We recently caught up with Zachary Leggett Barrett, to uncover what life is like as a law student at Liverpool John Moores University. Zachary kindly shared his daily routine, hopes for the future, and key advice for future law students.
Why did you choose to study law?
I chose to study law due to an interest in helping those left under-represented by our legal system in its current form.
What has been a highlight of your studying so far?
Online mooting competitions have been an absolute blast, due to my performances in these I have been elected as the Coordinator for 2021/2022’s competitions at LJMU – all of this has been the highlight of my year without any doubt.
The competitions are fun, stimulating, and above all, rewarding.
Have you faced any challenges throughout your studies?
The Covid-19 lockdown effectively ruined the entire student experience by taking away face-to-face learning, which is essential for many wanting to study, though this was certainly worth it to lessen the death that could have occurred, it was nonetheless a difficult time for all students.
Another issue has been the effect that lockdown has had on many students, myself included. The lack of structure in one’s day through having little/no reason to leave the building can take its toll after a while.
Could you give us an overview of what you do on an average day?
- 9:30am – it is around this time that my first seminar of the day usually begins (provided there is one on), as these are currently all online.
- 10:30am – At this point, my first online seminar will have finished, so I will begin my morning routine. Breakfast, sorting my hair, etc.
- 12:00pm – At this time, I usually have no midday seminars (provided it isn’t a Wednesday), I enjoy going for a walk with my partner, hopefully we’ll see some new dogs.
- 3:00pm – After finishing any other seminars, going for a walk, and then relaxing (maybe by watching some Netflix), I use some time to check LJMU’s Canvas to see if there have been any recent lectures uploaded. If not, I have some free time, which I often use to find a job role to apply for or try to find some new work experience/volunteer work.
- 6:00pm – Oftentimes, the law society will have set up an event for the evening, such as a quiz, or a talk with a local magistrate. In a few weeks, we’ll be having a Q&A with Lady Hale, who used to sit as a judge in the Supreme Court, so we’re all pretty excited. Extracurriculars are one of my favourite parts of university; they’re engaging and widen my knowledge of law in ways the syllabus can’t.
- 7:00pm – I study best in the evenings, so this is the time for that! I like to use them to revise what has come up in lectures and seminars, or just to read ahead on new material. This has been a beneficial practice and helps me and my partner. We often put something on the TV in the background as we do this.
- 7:30pm – I do my best to keep up with the rest of the LJSU Law Committee’s group chat, they’re a busy bunch with lots of plans, so it can be quite funny just trying to keep up.
- 11:00pm – At this time I usually finish my studies for the evening and have little else to do, so the day is pretty much over. If I’m not quite tired yet, I use a couple of hours to play some video games and take some ‘me time’, which, in my opinion, is extremely important for students in these times. Learning at university can be tough, try not to overdo it and don’t forget to look after yourself.
What are your goals and plans for the future?
My endgame goal is to gain the qualifications to practice as a Human Rights Solicitor Advocate, hopefully in a major city.
My short-term goals are to finish my law degree with a minimum 2:1 and to then start my LPC.
What is one thing you would have liked to have known before?
I wish that I had been warned of the difficulties that come with trying to understand Land Law, the terminology and depth that must be understood is very different from all other modules in the syllabus.
Nonetheless, the module is rewarding and, once you get your head around it all, not too hard to comprehend.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to study law?
“Do not forget to read.”
Prepare for your essays and exams well in advance to ensure that you truly understand the subject matter, this will help you answer any questions that come up without having to do super extensive research with fast-approaching deadlines.