For decades, a degree in Law has been a true mark of excellence; a sure sign of an individual highly-skilled in a range of areas. But now, an LLB is more relevant than ever according to Programme Leader Amy Sixsmith.
“There are more and more professions that have a legal element to them. There’s legal advisors in every business you can think of, a HR department in every business you can think of and loads more as well."
Amy Sixsmith, Programme Leader LLB (Hons) Law
What impact have technological advancements had?
The rise of digital technologies in our lives has brought about a whole host of new regulations and laws into society. It can help the fight against crimes previously thought to be untouchable, as pioneering research by the Law department is currently finding out.
“Some members of staff are working on a joint project at the moment researching animal abuse and how that has become more known about because of social media,” Amy adds. “Now, you have Facebook and Twitter where people are posting videos and we’re looking at how we can try and use that as a tool to prosecute people, so digital is changing things.”
Student Law Clinic
However, there’s plenty of work going into the classroom too to ensure that you’ll receive a degree fit for purpose in the 21st Century. Central to this is the law school’s Student Law Clinic, which allows students to work with real clients on real cases, and gain the all-important experience to set them apart from the rest in a competitive jobs market.
Amy says: “The Student Law Clinic allows students to work by themselves, interviewing clients and provide legal advice for clients and also represent the client, if necessary. The students benefit a lot from having that experience and obviously, it’s a really good thing to say that you’ve done if you’re going to go and apply for training contracts.
“There’s a lot of other activities students can get involved in. I really enjoy it because it’s so crucial and it sets students apart from others. We’ve organised a mooting competition that will be decided by the Supreme Court and will be judged by Lord Clarke, one of the Supreme Court Justices, which is obviously a fantastic experience for students."
What can you do with a law degree?
Law remains a competitive jobs marketplace for graduates, however, the transferrable skills developed as part of your degree at Sunderland can put you ahead of the pack in a variety of different professions, according to Amy. “A lot of people are just focused on becoming a lawyer or barrister, but there’s a lot more you can do. Law’s a heavily regulated subject so there’s a set number of skills we have to assess students on and basic things like communication skills, organisation skills, presentational skills and drafting skills are all transferable skills that help in all environments.”
Here at Sunderland, a Law degree can put you on the path to a variety of careers. Amy has some final advice for anyone looking to make it in the industry: “Get involved in everything that we offer. Get involved with all the extra-curricular activities, be prepared and keep on top of your work.”