Law: a student's view

I'm Lindsey, I'm from Edinburgh originally and I'm currently in my second year studying Law at Christ Church.

Lindsey, one of our Undergraduate AmbassadorsThe main reason most people apply to Oxford, including myself, is because of its academic reputation. The opportunities that we get as students here are fantastic, but there is also more to studying here than the work. I hadn't always intended to apply to Oxford; initially, my main focus was on Scottish universities, but the Open Day I attended here encouraged me to apply. The Oxford Law degree is actually called Jurisprudence, which reflects the fact that a lot of our studying of different areas of the law is done from a critical point of view. In first year, we study Roman, Constitutional and Criminal law, which are all completely different areas. Although Law students don't get to pick any options until third year, the compulsory topics are very varied, and we only study each of them for 8 weeks at a time. Almost nobody who starts studying Law here has any experience of the subject, so nearly everybody is a beginner at the start of first year. Getting used to reading cases and answering legal problems takes some time, but it gets easier with practice and Oxford’s tutorial teaching system means you learn quickly. Tutorials are usually with just 2 or 3 students and a tutor, so you discuss the material you have read that week in depth and can go over any problems you may have had with it. Most of the tutors who have taught me have written the main textbook we are using for the topic, and while this seems intimidating at first, getting taught by these people is a fantastic opportunity.

Christ Church is one of the larger colleges; its size means that you meet a lot of people as soon as you begin first year, so it's easy to find people that you get on with. Its size was one of the main reasons I chose it, as I preferred the idea of having a lot of people around. It also guarantees college accommodation for the duration of your degree -- some second years live in college owned flats about 15 minutes walk away but almost all of the rooms are within the college. It's also really beautiful and very central, so most things are within walking distance.

A Law degree at Oxford is mainly based around reading independently and writing essays for tutorials, but there are also more lectures than some other humanities subjects. On a typical day, I might walk to the Law Faculty (about 15 minutes from Christ Church) for a couple of lectures, have lunch with friends, then do reading and essay writing for my tutorials, which we have 1 or 2 of every week. There aren't any cooking facilities in college, so everyone eats in Hall at either informal or formal dinner. The only difference between these is that formal takes place an hour later and everyone wears their gown on top of normal clothes. Unless I have an essay due I don't usually work in the evenings, instead I usually spend time with friends in college or we go out. A Law degree here can be time-consuming, but there’s definitely time to have a social life as well as working, whatever your interests may be.

If you have any questions about Law, Christ Church or Oxford feel free to email