University of Wolverhampton: Producing employable law students
Source: University of Wolverhampton

With a history spanning 180 years, the University of Wolverhampton is a first-class education centre. Based in the heart of the UK with close links to Birmingham, Manchester and London, the University of Wolverhampton is described as a global university, with over 2,500 international students representing more than 100 countries.

In the past 15 years, around £125 million has been invested in the university to ensure cutting-edge, modern facilities for Wolverhampton’s students. One thing that makes the university stand out is its impressive 96 percent graduate employability record (according to the Destination of Leavers of Higher Education survey, 2017).

The focus on graduate employability is ever present within Wolverhampton’s Law School, where students will find a range of opportunities and support mechanisms that help graduates excel in their chosen career.

The Wolverhampton Law Department sits within the School of Social Sciences, priding itself on many years’ experience in supporting students throughout the UK and countries like the US, China, Hong Kong, Trinidad and Tobago, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The school leads the way in training lawyers for tomorrow and has recently designed its LLB (Law) degree to prepare students to undertake the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). This makes it one of the first schools in the country to offer a new LLB to meet the requirements of recent qualification changes.

It’s important when students are selecting their degree to decide whether or not they plan to qualify as a solicitor or barrister – if the answer is yes, an LLB course should be considered. At the Wolverhampton Law School, courses are all Qualifying Law degrees. Further to this, they prepare students to undertake the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

Prospective undergraduates can choose from nine different Law courses, ranging from a singular LLB (Hons) Law, LLB (Hons) Law with Foundation Year and LLB (Hons) Law with Sandwich placement, to a number of BA (Hons) joint Law courses. For postgraduate students there are nine further courses available and one progressional course, including LLM Law, LLM International Corporate and Finance Law and LLM International Business Law. You can find more information on their course offering here.

An important year for the school was 2016, when Sukhninder Panesar was appointed as Head. His substantial industry connections and experience with teaching, research and management has ensured a smooth transition as the department adjusted to the new LLB curriculum, guided by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

Sukhninder Panesar. Source: University of Wolverhampton

Importantly for students, Sukhninder has placed a firm focus on providing practical legal skills, supporting their studies with legal knowledge with work-based learning. Students here find they’re not just learning about law, they have the opportunity to practise it, too.

Sukhninder says, “It is a great time to be joining the University of Wolverhampton Law School. With the move to a new building with new facilities and the offering of new and exciting programmes in law, I look forward to managing the Law School as a major provider of legal education.”

Law students at Wolverhampton have access to a range of resources to give them real-life experience alongside their studies. A purpose-built court room complete with a judges’ bench and witness box allows students to practise the art of litigation and experience first-hand what it’s like in a real courtroom environment.

The department also holds Law Careers Fairs every year, attended by local and national law (and law-related) organisations who can provide tips on what they look for in future employees. It also provides an important opportunity for students to network with industry-relevant figures.

Building on this, students have the unique opportunity to gain practical law experience through the University of Wolverhampton Legal Advice Centre. The centre provides free legal advice to members of the public, especially those unable to obtain legal assistance though other charitable organisations, all while under the supervision of academics and/or professional lawyers. Here, students can take real-life enquiries and gain experience and confidence in the work that awaits them post- graduation.

Practical legal skills are also applied through placements. The Law Student Representation Project, a joint initiative with Wolverhampton City Council, gives students the opportunity to volunteer as representatives at the Benefits Appeals Tribunal Project. With an 89 percent success rate at first tier tribunal level, the project gives students a unique experience of dealing with cases and clients, as well as how to present them to a court.

Students who have taken part have expressed that the volunteering was “great experience for my CV”, as well as “my greatest delight being a Representative is experiencing the joy and relief expressed by the clients when they have won their appeals. Sometimes though, I think I am even happier than they are. Again, this further motivates me to do my best for them”.

Source: University of Wolverhampton

For a third consecutive year, the law department has teamed up with the international law firm DWF LLP to provide students with a mentoring scheme. Aimed at those with little or no experience of legal practise, the scheme enables students to interact and network with working professionals.

For many, studying Law leads to becoming either a solicitor or barrister, which in themselves offer incredibly diverse and varied career paths, while a law degree can also open alternative doors. The University of Wolverhampton recognises that not all law graduates follow this path. The broad range of skills and knowledge taught here appeal to a variety of industries.

Owing to the diverse nature of a law degree, previous graduates have embarked on a range of alternative occupations, utilising skills and knowledge gained from the qualification. From Civil Servants to Financial Advisors, from Politics to public service – a law degree can be the perfect springboard to get into a number of careers.

When a current student at Wolverhampton was asked why they chose Wolverhampton to study Law, second year student Amy McGovern praised the broad module choices on offer.

To get ahead in Law, the University of Wolverhampton is dedicated to providing students with great opportunities and practical experience, boosting CVs and helping them make valuable, industry-relevant contacts.

Want more information? Get in touch here.

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