A Leading Academic Gives Advice on How to Make the Best Choice on Where to Start Your Legal Training

Professor Peter McEleavy , a Barrister (Gray’s Inn), and the University of Dundee’s Academic Lead for Sub-Saharan Africa, is a regular visitor to Nigeria where he engages with Dundee’s extensive alumni community, leading Federal Universities, schools and Parastatals. He is a leading expert on international family law issues, and his research has been cited by Supreme Courts across the globe, most recently in February by the United States Supreme Court in Monasky v. Taglieri. Professor Peter McEleavy , University of Dundee. Why Law?

Whenever high school pupils tell me that they wish to study law, my first question is always to ask why? There are two main reasons for this – studying law and practising as a lawyer is a very serious business – and whilst there will be many exciting moments, whether doing a mooting competition for the first time, a high profile trial or helping seal a major contract – these events are all underpinned by many, many hours of pain-staking work.

The reality of life as a law student or legal practitioner is not the round the clock glamour portrayed on TV shows such as Suits! Furthermore, anyone aspiring to a legal career must be able to respond coherently when questioned – preferably relying on some persuasive evidence. This leads me to my next question: How do I Know if a Law Degree is the Right Path for Me?

It is not easy deciding what to study at university – indeed it is one thing doing advanced study on a subject one has already studied, quite another to embark on a completely new vocational course. There is, rightly, a lot of cachet surrounding a law degree – but it is there for a reason – law is a demanding discipline and one which will equip its graduates with many very valuable transferable skills.

To understand though if it is the right discipline for you, my advice is always to try and undertake placements at law firms. The insights gained […]

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