fun, most of the time. Before starting my course, I had this terrifying perception that law students did not have a social life and were subject to mountains of work. However, this is not true at all. You have to do plenty of reading but all you need is a good balance between your social life and studies, and good time management. I have found the course stimulating, challenging and rewarding."
What the course is like
"The course has a good mixture of practical work (such as advocacy, negotiations and client interviews) and written work spread throughout the years. You cannot escape one year without a practical assessment; it is that important.
"In my third year, we can now choose our modules from a wide range, which accommodates the different areas of law people may choose to go into after the LLB.
"The lectures are great and stimulating, the lecturers are enthusiastic about their areas of law and they make every effort to make the content as fun and exciting as they possibly can.
"Tutorials are also helpful and are generally more interactive. The lecturers are always willing to help and they are easily reached by either email, telephone and even mobile. If that is not enough, you can always pop into their office to ask specific questions or for a general chat about how you are doing on the course."
What I have enjoyed the most
"The practical assessments have been the most challenging but have also been rewarding because not only are you learning the law in theory but also applying it in practice; having to find the procedural rules that go alongside with negotiations, advocacy and interviews and actually conducting them. Therefore you get to fine tune key lawyer skills before you are even working.
"In addition, Derby Law School is very active in external competitions and good at finding the best opportunities for us students to enhance our skills. For example, we draft expert witness statements for student social workers, take part in client interview competitions, mooting training days and competitions, mock assessment days and advocacy competitions. I am currently participating in the UH/Blackstone’s National Criminal Advocacy Competition. These activities have been enjoyable and very beneficial."
Preparation for my future career
"To be a lawyer, you need the confidence to stand in court but also to know what you are doing. Undergraduate courses will often focus heavily on the academic side of the Law but in Derby, we do a mixture of both. For example, we learn:
- procedural rules
- what goes into a typical employment contract
- which forms need to be filled in for a claim in court and how they are filled in
- how to research effectively for a moot point
and the list goes on. Learning by doing is the most effective way of teaching and in law, theoretical application is not the same in practice therefore the course has really helped me put things into perspective."
Life after the LLB
"My aspiration to become a solicitor still stands and after the LLB, I plan to undertake my LPC and obtain a training contract. However, the fees for the professional course are high so I am currently completing applications for vacation schemes and training contracts with the aim of obtaining sponsorship."