Klaudia Chmiel, LLB Law Undergraduate at The University of Leeds.

Klaudia Chmiel

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am in my first year of the 2-year LLB Law graduate course. I was born in Poland, and moved to Canada with my parents when I was 5 years old. I completed my undergraduate degree in Justice, Political Philosophy, and Law at McMaster University.

What motivated you to apply for your course at Leeds? 

I’ve always been set on going to Law School. Considering the fact that my interests lie in international law, I looked into Law Schools outside of Canada. I came to the University of Leeds because it was named the University of the Year 2017 (The Times and Sunday Times’ Good University Guide 2017) and is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. 

The University of Leeds is also rated 8th in the UK for Law (The Guardian University Guide 2018) and 6th for Criminology (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018). This helps the university retain a strong international standing that is recognized throughout all the faculties, which is primarily what I was looking for when considering different universities. This results in the positive outcome of students’ interactions with professors, which impacts on grades and experiences.

What do you think of your course? 

Knowing that law would be a challenging degree, I already came with the mind-set that I would have to do a lot of difficult work. However, the School and the staff are determined to help each student, which encouraged me to develop my work in a way that was not strenuous but enjoyable. The seminars are also a great way to go in depth with the readings and topics learned, in a setting where you can ask questions and feel comfortable when getting the clarification that you need.

How would you describe the guidance you've received? 

Having such professors with specific knowledge of the vast areas of law, I think it’s undeniably beneficial to be able to learn from them and at the same time have them as your seminar leaders or personal tutors. Every member of staff is quick to answer any questions and they genuinely care about the impact of school on your life. The School of Law is well connected through the Law Society and professors, who truly like to see the students engage with their community, not only intellectually but also through many entertaining events. 

What do you think of the facilities? 

The Leeds Students' Union is quite diverse with over 320 clubs and societies for students to get involved in a range of activities. The thing I enjoy the most about the student body is that there is a large Law Society. The society posts negotiation competitions, mooting opportunities, and general facts about firms that are having events or internships. They also arrange trips to court houses, and even trips to other countries where you can go as a group to visit. 

The last event I attended was the Law's Got Talent event, where law students showcased their talent and the professors acted as judges. Even one of the professors participated in the event as a comedian. 

One of the facilities I took the most advantage of was the Careers Centre. I was able to get my CV overlooked, practiced interview questions and have my cover letter proofed.

Have you been granted any scholarships or won any awards?

I have been granted an International Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship for the academic year of 2017/18.

Have you been involved in any extra-curricular activities?

I currently work as an International Student Ambassador for Link to Leeds, where I represent the University as a first point of contact for international applicants. During the Leeds Student Union’s housing hunting campaign, I was a Contract Checking Volunteer where I assisted any students who wanted to get their housing contracts reviewed before officially signing them.

I have also volunteered as a Pathways to Law E-Mentor where I mentor younger students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing law. One of the ways I tried to get involved in the community of Leeds was by volunteering as an Executive Supervisor for the Forgotten Heroes Charity, which deals with helping the carers of wounded servicemen and women. I learned about all of these opportunities either through the Careers Centre or the School of Law. 

The amount of opportunity and support offered throughout the University of Leeds and the School of Law is truly something that makes the University stand out from the rest. Taking advantage of these opportunities is something that I would recommend to everyone as it will shape the experience of your degree and have a positive impact on any future endeavours.