First Year Questions Answered

No comments, posted on November 28, 2016

Do I really need to do all of the reading and prep work before lectures and tutorials?

The short answer is yes. You will get the most out of every lecture and tutorial/seminar if you turn up prepared. It also means you can ask any questions, to make sure you fully understand the topic.

You also will be able to leave the class knowing that you can turn those notes (which are complete, and most importantly correct) into revision notes ready for the exam.

My tutor has suggested I can submit practice essays and problem scenarios for marking, based on class questions. Should I?

Definitely! If your tutor is offering to look over any problem scenarios or essays I highly recommend you take them up on this.

It is the best way to make sure you fully understand the areas of law, are answering essay questions in the correct format, and that you are picking out all the requirements in a problem scenario.

It also means that any weaknesses in essay or problem scenario structure are dealt with early on before you have to submit coursework or sit exams.

Do I need to start revising straight away?

The earlier you start making revision notes the better. I highly recommend that if you don’t already know what style of revision (and revision notes) work for you, then you try and find out as soon as possible.

Creating your revision notes early on means that you consolidate your knowledge and can revise properly and efficiently before the exams.

Try to keep on top of your workload throughout the year and don’t leave everything to the last minute. There is not enough time to study everything for the first time, and learn it effectively when the revision period starts.

Do I need to start doing work experience?

Start applying for work experience as soon as you can. Try and get as much exposure to different areas of law and legal careers as you can. This also applies to those who already know what they want to be, and in what area of law they want to work in.

If you want to be a criminal barrister, then as well as the obvious, maybe consider doing a mini-pupillage in another area of law, likewise a work experience placement in a law firm.

This way, you can effectively argue why you want to go down a certain career path and the areas of law you would like to work in.

Don’t forget that you can also marshal judges, work in-house, and assist legal charities.

You also don’t need to list every bit of work experience you have undertaken on applications and your CV, pick the most relevant for any future roles you apply for.

Shall I attend legal events?

Your law school and law society should be putting on events for you and I highly recommend you get involved and attend them. Don’t forget that there are also other legal events you could attend, such as seminars and webinars run by law firms and chambers, training sessions, conferences etc. Some of these events are free, some have a charge (you can always ask if they offer a student discount) and some offer sponsorship (so your event ticket will be paid for).

There are so many benefits to attending legal events, from networking opportunities to learning about areas of law, legal developments and key skills.

Written by Thomson Reuters guest blogger: Rebecca Morgan, current part time BPTC student and founder of Lawyer In The Making. If you would like more information or want to read more head on over to or follow her on twitter @lawyer_inmaking.