Internships for Law students at the University
Published on 1 September 2018
Megan Anderson and Holly Morrison both graduated with an LLB and stayed on at Dundee to study for the Diploma Professional Legal Practice, which is the vocational qualification necessary to pursue a career in the legal profession in Scotland.
We chatted with them to learn a bit more about the internships they did after graduating with the LLB Law (Scots and English Dual Qualifying) and find out what they enjoyed about the course.
UoD: Why did you decide to study Law?
Holly: For me, Law was a combination of all the things I was interested in at school – a bit of English, Modern Studies and Philosophy as well. I also wanted to study the reasons for the law as well as the law itself – there are so many different aspects to it.
Megan: Also even if you don’t want to become a solicitor, Law is such a good degree to have. It’s welcomed by many grad schemes, and you develop so many skills that you can transfer into banking, HR, recruitment etc. You develop critical thinking, taking responsibility for your own studies, teamwork (when you do moots, for example), public speaking. I do think it’s the best general degree to take, it’s a good all-rounder (but we’re biased!).
UoD: And why did you want to take the dual qualifying option?
Megan: I think it’s a great opportunity even if you don’t go on to qualify as an English solicitor as if you go on to work for a firm that has an English branch it’s much easier to communicate.
Where you qualify you’re tied down, which could be quite scary, so it’s nice to have a few more options.
Holly: I wanted to keep my options open so that I would still have the opportunity to study in England if life took me that way. Not many universities offer that. It’s also good to have an awareness of different forms of law and jurisdiction in comparison with our own.
UoD: What attracted you to Dundee?
Holly: I’m from Dundee and actually wanted to get away for university to get the ‘proper’ experience. But Dundee was the best place to be – it was getting really good ratings and reviews for Law. Everyone I spoke to here was so sold on the uni. Students loved the small teaching classes, and the fact they felt appreciated by the lecturers. Contact time is great too – it is so easy to get in touch with staff.
Megan: Yes definitely, especially when you get to honours. There’s no kind of ‘us or them’ situation. They are just so helpful. If they know you’re interested in something they go out of their way to help you. For me the worst possible thing would be to go to a uni where you are just a number. Here you are a person and they know who you are. They really do care.
Dundee is really different to everywhere else. So much effort goes into everything – like the open days. Everyone is so friendly and I love the community feel. Some of my friends go to universities where it is a fifty minute walk to class whereas I stayed in Belmont which was literally two minutes walk away. It’s a real student hub.
I think coming here was the best decision I ever made. For me nothing compares to Dundee. That’s why I’m staying here for the diploma too. It’s a small diploma and personally I benefit from the close contact.
Holly: Yes, and you have a lot of involvement with professionals too. When you take the diploma they are genuinely trying to set you up as a solicitor rather than just getting you to pass the course. They are trying to give you contacts as well.
Megan: Exactly – on the diploma they organise networking drinks and a lot of Dundee professionals come. I know so many people who got their traineeship because they just went up and chatted to people. The exposure is so good.
UoD: What have been the standout moments of your time here?
Megan: Telders [an international mooting competition] was a standout moment of the course for me. It was in place of a dissertation. We started in September, handed in the memorial in February and competed in May. It was a long relationship with the case! It was amazing but also the hardest thing I’ve ever done. We really needed good teamwork skills.
It was incredible. We went to Florence for the practice round but actually came last. We had a lot of work to do in two weeks before the final. Then we went to The Hague (for the final) and Georgio and I ended up coming fifth out of the 23 countries taking part. We actually ended up beating every country that had come to Florence. It was the highest Scotland had ever come. We definitely celebrated that night. It was amazing to bring home such a result and it’s great that Dundee offer this.
UoD: Tell us a little about your internships
Holly: We were employed by the School to carry out research tasks. We were each under a member of staff and did different things for them. I’ve been working for one of the lecturers in constitutional law and now I’m working to revamp one of the modules as well. We’ve had different placements as part of it. It’s really interesting and a real compliment that they think we are valuable to them. We’re developing so many skills and making contacts.
Megan: I worked on the gifted and talented programme the first week. Northern Irish and English school pupils were on campus to get a taste of Law at Dundee. I was teaching them – I was like a classroom assistant. I was teaching them mooting as that’s something I’ve done a lot of.
I’ve also been helping a lecturer update the postgraduate distance learning course in medical ethics. It’s been really interesting and a lot has changed with GDPR.
Most recently I was helping a lady update her thesis on international criminal law. It’s another testament to Dundee how much they involve their students and trust their students.
It’s really nice that they want to get us involved.
Press Office, University of Dundeepress@dundee.ac.uk