Sarah Fairley law student

LLB Law - Graduate EntrySarah Fairley, UK

Tell us a bit about your background please...
Prior to commencing the Graduate LLB with Strathclyde in 2017, I attained my Bachelor of Science in Adult Nursing from the University of Stirling in 2010 and worked full time as Nurse for 8 years. Additionally, I also have a Diploma in Biological Sciences and a NEBOSH in Health and Safety. I currently, live in Falkirk, where I have resided for most of my life.

What inspired you to further your studies?
As a nurse, I have always been very passionate about helping people and working with the public. I chose to further my studies so that I could continue to assist people, but from a different perspective, that of a legal one.

Why did you choose to study Law at Strathclyde?
I did a lot of research on all of the Universities who offered the LLB course and Strathclyde was always the one that stuck out for me from the outset. They have a fantastic reputation, the lecturers are all highly acclaimed within their specialist fields and they also provide an award winning legal clinic of which I am a member.

What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde/highlight of the course so far? 
Being a member of Strathclyde’s Law Clinic has been a fantastic experience, getting to work alongside some fantastic law students, helping people who otherwise may not have been able to access justice. I feel I always learn better when I can see how the theory relates to and operates in practice so this has provided me with a great opportunity to what will be expected of me once I qualify.

Have you come across any challenges during your studies, and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge for me has been trying to juggle my studies alongside work; especially given I had been in full time employment for many years before embarking on this new chapter. The significant pay cut was also hard to adapt to! If anything, I would say my organisational skills have improved dramatically since starting my LLB degree; forward planning deadlines to allow me to still work whilst remaining focused on my studies. It is also very important to maintain a social life, because there are times I have felt the workload has consumed me. You need to have time out to relax and prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed by it all.

What would be your advice for people considering taking this course? 
This course has been fantastic and I have really enjoyed it. But I wish someone had told me what would be expected from me this time around as a postgraduate student, particularly when undertaking an accelerated degree. It is not a decision to take lightly; the past 2 years of my life have mostly been comprised of studying, reading, writing assignments and it can be very draining at times. I also chose to fund the degree myself, which is a significant amount of money so it’s something to be aware of when applying to University as other campus’s have different tuition fee rates.

What do you think of the support available?
Although I cannot speak from personal experience, as I have not required any additional support during my tenure here, I think the university does offer sufficient support to its students. Everyone is allocated a personal tutor, who they can liaise with if they are having any difficulties and they run a great careers service to help prepare students for the future once they graduate.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I propose to undertake the Diploma in Legal Practice once I graduate with my LLB in June 2019. Thereafter I hope to attain a traineeship to allow me to complete my training, with the aim of eventually practising in the fields of clinical and medical negligence, given my background.