How the School of Law is preparing me for my career

Orlaith Fisher - LLB Law and Criminology
Orlaith Fisher
Undergraduate student
LLB Law and Criminology
LLB Law and Criminology student, Orlaith, talks to us about her experience and how it's preparing her for a career as a solicitor.
Orlaith Fisher - LLB Law and Criminology
Orlaith Fisher - LLB Law and Criminology

Why did you decide to study this course?

Law's importance in the world is the main reason why I wanted to study it. Civilisation is built through law, fundamental rights are protected, and ideas and inventions are protected through patenting. The legal system provides every individual with the right to adduce evidence in support of his or her claim. Among the many contexts in which law is relevant are banking, construction, sports, land, media, commercial, and human rights. This is even more exciting to me, since I consider it a very broad topic, which won't become repetitive or dull to me. Studying this alongside Criminology provides me with a deeper understanding of offending, victimisation, and society's response to crime.

What skills have you gained whilst studying in Sheffield?

Whilst studying in Sheffield, my organisational skills have progressed. This is vital for me so I can study effectively and not lose track of my weekly schedule. My favourite place to study is on campus at the Information Commons in the silent study area, as I struggle to work from home on a day to day basis. Furthermore, my confidence levels have increased since studying at University. I am no longer afraid to ask for help and to develop a support network with my tutors to ensure I get the best possible assistance with my studies.

What is your favourite thing about studying your course at Sheffield?

My favourite aspect of the course is that it is certainly intellectually challenging. You will always be kept on your toes, which is what I love about the course. This gives students the ability to think for themselves and relate their problem-solving skills back to their workshop groups. Being intellectually challenging throughout my modules has helped me develop my research skills and the ability to critically analyse, which is very different from how you are taught at A Levels.

Have you taken advantage of any opportunities that the Law School offers to students?

I have taken advantage of many of the talks about the qualifying routes after my Undergraduate degree, which has given me a clear understanding of which direction I aspire to undertake when I hit my Postgraduate studies. Pro Bono has been a vital part of my University experience at the School of Law. As a service volunteer at Support Through Court, I help vulnerable people and provide reassurance and emotional and moral support to clients. As a result of helping people locate the fees office, signing people up for legal clinics, and listening to them, I have made a real difference in my legal journey, and have made a real difference to my clients as well. My role also includes explaining how the court works and organising court files. My greatest learning experiences have come from the court hearings and how to support clients. In order to reassure my client during emotionally challenging times, I take notes during hearings and provide feedback. I strive to provide an invaluable service in every case, whether that is in-person or through the telephone service, which supports my entry into professional employment.

Orlaith Fisher - LLB Law and Criminology
Orlaith Fisher - LLB Law and Criminology

Have you enjoyed the content of your course? How do you feel our research-led approach to teaching has had an impact on your experience?

The content of the Law and Criminology LLB course is really enjoyable, mainly as a result of gaining valuable and greater understanding of society and culture. The research-led approach to teaching has enhanced my capability to analyse real-world issues from a lawyer's perspective, as well as giving me an insight into how academic research is conducted. This has impacted my experience by providing me with a meaningful and deep learning experience into the module convener's research area, particularly in criminology.

Have you got involved with any School of Law societies? If so, what have you enjoyed the most about them?

I have been an active member of the University's largest Law society, 'Edward Bramley Law Society.' I was elected as one of the Social Secretaries in the academic year 2022/2023. I loved this role, as I acquired several skills such as independence, communication, flexibility, and time management. I helped members of the society to get to know each other better by organising friendly, inclusive socials such as bar crawls, meals out and activities such as laser quest. I worked alongside my two other colleagues and the rest of the society, making sure everything runs smoothly and at a fast-pace. An exciting part of my role was organising the society's trip to Prague. Through this I have enhanced my organisational and leadership skills, including task setting and delegation. The project has involved setting (and adhering to) a budget, booking flights, checking documents and creating risk assessments. I will continue to be a dedicated member of the Edward Bramley Law Society, particularly as I have been elected as their Inclusions Officer for the academic year 2023/2024.

What are your career aspirations?

I hope to go down the legal route and train to become a solicitor. Through the skills I have built on during my time at University, I believe I am well suited to this career, as I am able to relate naturally and confidently to a wide range of people and understand their needs. I am aspiring to go down the personal injury/ clinical negligence/ employment practice areas, because I am dedicated towards achieving justice for those who have suffered loss, ultimately affecting their lives.

How do you think your degree experience will help you in your career?

My degree has given me the knowledge of how to research, analyse and evaluate material, which is vital for a legal career. My degree has taught me how to be an excellent communicator, as you acquire the willingness to participate in group discussions and present arguments and ideas. The course is heavily focused on independent learning, which is essentially a good thing because when you choose to qualify as a solicitor or barrister, you will have your own case load to work on and it is crucial you handle tasks yourself along with the importance of time management.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about studying in the School of Law at Sheffield?

If you are passionate about being challenged, achieving justice and exploring many aspects of human life, then the broad range of topics covered in a Law degree will be perfect for you if you are willing to put the time and effort into it, especially since there is high volume of independent learning involved.

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