After watching Suits far more times than I’d like to admit, the romanticised view of the legal sector painted a false sense of reality and inspiration for me to become a lawyer. Having a multicultural upbringing influenced by traditions and customs from different parts of the world like Delhi and Dubai, I have been exposed to varying philosophies and ideas throughout my childhood. Subconsciously debating seemingly trivial topics such as ‘Nature Vs Nurture’ with criminals in mind actually turned out to be the foundation for my grasp of logic, rationality and reasoning.
Although questions such as the codification of the constitution, the regulation of social media with Zuckerberg’s Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2019 and who bears responsibility for cross border air pollution are seemingly disparate, they all have the common trait of requiring deep thought, research and evaluation. Finding answers to such challenging debates led me to study the theory of Law, applying it to the pressing questions our society faces. My reasons for wanting to study the Law mirror the diverse nature of the subject itself, one of the reasons why I was attracted to it in the first place.
After reading The Secret Barrister and The Rule of Law (Tom Bingham), I anticipate most legal issues to be very complex, not straightforward and having an answer deeper than ‘yes or no’. I expect them to require a great deal of analysis, nuanced research and discussion; something I have began to unravel. After seeking, and finding, legal work experience and understanding the research-oriented work underpinning each case, the appeal of a client-facing company which incorporates everything to do with business, commerce, litigation, human rights and much more became vivid to me. I see the legal career as one where somebody who works hard, has compelling motivations and experience achieves respect and success based on merit within a reasonable amount of time.
When choosing my A-Level subjects, I was told to select what my field of interest specifically requires, preparing me for the degree and ensuring I had the prerequisites. However, since the majority of Law degrees in the UK have no particular preference, it actually made the already intimidating decision even more complicated. In some sense, this freedom did allow me to choose what I am most passionate about, willing to put the time into, and perform especially well in. My interest in genetically engineered organisms using CRISPR DNA editing technology in Biology enabled me to research ethics and morality whilst teaching me the skills to retain high calibre detailed information. English Literature actively prepares me for the Law degree by honing my ability to analytically draw parallels between different perspectives and ideologies which have influenced society. My third and final choice, Politics, has unveiled the intricacies
behind many serious issues we face today such as the climate crisis through the Paris Accord and the effect of politicisation on the judiciary. Having this wide range of subjects has kept me interested in learning distinct content and acutely aware of different sectors.
Through navigating both the Solicitor and the Barrister routes, I quickly realised the opportunities that come with being a solicitor are better suited to me. Practicing in a law-firm environment, engaging in litigious and non-contentious work attracts me greatly, and since the SQE (Solicitors Qualification Exam) is changing the pathway for qualifications, becoming a solicitor seems far more appropriate to my personality and work ethic. Nevertheless, although I currently believe this will open more doors of opportunity, my preference may very well change as I undertake the Law degree, and I aim to be open-minded about this, documenting my thought processes as I go along.
Beginning the application process in the late summer of 2020, the LNAT was admittedly one of the most daunting aspects of my application. 42 multiple choice questions followed by an open-ended essay question alongside my A-Levels, EPQ, personal statement and internships seemed like the perfect recipe for a stressful few months. Whereas in reality, breaking down the test into sizeable parts helped me process it far more effectively. Creating mini essay plans with equally balanced arguments for and against the question while retaining a strong line of reason throughout helped me structure the essay in a logical and coherent manner. Reading opinion pieces in the Guardian, Inner Temple and the Legal section in the New York Times provided me with contemporary examples to include in the essay. Investing in practice books, particularly ‘The Ultimate LNAT Guide’ from Amazon and doing tests in exam conditions closer to the time prepared me by stimulating a close to accurate environment, something that made the actual
test less intimidating.
Inevitably, the months of September and October were the most challenging for me. Dealing with every aspect of my application at once often became overwhelming. Instead of sitting at my desk for hours on end, I soon found that taking time out of each day just for myself by going on a run, baking or playing games like Twister with my brother and sister for the lark were all healthy coping mechanisms for stress. Having hobbies which are completely detached from my legal interests is something that I am constantly developing, and writing this blog is already proving fruitful! Through this process, I am learning that your physical and mental health are vital aspects of successful performance which cannot be overlooked.
One of the biggest revelations so far is that your reason for wanting to study the Law does not have to be flamboyant, glamorised and grand, it should simply be enough to motivate you throughout the process - your North Star. ✰ Constantly learning, researching and changing my personal views through challenging myself, I hope my journey to Law school and beyond is something that interests you and gives you someone to navigate this path with!