Beckie Walker

3rd year, LLB Hons Law and Criminology

Why Lancaster?

I initially chose Lancaster because of its good reputation and its position in the league table. However, when I attended the open day I fell in love with the campus and knew that it was the right place for me. The city isn't huge but I feel that that is a benefit because you always feel safe and cannot go out without seeing somebody you recognize. The college system makes moving to university a lot less daunting and in your first year provides you with a strong community feeling. It also means that you get to know a lot more people in a small amount of time and ensures that your friendship groups are diverse.

What have your two years at Lancaster been like?

Whilst the move to university is a big leap and no matter what anyone tells you, you will not be prepared for the heavy workload (especially with doing a law degree). However, there is a lot of support available to you. It’s not all work and no play. Lancaster has a vast amount of societies and if you want to start your own this is possible too. In second year, my friends and I set up the Football Appreciation Society, and this has meant that I have been able to continue to attend live matches, despite being away from home. Additionally, in second year I was given the opportunity to go to Ghana for a week with the law school to visit our partner university. During the trip we attended lectures, took a visit to a local prison as well as having free time to spend at the beach. It was an amazing opportunity and an experience that I will never forget. This all expenses paid trip has truly been the highlight of my degree so far, and I very much doubt that anything else I do at university will be able to top it.

Why did you choose to study law here?

Again this was due to the reputation of the university and the experience I had at the open day. I found out that within the law school there was the opportunity to join the Innocence Project a student led pro bono project which aims to overturn miscarriages of justice. Once I started at Lancaster I was lucky enough to get a place on the project. The opportunity to get first- hand experience of case work has not only helped to put my studies into perspective, it is also something incredibly rewarding and helps to boost your CV. Alongside this, the university allows students to get a qualifying law degree whilst being able to study criminology alongside my major subject. This has helped to keep my interest in my studies, and ensured that I get to learn about things that interest me.

What is studying law at Lancaster like?

Studying law is difficult. There is no denying that it takes a lot of commitment and some very long days to get all of the reading done. However, it is worthwhile and there is help and support available when needed. The opportunities I have been offered whilst studying here have helped to make university a fantastic experience, with none of my friends at other universities having the opportunity to go on a paid trip to Ghana. There is a real sense of putting the law into perspective at Lancaster, with many opportunities to get first-hand experience of the criminal justice system. Alongside being part of the Innocence Project I have also attended the local prison as part of a criminology visit, getting the chance to talk to inmates about their experiences. It is chances like this that help to make my experience at Lancaster University a very positive one.

What are you looking forward to next year?

I am looking forward to having more say in the subjects I get to study next year, with modules including Health Care law and a criminology module on the study of sex crimes. By choosing which modules I am studying it means I can tailor my degree to my interests and what I want to achieve in terms of a career. Also, I am moving back onto campus next year and am looking forward to the big County kitchens and the desk space that comes with on-campus bedrooms!