a headshot of undergraduate student Poppy Davey

Poppy Davey

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background:

My name is Poppy, and I am a second-year law student. I am from Wakefield, although originally from Wokingham and so am a local to Leeds. Outside of my academics, I am an active member of the Athletic Society and enjoy exercising outside including hikes and running.


What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course?

Like many law students, I first decided I was going to study law after watching Legally Blonde and Suits. However, this interest progressed after researching how multifaceted the law is and the variety of career paths available for law students. Reading the news, I realised everything connected to the law and as sad as it is, injustice was everywhere. The law is a powerful mechanism against injustice and thus, I realised that alongside being interested in how society works more generally, I could enter a profession where I could use my privilege of higher education to help others.


Why did you choose Leeds?

I chose Leeds because of the positive interactions I had when attending open and offer holder days. Attending a School that didn’t feel pretentious or stuffy was important to me. After speaking to students and educators, I immediately felt at ease and like this was a School I could thrive in. Outside of my academics, Leeds is the best of both worlds - being a campus university on the doorsteps of a vibrant city with a major law industry. Additionally, studying abroad has been a big interest of mine and the wide variety of options at Leeds pushed me to choose this university.


What are some of the highlights of your course?

I am enjoying studying law because it enables me to learn about how social structures interconnect and gives me an insight into how society progressed to the point we are at now. Studying modules like ‘EU Law’ and ‘Constitutional Law’ has taught me about how the different parties interact. I am looking forward to the second semester this year where we will be choosing electives and I will get a chance to follow my passions more. International law is something I am looking forward to studying since the interaction of states affects us all and thus, studying the law educates us on the mechanisms behind global changes.


Tell us a bit about your experience as a Laidlaw Scholar:

I got accepted onto the Laidlaw Scholarship in May 2023 and have really enjoyed what I have completed so far. When thinking about my highlights, it’s hard to point to one aspect because I feel I have learned so much and met so many incredible people. Completing a 6-week independent research project this summer was definitely a challenge but also a highlight.

My research project was on how domestically abused women from different social backgrounds are treated in the criminal justice system, considering BAME, LGBTQ+, and disabled women. Getting to learn from my supervisor Rebecca Shaw taught me so much, both in terms of how to conduct a literature project and how to have confidence in my academic ability which was something I struggled with prior.

Alongside this, undergoing leadership training within the scholarship has been a massive highlight; which was developed on both a hotel-based residential and in the peak district. Developing these skills in contrasting environments enabled me to practically apply what I have learnt, and I can confidently say it has altered how I perceive leadership. An aspect I am looking forward to is both going on the Culture Capital residential in Leeds and Durham this February and going on a 6-week funded leadership project in the Philippines to work on turtle conservation this summer.


What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their academic journey at the School?

The advice I would give to any student starting their journey is to not put too much pressure on yourself and remember that you wouldn’t have a place on this degree unless you could achieve it. When I started in my first year, I struggled with imposter syndrome and felt like I wasn’t smart enough. At my high school, I was used to being one of the smartest and moving to a university where everyone was incredibly intelligent was definitely a change. But soon, I realised that university is really what you make it. Not understanding concepts immediately is normal and the reason why student support hours are there. So please remember that if you are here, you can achieve big things!