The key to success is taking the first step. No one knows what the future holds. When one makes a decision the outcome may be a disaster or conversely it may turn out to be the best possible choice one could have made. The future is yet to be set in stone but passion, ambition, determination and perseverance are the few tools one must keep in one’s arsenal to overcome the uphill battle which all of us undoubtedly have to face.
When I chose to enrol in the University of London International Programmes for LLB (Hons.) I didn’t quite know what to expect. I didn’t know if I would be good at it or if I had the stamina to read the mountain of books assigned to us, to retain all that information, be analytical and produce a good result. The future looked bleak and tensions ran high. However, slowly and surely with the passage of time, and the support and guidance from my teachers at Pakistan College of Law, I began to find that this course was not designed for students who would rote learn information and reproduce it on paper.
Underlying every sentence of Adam Geary’s book The Politics of The Common Law there was astounding history and thought-provoking ideas that forced you to take a step back and reassess your own society and its legal system.
The curriculum was designed with such ingenuity that it allowed students to think for themselves, be creative and bold, and express their own unique points of view regarding complex legal situations. Underlying every sentence of Adam Geary’s book The Politics of The Common Law there was astounding history and thought-provoking ideas that forced you to take a step back and reassess your own society and its legal system. The Criminal Law course invoked within you a desire to come up with new ways to better the justice system and slowly these courses didn’t remain theoretical. Subconsciously, I started viewing society and simple transactions as contracts and began appreciating the deep hold law has upon society, which we seldom seem to acknowledge.
In my first year of studying on the programme, in the subject of Constitutional Law I obtained a very high Distinction achieving the mark of 85. I was ecstatic but my teachers at Pakistan College of Law, who aim for excellence, were not. I was told I could do better and that one Distinction didn’t define me. I obtained a Certificate for a Diploma in Law from the University of London that year with an overall mark of Merit. With one qualification done I had now entered the second year of the LLB (Hons.) and the result for this year added to that of the third /final year would determine the classification for my LLB (Hons.) degree.
"I did not take tuition and neither did I read a plethora of extra books. There was no need since the material provided by the University of London covered all the relevant aspects of each examinable topic."
I have never been one of those people who shut themselves off from their friends and family and instead bury themselves in books. It was impossible for me to even fathom doing so. I decided to be responsible instead. For the next two years I went to all the classes scheduled by my College (Pakistan College of Law). I would sit and listen attentively to my teachers and try to grasp the concepts they were teaching. If I was left with any further confusion I would go through the subject guide provided by the University of London and clear those out immediately. Two months before the papers I sat down and began to go through the cases. I did not take tuition and neither did I read a plethora of extra books. There was no need since the material provided by the University of London covered all the relevant aspects of each examinable topic.
By looking at questions as scenarios from people’s lives in the real world I felt compelled to extrapolate every possibility in order to find relief for my “clients”. I took a practical approach to what I was learning, rather than letting it remain theoretical, and therefore I did not find the course to be dull. I urge all students who are currently doing this programme and those who are thinking of pursuing it in the future to stop themselves from panicking and trying to read advanced books on law before fully understanding the basic concepts. If you try to run before you can walk you will fall flat on your face and fail in your endeavours, regardless of how much effort you put in, if the effort is not directed at the appropriate tasks.
The University of London LLB (Hons.) degree is one of the best law degrees available to aspiring young law students, regardless of whether they wish to pursue a career in academics or in the field as practitioners.
At the end of my second year I obtained another Distinction in the subject of Islamic Law and achieved the highest marks in the Law of Trusts in Pakistan. Determined to achieve a first class degree, I decided it was time to use the excellent databases provided to us through the University’s Online Library. By researching on certain issues in detail and reading the views of academics, it is only then that one can develop a thorough and out-of-the-box understanding of complex legal and academic issues. This approach helped me secure three Distinctions out of the four subjects I had in my final year and allowed me to achieve an overall first class degree, the aggregate of which was declared to be the highest in the world for the year 2014-2015.
The University of London LLB (Hons.) degree is one of the best law degrees available to aspiring young law students, regardless of whether they wish to pursue a career in academics or in the field as practitioners. In order to get a good result one simply has to remember to be consistent and hard-working. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, 'with the new day comes new strength and new thoughts’. Even if you haven’t accomplished what you believed you could, don’t give up. This degree teaches you that even when you fall, that isn’t failure, as from failing you will learn – but if you refuse to get up and fight again that is when you have truly admitted defeat.
Another fundamental element that contributed to my achievement was the guidance and support of my family and my friends, I am thankful for their prayers and support, I could not have achieved what I did without them. I am also grateful to my teaching institution, Pakistan College of Law, for providing me with the guidance and motivation that I needed to find my way during this journey. Finally, I would like to thank my Programme Director at Pakistan College of Law, Ms Shabnam Ishaque, for polishing my skills and working so hard to help me achieve my goals. I have shared the experience of my journey with you in the hope that my insight may provide you all with some guidance in finding your own way.