Law Students: Keep Calm and Carry On!
By Aruba Abid
How can law students stay busy and productive during this unprecedented time? As the world is fighting against the COVID-19 outbreak, more than 130 countries have now closed schools nationwide, impacting nearly 80% of students globally. This is unprecedented: the world has never seen this many children out of school at the same time. Self -isolation and a national lockdown has caused immense disruption for students, but there are still things that students can be doing to make the most of their time.
Degree work: the main issue for law students during this pandemic has been the uncertainty surrounding methods in which they will be assessed this summer. Universities across the country have responded by either cancelling exams, issuing coursework or continuing with exams but making them open book, among other alternatives. Therefore, each of you reading this will probably be in slightly different situations. I would encourage all of you, even if you no longer have exams, to review and consolidate your notes. Having spent months learning modules, it would be a shame to just close the books and lose academic interest. Engaging with course content will keep you occupied and allow you to reflect on what you have enjoyed most about each module. This would encourage you to do some further reading around a topic and develop a real interest in a particular area of law. Reviewing your course content will also give you the opportunity to understand how to approach future exam periods. I can anticipate a future interview question being: ‘how did you cope with Covid-19 and how best did you manage your learning while you didn’t have exams?’.
Online courses: there are a range of websites offering online courses in a huge variety of subjects. The ones I found to be most easily accessible are Future Learn and InsideSherpa. FutureLearn offers programmes which take anywhere between one to three months to complete and the interactive nature of their learning platform makes the process enjoyable. For a well-tailored virtual work experience hub, visit InsideSherpa. This website has been so valuable in allowing me to understand how City law firms operate, and it’s enabled me to explore other industries such as consultancy and investment banking. With more companies signing up every month, this is a great platform to increase your employability and learn the basics behind a lot of city jobs.
Researching the predicted economic affects of COVID-19: although everyone’s news feeds are filled with COVID-19 updates, it is important to explore articles about the economic impact and fallout of this pandemic in certain markets. This unprecedented situation will be a talking point for a long time – not just socially, but also economically. Researching the effects that COVID-19 could have on the high street, the stock market, US-China tensions and law firms will equip you well for interviews and improve your commercial awareness. While it may be distressing to read about such worrying and present threat, being aware of what is happening and where the impacts will be felt is important for aspiring commercial lawyers.
Exercise: if you are staying on top of your university work and want to stay busy in a different way, exercise will help you to sustain good mental health and stay focused. While exercising in public should be kept to one session per day, according to the government advice, you are not restricted in your own home. You don’t need a home gym or lots of equipment, if you simply search for home workouts on YouTube, you’ll find plenty of ways to stay active during this lockdown period and be ready, fit and raring to go when the lockdown is lifted!
http://wws.princeton.edu/admissions/wws-blog/item/keeping-busy-during-covid-19 https://www.voicesofyouth.org/campaign/studying-home-due-coronavirus-how-young-people-around-world-are-keeping-their-mood https://www.teaching-matters-blog.ed.ac.uk/spotlight-on-remote-teaching-five-approaches-to-help-students-manage-information-during-covid-19/ https://www.lawcareers.net/Explore/BlogPost/Joe-Defries/How-can-first-year-law-students-keep-busy-during-the-covid-19-pandemic