Hannah Howard (LLB 2018)
Like many students on the part-time LLB at Buckingham, I had been out of education for some time when I started in 2013. I had gone to Warwick University at 18 to study English Literature, but I didn’t find it engaging so left in my second year. All I wanted was to work, so having just turned 21 I began my career as a police officer. 7 years of valuable life experience later, I realised it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my working life, so I started exploring my options. I wanted to study and, as I’d always thought I’d do the GDL after my English degree, law was an obvious choice.
The part-time programme ticked every box for me; it was local, affordable and offered one evening a week of, what transpired to be invaluable face-to-face teaching time. From the first contact I had with the course director, James Slater, I knew it was going to be the right place for me to obtain my degree.
What I hadn’t anticipated, however, was the quality of teaching and materials provided by all of the lecturers. Everyone involved in the part-time programme is well aware that most of us are studying alongside full-time work, family commitments and busy lives. It was immediately clear that they would make every effort to help us succeed in spite of those external pressures.
The standard of teaching was great, the materials were excellent, and the availability of the lecturers far exceeded my expectations. There wasn’t a single one that didn’t make the time to provide additional feedback on assignments or to explain problematic legal concepts as required. Having now done a year of postgraduate study elsewhere, I can say that this level of commitment is not common to all academic institutions.
By the second year of the course, I had decided I definitely wanted to pursue a career in law. I was given the support to apply for work experience and vacation scheme placements and to complete my applications for a training contract. In 2016 I was fortunate enough to be offered a training contract with reputable national law firm Shoosmiths, starting in September 2018.
I graduated from Buckingham in March 2018, completed my LPC in June 2018 and am now preparing to leave the police service to embark on a new career and chapter in my life. I had no idea when I applied to start the course in 2013 that this is where I’d be 5 years later, and I have no doubt it has only been possible because of the quality of teaching and support offered by the part-time LLB at Buckingham