Alexandria, a law student at St Edmund Hall
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Student profile - Alexandria, Law (with German Law)

What do you like best about your course?

I continue to enjoy my course for the same reasons I originally chose to study Law: variety and intellectual challenge. The reading is extensive and often comprised of long case judgments and commentaries; yet it is never dull but rather ranges from the fascinating to the hilarious, to the frankly disturbing, particularly in cases in Criminal and Tort! I have been given multiple opportunities to discuss the bigger questions relating to law in this country such as what makes up English law, what part does it play in society and as a part of the UK constitution, and why you really need to read the small print.

My opinions and reasoning are constantly challenged, which has allowed me to develop a broader perspective and more balanced argument. My classes in German Law, along with the opportunity to go on a year abroad, has also been invaluable in providing a comparative view of two very different legal systems.

How is your subject taught at Oxford?

As is typical for a Humanities or Social Sciences subject, contact hours are minimal and, depending on how many topics are covered per term, each week is comprised of around 7 hours of lectures and 1-2 tutorials, with an occasional class each term. The subject is predominantly self-taught and therefore the majority of my time is spent reading for essays and tutorial discussions. I am required to complete 1-2 essays and/or presentations each week. The skills necessary for Oxford Law students are the ability to think critically and creatively, identify the most important points from any large body of text and present your arguments concisely and effectively.

What advice would you give potential applicants interested in studying Law?

Be prepared to read… a lot. But don’t be daunted by the reading lists. They are long but the most important cases, articles and textbook passages are highlighted if you feel unable to cope with everything. Also, it’s ok to be 'wrong'. The great thing about studying Law is that your opinion, once backed-up with evidence, is just as valid as any other and you will be credited for your creativity.

Did you choose to apply to St Edmund Hall?

I actually applied to Oxford via an open application and was therefore placed at Teddy Hall. However, once notified of the college at which I was to be interviewed, I looked into it and discovered that it has the best food, excels in sports and has a more laid-back attitude towards Oxford life, all of which appealed to me. I also had the opportunity to discuss the merits of Teddy Hall with a former student of the college during my gap year internship.

What is life like as a student here?

I have never had a dull day at Teddy Hall. There aren’t many occasions where I have laughed as much as I have during the JCR (Junior Common Room, the undergraduate student body) Election Hustings and that’s simply because, at Teddy Hall, no one takes themselves that seriously. I also don’t think I’ve been more terrified than when walking from the college library and through the 'graveyard' at 2am after finishing an essay. In short, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster.

What sort of extra-curricular activities are you involved in at Oxford?

Within the College, I am the current JCR Ethnic Minorities (BME) Officer and President of the Venus Committee, which raises money for Macmillan Cancer Support and supports other cancer-related initiatives and event. I also occasionally play on the College’s netball teams. At Oxford, I am a member for various societies, including the African and Caribbean Society, and the Oxford Kickboxing Club, which has greatly expanded my university network and allowed me to make many new friends.