Jade Chalker: from law undergraduate to law postgraduate
Why did you choose to study law?
“I chose to study law as it helps you to think from a different perspective. The law is something constantly changing and needs to be analysed to make sure it is benefiting the democratic society we live in.”
How does studying at masters level compare to undergraduate degree level?
“At an undergraduate level, you’re learning the basics of law. These include the areas of law that everyone pursuing a law career needs to know. Studying at a master’s level is much more complex and specific. You will be looking more in depth at a certain area of law and the jurisprudence behind it.
Lecturers and other support services are very helpful at the university, especially at LLM level. In postgraduate courses, classes are smaller. Therefore, you get more individual attention from the lecturers, which I personally find beneficial.”
What made you decide to stay on at Brighton and study a Law LLM?
My main two reasons were the lecturers at the university of Brighton and the alumni postgraduate scholarship. The lecturers at the university are beyond helpful and eager to further your education. They take the time to address the needs of students and make sure everyone understands what they are learning. The postgraduate scholarships give’s alumni of the university a 20% discount of their postgraduate fees.”
What have you enjoyed most about the course?
In my undergraduate course, I had many opportunities to take part in extra-curricular activities. In my first year, I took part in the negotiation competition the university offers. I got the chance to compete against other universities at the Centre for Dispute Resolution. In my second year, I became President of the Amnesty Society at the university.
In this role, I organised events and presentations to raise awareness on human rights issues Amnesty International were involved in. In my third year, I was a course rep for the university and a legal companion for CLOCK. The role of a legal companion involved giving support to people who could not access legal aid in the Brighton family court by helping them with the court process.
My favourite module was Healthcare Law and Ethics which I took as an optional module in my third year of my undergraduate course. This is because it was a discussion module, so we had to chance to debate interesting and controversial issues in class. This module also allowed me to understand what doing a postgraduate course would be like, as the international law and social justice LLM involves a lot of discussion about the reading.
How have you found the work/life balance of studying an LLM?
I found the work/life balance not too stressful. However, this is because I chose a flexible job that understood that I have a life outside of the job which is my studies. Luckily, many part-time jobs in Brighton hire students offering flexible roles so students can maintain a work/life balance.
How would you recommend prospective students to prepare for their LLM study?
Firstly, look at the course content on the University of Brighton’s LLM website. This will give you an idea of what to expect when you start the course. This will also include what modules you will be taking. Gaining some knowledge through reading into these areas will prepare you for when you start. The more prepared you are, the more you can involve yourself in discussion and get the full benefits of the course.
How has Brighton set you up for success?
When employers look at your CV, they don’t just look at your grades, they look at your achievements and what you have done outside of your course. The University of Brighton has many opportunities for you to acquire skills outside of the course and gain an insight into what having a career in law is like.
Would you recommend Brighton, if so, why?
I went through clearing to get into the university of Brighton, so I came into my undergraduate degree with little confidence on my ability to do the course. The help the university and the lecturers gave me to succeed boosted my confidence massively.
The city of Brighton is also a beautiful place, with many exciting things to do and interesting and friendly people everywhere. I’m very lucky to have the chance to study here and it has prepared me for a future career in law.