Concord Summer Law Course
DIVERSITY. INDIVIDUALITY. BRILLIANCE.
A Turkish beauty and a fashion-forward natural born leader from Hong Kong. A Belgium born French-American with a lively intellect and a crystal clear passion for American politics; good luck mentioning ‘Trump’ around him. A strikingly brilliant British boy who has a distinct voice made for CNN and a smart girl from Hong Kong whose silence made a refreshing difference in a room full of vocal young people. An incredibly thoughtful and assertive boy whose name immediately gives him away as a Scot and a fiery debater from Hong Kong whose gaze proves to you that she’s not only listening to you but she’s thinking about what you’re saying. A quarter Hispanic, quarter Japanese, quarter Indonesian and quarter Taiwanese special girl who added much needed humour to the academically rigorous programme. An inquisitive Nigerian girl with a calm tone that added a bit of colour to the already diverse group of individuals. Diversity. Individuality. Brilliance. These are some of the key words that come to mind when I think of the University Preparation Summer Course for Law; the first of its kind in Concord, which I was privileged to attend.
As a person who genuinely loves learning new things, I anticipated the course. I had heard that there would be a number of speakers from Russell group universities and I was excited to hear experts in the field of Law speak. Over the course of two weeks, I; alongside seven other teenagers; were brought in direct contact with twelve professors, two barristers and two lawyers. Each professional brought something different to the table. While one professor allowed us to use a bunny (yes a bunny!) as the symbol of our make-believe judicial system, another professor made us introduce one another rather than introduce ourselves. By the way, the image of ‘Justicia Bunny’ is still stuck in my head till date. While one barrister gave us a glimpse of what a day in his life is like, the other gave us tips and tricks on how to excel in mooting as we took turns practicing our mooting skills. Of the two talented lawyers, one was a sports lawyer who delivered an enlightening presentation on ‘Ambush Marketing’. One thing I learnt from this class was how I could use the Olympic Rings trademark without getting into trouble. Handy.
Aside from getting to spend ample time with experienced professors, we got other benefits. We had two mock Ox-bridge interviews, with one interview being conducted by an Oxford educated finance lawyer. After the interviews we were each given detailed and constructive feedback. In addition to this, we were given very helpful reading lists, resources for writing Russell-group-standard personal statements and LNAT and CLAT preparation tests. Something that I found very helpful was the university type lectures. Personally, my favourites were ‘The Unmaking of a Murderer’ which exposed me to the incredible cause that is The Innocence Project and ‘The Necessity Defence to Murder’ which allowed me to read very interesting cases including Lon Fuller’s enthralling hypothetical case, ‘The Case of the Spelucean Explorers’; a case essentially about cannibalism. These classes made us feel like University undergraduates and for me, it certainly confirmed that I would thoroughly enjoy my Criminal Law lectures.
I came on the course uncertain as to whether Law was the right subject choice for me or not. I left the course certain that it was. My decision to study Law was sealed thanks to three different people. The first professor taught the class Land Law (the most dreadful part of Law in my opinion). Although I really hated this class because of the topic being taught, the professor was one of the best educators I have come across in a while. One thing he said to the class before he left that struck a chord with my inquisitive mind was that ‘Law is about the why and not the what’. As one who feels that ‘why’ is the most important of the five Ws, I was very pleased to hear this. The second professor carried out a unique exercise. He distributed old newspapers to the class and asked us to circle words that had to do with Law. My partner and I had a word or two was circled on nearly every page. It made me realise how fundamental Law is to the functioning of society and how ubiquitous it is. This made me conclude that it was important for, not just me, but for everyone to have some knowledge of the law. It is indeed the basis of our society. The last person was not a professor but the University Coordinator for Law at Concord. I remember telling her that I was unhappy about some certain things that the Law could be fixing but just isn’t, for instance, injustice in our society. She told me if such things angered me I should make a move to change the system. She left me with a question ‘Would you change the system from outside it or from inside it ?’ I did not give her a reply but I gave myself a reply by deciding to apply for the study of Law at University.
What was the best thing about the programme? I would say it’s the people I met. I anticipated the course because I wanted to learn. Yes, my desires were fulfilled; I learnt a lot. However I would like to emphasise that I got more out of the course than I ever imagined I could. After an intense two weeks, we actually found it hard to say goodbye. A number of people on the course, independent of one another, said that they had not laughed as much as they laughed on the course, in a while. I got to meet unusually intelligent people my age and I know for a fact that everyone that I met on the course has the potential and the raw talent to go out to the world and do something amazing. The diversity of personalities taught me that there is something special about every individual; you just need to be patient enough to find what that thing is.
Diversity. Individuality. Brilliance; Concord’s first annual University preparation course for Law in three words.
Onyinye Enwereji 6.2
Law School Visit
The students were given some real insights into the work done by the Law Student Representation Project, which is a joint venture between Wolverhampton Council & the university. Law students assist people who have lost their benefits or have been deemed ineligible for benefits under the new (2008) criteria, and represent them at their appeal hearings in court.
Our host, Natalia Hill, gave the students some real-life examples of individuals helped by the project, and discussed some of the different kinds of benefit which vulnerable people struggle to claim, such as ESA (Employment Support Allowance). Natalia explained how ESA does not carry the same conditions as JSA and is more appropriate therefore for people with multiple and/or complex, long-term health conditions and other barriers to work.
Natalia then gave students a “health questionnaire” which is required from individuals seeking to claim ESA. She asked the students to come up with a fictional character who would definitely be entitled to this benefit. The students created “Bob”, an amputee with mental health issues, with a low level of education, and living alone with no support network – and were shocked to see that, according to the health questionnaire, Bob would be deemed “eligible for work”. Natalia explained that, in a case such as this, a Law student representative would be able to assist with a written submission and by advocating for Bob in court, and would aim to demonstrate that Bob does meet the criteria for ESA.
I think the students had an eye-opening experience, and I hope it has confirmed their interest in Law at university.
Mrs Zoe Torsney Course Liaison Coordinator