Charles Hogan (LLB 2015)
I was 25 years old when I began my studies and felt that it would be an advantage to complete my law degree in two years rather than three. This was particularly important given that I intended to train as a barrister, which required at least a further year of study on the Bar Professional Training Course (“BPTC”), as well as further time spent working in the legal sector which is almost a prerequisite to obtaining pupillage. The University of Buckingham stood out not only by offering a two-year degree but also because this was achieved by offering a full summer term, making for four terms in total per year, rather than by forcing more into the conventional three terms academic calendar. I also felt that the shorter holidays this structure required meant that I stayed engaged with the material throughout, rather than having a long period over the summer when I might ‘switch off’.
Additionally, I felt that the traditional ‘tutorial’ style of teaching used at Buckingham, where a small group of students would meet weekly with a tutor, was superior to the lectures and seminars used in other institutions. It meant that my idea and knowledge were challenged by tutors, and it meant that I needed to demonstrate an understanding of the course materials throughout my studies, which in turn meant that revising for final exams was easier and that I acquired a deep-seated and robust legal knowledge. Equally, this approach meant that I got better at defending my ideas and engaging in debate, which was a useful attribute during pupillage interviews.
The generous staff-to-student ratio at Buckingham was also a benefit. I found that teaching staff made efforts to get to know me, which was made easier by the tutorial system. I noticed that staff wanted to understand my career aspirations. Without exception, they were supportive of these, variously with advice, help with my CV and even by arranging work experience.
I was called to the Bar in November 2016 by Lincoln’s Inn. For me, Buckingham provided the environment that acted as the foundation of my subsequent achievements in passing the BPTC and obtaining pupillage at Northampton Chambers, practising family and civil law
I would recommend the University to anybody serious about a career in law.