Welcome to Law


Welcome to the School of Law. We look forward to meeting you in Intro Week when we invite you to participate in a varied programme of orientation, social and academic events. By the end of the week you will have found out more about your school and your programme, been introduced to key members of staff, and had the opportunity to meet some of your fellow students. In the meantime, you might find the following information useful. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Independent learning


At university you are expected to be an independent learner and this may be quite different from your experience at school or college. Independent in this context means you need to take overall responsibility for your own learning. It doesn’t mean you will be being left entirely to your own devices! We will support you to make this transition and direct your learning through, for example, providing reading lists and setting seminar preparation activities. Early in semester one you will cover a range of essential study skills and there is plenty of support on hand if you need it. You will be allocated a personal tutor, an academic member of staff who supports your academic and personal development. They will invite you to scheduled meetings but you can contact them whenever you need to. They, and all other members of academic staff, have academic support hours (two per week) when you can ‘drop in’ (with an appointment) and talk about your studies or anything that might be affecting it.

Making the grade


We want you to make the grade during your time with us in three different ways. First, we want you to achieve academic success. You have secured a place to study Law or Criminal Justice and Criminology because you have demonstrated real academic potential, and we hope you will graduate with the best degree you can. Your studies will challenge you and you might find some aspects difficult at first, especially if you haven’t studied Law or Criminal Justice and Criminology before (and we don’t expect you to have done so). Almost all students will feel like this but help is on hand if you need it. You can contact your personal tutor but the School of Law also has a dedicated student support officer. Second, we want you to take advantage of everything the School of Law offers beyond your studies. You can join one of our excellent – indeed award-winning – student societies (LawSoc and CrimSoc) and enjoy all that they offer: sport, social events, trips, career talks and much more besides. You can participate in our extensive co-curricular programme, taking your academic knowledge into the local community. You will find out more about these different opportunities in Intro Week. These are always expanding, so look out for new ones being advertised throughout your first year. Finally, we want you to graduate with a clear vision of the career you would like to pursue, having built up a set of skills and relevant experience during your time with us. Whether you are joining us with a career in mind or want to spend some time during the next three or four years researching different possibilities, you will soon become aware of how the School of Law can support you; for example, through participating in our career mentoring scheme or applying for work placements.

Organising your work


Your university timetable will look quite different from the one you had at school or college. You are expected to attend lectures and seminars for each of your modules but will also have a lot of ‘free’ time, possibly whole days without anything scheduled. This is when you are expected to complete seminar preparation, read around the topics covered in lectures and complete your assignments. You should approach your studies as a full-time job but take advantage of the flexibility of university study so you can fit in some (but not too many) activities around your studies. Many of these take place on a Wednesday afternoon when there are no scheduled classes. There are rhythms to the academic year and you will soon find out that some periods will be busier than others; for example, around assessment periods. Similarly, you may find some days or weeks are busier than others due to your particular timetable. You will soon develop your own strategies for managing your time and organising your workload. For now, think about how you will organise your work (using a diary, electronic calendar or app), and what else you need to do (for example, part-time work or caring commitments) or would like to do alongside your studies (for example, join a society). Once you arrive on campus explore places where you think you would like to study when not in lectures or seminars and find out what a typical day or week might look like. We expect you to work hard but not all the time!

Research


You have chosen to study at a research-intensive university which means both staff and students are actively involved in research. In your first year you will be have the opportunity to develop the research skills you need to complete assessments. We will build upon this foundation in your second year by helping you understand how academics design and carry out research projects so that in your final year you can design and complete your own research project with the support of an academic member of staff. More generally you will benefit from studying degree programmes informed by research. Our staff are leading researchers in their field, producing both high quality research and informing legislation, policy and practice. We have strengths in business law, criminal justice and law and social justice, and are increasingly known for our work on law and emerging technologies and disability law. You can find out more at http://www.law.leeds.ac.uk/research/. Students are actively encouraged to attend the many research events organised by the school.

Discovery modules


In your first year, students take a package of compulsory modules. Many of you will be studying Law or Criminal Justice and Criminology for the first time and we want to ensure you have a thorough grounding in your new discipline and develop the skills you need to do well. In subsequent years you will have the opportunity to select from specialist options offered within the School, but also discovery modules offered by other schools which are different your main subject. You might, for example, want to learn a language, return to a subject you have enjoyed in the past or choose something related to your future career. There is no need to worry about this for now. Just after Easter in your first year we will invite you to a pre-enrolment briefing and module fair, and provide you with a pre-enrolment handbook so you will be ready to go for year two before the summer vacation.