Robyn Johnson

1st year, LLB Law (International)

Why you choose Lancaster?

It was extremely difficult to narrow down the selection of universities but, personally, I wanted the university to be a campus and Lancaster's collegiate system appealed to me. Whilst I have always had aspirations for a career in law, the option to study International Law as a degree with the opportunity to live and study abroad, set Lancaster apart from others such as Durham and Nottingham. Moreover, my home town is a similar size to that of Lancaster with the countryside feel so this was important in my choosing of Lancaster University because I could never study and live somewhere that is dull or without a homely feel. And now, in the summer before my second year, I can say with all certainty that it is the best decision I have ever made.

What your first year has been like (both academic and non academic)?

Looking back, I can't quite remember what I expected of my first year of university. I think that I probably expected for it to be easy to maintain high grades similar to my time in A-levels and high school and to do this while going out with friends up to 3 times a week. At the start of the academic year, it was overwhelming to say the least. No longer living at home but instead with 7 other people can be much lonelier that one would expect and no one can warn you of the difficulties of studying a degree in Law, at least at first. However, it does all get easier and by second term, time management was almost second nature. So, the most vital lesson I have learnt from my first year, in both academic and non-academic aspects is to accept that I can't do everything but almost revel in that fact. For instance, I am a member of the university's Innocence Project, and one night I had 8 journals and cases to read for the next day but also a social to attend that night. But, it's crucial to compromise to stay sane, so I worked until I was done and met the team out at the Sugarhouse! I got to enjoy myself but also did my work, hence why that night is particularly memorable so many months on.

Why did you choose law here?

I like to think that I am a particularly organised and thorough person and so as a result, I attended as many open days as possible to the universities that sparked my interest as well as their open days catering specifically for law. At the Lancaster Law open day, there were the obligatory talks from lecturers but also a debate by the university's debating society. This was what really set the university's Law department apart for me as these were law students sounding extremely impressive and mature beyond their years. Lancaster University's Law School offers such a variety of opportunities for students such as, debating, mooting, the Innocence Project and study abroad to name a few.

What is studying law at Lancaster like?

As I have previously mentioned, I believe that studying law is an overwhelming experience in itself but that may be true of studying any degree at any university. However, Lancaster cushions this intense blow by providing the highest standard of practicing lawyers and academics in their field that every student including myself feels the need to soak up every aspect of law that the school has to offer. This includes, attending office hours with lecturers that have such a passion for their field that their journals or case notes have been cited in actual court cases or are recognised worldwide in other ways. Whilst the library and a late night subway sandwich may have become my exam time routine, i am now a part of the community of law students that are willing to help by asking or answering any question big, small, serious or stupid. Therefore, studying Law at Lancaster University has thus far been very enjoyable and quite frankly, I cannot wait to get back for second year!

What are you looking forward to next year?

The beauty of second year at university is that you get to choose additional modules that you may have an actual interest or passion in. Next year, I have opted to study, in addition to my core modules, Employment Law, Introduction to Business Law and Family Law. Whilst I am looking forward to contributing to my final degree classification, I cannot wait to get my teeth stuck into controversial areas such as family law and learn more about legal issues that I have experienced myself or one day may do. However, outside of the solely academic aspects of university, i am also looking forward to enjoying myself more and not worrying so much from start to finish. Thankfully, I received a 2:1 overall and a first in Criminal Law in my first year, so now I know that I do indeed have the ability to succeed in a law degree. I am going to ensure that in my second year I bask in this realisation and allow my passion for the subject to do more talking.