What sparked your interest in law?
Truth be told, my initial interest and foray into law was not one which was fuelled by any lifelong yearning for law, justice, or anything like that. It was my parents who encouraged me to read law. Indeed, the idea of pursuing a degree in the field of law had always been the lifelong yearning of my mother, who, due to the prevailing circumstances at the time, had to take a different route in life. I initially undertook law as a way of fulfilling my mother’s lifelong aspiration.
Be that as it may, as I furthered my reading in law with the University, I am happy to admit that I do not regret having taken this road. Having read law with the University, I have been exposed to a diverse range of material which piqued my interest in law, and I am currently unable to see myself as doing anything else unrelated to this field.
Why did you choose to study with the University of London International Programmes?
Why not? At first, the main reason I chose the University of London International Programmes was because of the prospect of actually staying in my hometown of Penang and obtaining a law degree which would enable me to qualify for practice in Malaysia. Having been raised in a close-knit family, I found myself extremely reluctant to leave my hometown and family.
As I soldiered on through the course, I think I stuck to the programme because of the profound respect proffered to the course due to its reputed difficulty, as well as the prospects that the programme would have in building a legal career here in Malaysia. There is a sizeable fraternity of University of London graduates here in the legal sector, as the presence of the University of London LLB programme has served the legal profession in Malaysia well for decades. And, indeed, a number of legal luminaries had their genesis in their careers from reading law with the University of London.
What did you enjoy most about your studies?
I especially enjoyed the challenge and academic formation that was brought about by reading law with the University. In my formative years in secondary school, I was not given much opportunity or encouragement to express critical opinions in a way which would merit any marks. Being a student with the University of London changed this entirely, as critical reflection is not only encouraged, but expected of a student.
The dynamics and synergy between the University programme and the College’s pedagogy has given me nothing short of a full experience in reading law.
I am also especially fortunate that I was both a student of the University of London, as well as a student of Advance Tertiary College (ATC). The dynamics and synergy between the University programme and the College’s pedagogy has given me nothing short of a full experience in reading law. The UoL degree has set highly challenging and stimulating material as the subject of our study in law, where critical reflective thinking is the standard and norm expected by the University. ATC itself offers a wide range of support in terms of academic support, physical facilities, as well as opportunities to participate in moot competitions, which served to complement my study in law with UoL.
How did you feel when you found out you had received a First Class degree?
I found out about my results while I was waiting for a tour bus during my family vacation in Melbourne. To say that I was nothing but overjoyed would be an understatement. I, personally, never expected to attain such results. I would like to take this opportunity to thank God for having sustained me in more ways than I deserve. I would also like to thank my parents, who have given me so much support, which I can only hope that I may repay in my lifetime. To my lecturers whose dedication to students is unparalleled. Finally, but not in any way least, to my friends, whose precious companionship and valuable opinions proved instrumental in motivating me. To all the above I owe my achievement of a First Class.
What advice or tips would give to someone taking the LLB?
I defer to fellow University of London LLB graduate Ms Eeshah Khalid, who achieved the top mark worldwide in the LLB, as well as my senior in ATC and now fellow UoL alumni, Mr Brandon Chan. They have so graciously shared their advice on London Connection and I highly recommend it as essential reading for law students.
For my part, I am only able to add some technical and practical tips by sharing my experience in reading law.
On studying technique, it is important to make one’s own notes on a subject matter. Reliance on notes that are not made by oneself would not be the most effective study method, for that would amount to reading the summary of another person’s understanding and material on a particular subject matter.
I believe the key is to surround yourself with like-minded people who are willing and honest in helping you out. For me, I had the pleasure of reading law with a bunch of people I now call friends, whose camaraderie I am honoured to have partaken.
Did you have any particularly challenging times during your studies?
The most arduous challenge I had was in my final year, where I chose to undertake the Laws Dissertation subject. Since the subject is by its nature one which is mostly self-study, I found that the learning curve was particularly steep, and that formal support was rather limited.
At the expense of sounding abstract, to overcome such an obstacle, as with any other kind of obstacle, I believe the key is to surround yourself with like-minded people who are willing and honest in helping you out. For me, I had the pleasure of reading law with a bunch of people I now call friends, whose camaraderie I am honoured to have partaken.
I am thankful and blessed that I had trustworthy people who supported me. From going through the draft of my work to offering valuable criticism, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow LLB friends for their selflessness, especially those who worked as tireless sounding boards, listening to my almost endless tirades about my research without a hint of tedium (not visible on their faces, at least).