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Cambridge University Students' Union
Old Examination Hall
Free School Lane
Cambridge CB2 3RF
When you tell someone that you are reading Law at Cambridge, a frequent reaction is a short intake of breath with a comment about how difficult and timeconsuming it must be. In truth, Law at Cambridge is what you make of it. Without focus it is difficult, without organisation it is time-consuming, and yet provided that it interests you, learning the intricacies of the law can prove hugely fulfilling. In fact, much to the despair of my friends, I’ve come to find myself wandering down the street pointing out the various crimes or torts going on. Whether it’s getting on a bus or graffiti on a wall, the law is quite simply inescapable.
In the first year, you study four subjects: Criminal Law, Roman (Civil) Law, Constitutional Law and the Law of Tort. Second year brings a little more choice and the third year offers more still, with the chance to write a dissertation and sit two half-papers instead of just one single option.
“ The course is interesting and diverse, the facilities are great, and the social life's even better ”
Teaching is a combination of lectures and supervisions, which work through the syllabus in tandem, the supervisions providing an opportunity to ask questions and undertake further study. These are the more useful of the two, since we are in essence walked through the syllabus by questions we prepare in the preceding week. Provided you do the supervision work (which is admittedly a hefty workload), you can go out and party with a clear conscience!
Lectures take place in the faculty building which is a ten minute walk from the town centre. It houses a massive library, great IT facilities, and its own coffee shop for those in need of a quick caffeine fix to get them through their next lecture. All in all, we have a pretty great deal. Studying Law at Cambridge also opens up an opportunity to learn in a foreign country: you can take an additional year in Germany, France, Spain or Holland.
Best thing? Great facilities, social activities, and free things
You might hear some people say that Law leaves little time for a social life. Ignore them! A vast proportion of students seem to take the old maxim ‘work hard, play hard’ as gospel, and law students are no different. The Law Society organises a feast of social events, including the annual law ball, dinners, garden parties, mooting and mock trials. For those who just can’t get enough of all things legal, the faculty is also home to lunchtime and evening lectures from visiting speakers which always prove a good source of free food and drink – though we all, of course, go for the intellectual stimulation.
All in all, you can’t really beat life as a law student at Cambridge: the course is interesting and diverse, the facilities are great, and the social life’s even better. So long as you’re actually interested in the law and willing to work hard, it’s difficult to find the experience anything but rewarding!
Worst thing? Hefty workload