How To Get Into A Bachelor Of Laws And Thrive
Getting into Bachelor of Laws is not easy. Of course, you would have had an idea of that by now. BUT, you can easily prepare yourself for a smooth transition from high school to Law at University. All you need is a head start on the ground work and continual perseverance.
1. Bury yourself in books
It is no doubt that studying Law involves a lot of reading. You will be reading cases and legislations all the time – there is no avoiding it. So, if you are not much of a reader, now is the time to start.
First, begin with something light – genres of your preferences just to get yourself into the habit of reading and enjoying it.
Then, start to read books that discuss various advanced theories. Personally, I found taking the subject of English Extension in Year 12 to be very helpful in enhancing my reading skills. This is mainly because we explored numerous complex theories such as Marxism, Psychoanalysis and Post-colonialist theories, which were good preparation for the amount of reading commonly prescribed by law courses.
The practise of reading and learning sophisticated theories will also allow you to improve your comprehension skills, which will be extremely important when you learn to understand different rules and statutes adopted by different cases so to be able to apply them yourself.
In addition to valuable preparation for getting into the Bachelor of Laws, reading is also a good form of exercise for your brain to remain ready for new information – something you will find yourself doing a lot in a law degree!
2. Diligence is key
As many of you who are striving to get into Bachelor of Laws may know, the prerequisites are set up to a high bar; at least a single digit OP is required to get into the degree at most Universities.
That being said, you will need to achieve moderately high grades in school to be able to attain a low Overall Position. How would I do that, I hear you ask? A Team Tuition is eager to help you in that area – visit our How to Get an A in different subject blogs and get yourself an Academic Personal Trainer who will not only support you academically but also mentally and emotionally throughout your schooling years!
Keeping up with good results will definitely be the key to getting into Bachelor of Laws, as you allow yourself to practise diligence early on in school to establish a habit of striving for the best always.
That way, you can be rest assured that you will do the same in your Law degree.
3. Know your goals
As mentioned previously, you need to accomplish above average results to be able to get into Bachelor of Laws.
The first step to doing that is for you to visit the University website to find out exactly what you need to get into the degree. Search for the requirements from at least 3 Universities that you would like to study in, and make sure you would have fulfilled them by the end of Year 12.
Most Universities require a sound achievement in English, and a sound achievement in either Math A or Math B; however, every University is different in their own ways. For example, if you were to choose to enter Bachelor of Laws in Griffith University (2018), an OP 8 is required (ATAR 84) with an 4 semesters achieving at least an SA in English. Compared to a minimum OP 6 (ATAR 89) and English to do QUT Law, an OP 10 (ATAR 79) for Bond University, and in my case, an OP 2 (ATAR 97) with an English prerequisite for the University of Queensland.
There are a wide range of great universities that offer this course so be sure to check with the respective course requirements for your year of application as this information may change in future years.
Once you find out exactly what you need, it would be a good idea to establish relevant goals to ensure your eligibility for the law degree.
Then, you can work towards your goals and tick off the checklist as you go.
Perseverance is a big factor in this step as you need to remain consistent in your goals and be sure that getting into Bachelor of Laws is what you really want, then utilise that desire to drive you towards your aspirations.
4. Holiday prepping
In your 3-month holiday after graduation and before starting your journey of law in University, you can put your holiday to good use by learning something about the law, even if it is just vague little knowledge.
Personally, I enjoy watching movies and TV shows, so I was really excited to watch shows such as Suits and movies like Legally Blonde after receiving my offer into Bachelor of Laws at UQ. I may not have understood the law components of the plots prior to starting my degree, but upon revisiting those shows and movies after one semester in law, I was happy to learn that I could apply my knowledge from University to the cases presented in them.
It is also always helpful to talk to 2nd year or onwards students studying law in the University at which you will study, as they often provide you with useful tips and advices to strive in your courses.
If you are not much of a movies and TV shows person, you may want to read the course profiles of your law courses online, just so you can be prepared for the upcoming assessments and plan them early. The course profiles will also explain what will be required of you for particular grades.
5. Study smart
I learnt this the hard way in the first semester of my law degree – where I had to make a whole semester’s worth of notes 2 weeks before my law exams. This involved hours of sitting in front of my laptop and frantically summarising over 50 cases in preparation for my final exams.
In my following semester, I began compiling notes and case summaries before and after every law seminar, so that by the end of the semester, I already had all the notes and merely needed to study them. Not only did this save me ample valuable time, I found that I am already familiar with most cases when making my notes during the semester so that I did not need to learn them all over again.
Hence, I advise that you study smart – by writing your notes starting from week 1 and completing all the readings every week without fail. Try your best to not miss out by more than 1 week, because trust me when I say the workload will only pile up.
Unlike in school wherein you usually get 4-6 weeks for assignment tasks, you will likely receive weekly seminar/tutorial preparations that need to be handed in at the beginning of every lesson. Therefore, it is vital that you diligently complete those tasks before your classes every week, as some of them may entitle you to 1-5% of your grades.
6. Participate in your classes
For those of you who are a little shy to voice your opinion in a class full of people, you have to be prepared to participate in you law seminars.
In some of your courses, you do receive participation marks (for me, it totals up to 10% of my GPA). Participation could be as simple as asking a question, answering a question, or merely stating your point of view.
Don’t worry about getting an answer wrong, very often in law there is not one right answer, so you will simply be learning different ways to approach one question. It also sits deeper in your memory when you remember that one time you almost got the answer!
I also always made sure to take notes of what other students proposes in order to learn from a different perspective. Remember, the sky is the limit!
7. Understand, not memorise
It is a common belief that law requires a lot of reading and therefore a lot of memorisation. While that is partly true, understanding the content is extremely important to strive in the degree.
You can easily memorise the different rules, but without understanding them, your application of them to new problem questions will be limited.
In law school, advising parties from problems created by your lecturers forms a big part of your assessments. Accordingly, you are required to understand the reasoning behind every rule to be able to apply them appropriately and effectively. To do this, read the judges’ ratio decidendi and orbiter dictum to comprehend their reasons for deciding the outcome of cases.
Moreover, you can’t possibly be memorising rules that don’t make any sense to you!
So, spend all the time you need to really grasp the concepts, for you will be thanking yourself at the end of the semester when you are all prepared to smash your exams!
From my experience, simply follow these steps in preparation for as well as during the course of your law degree, and you should find getting into Bachelor or Laws as easy as thriving in your schooling years!