11 things you’ll only understand if you study law at the University of Bristol

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Queuing for law ball tickets? Ain’t nobody got time for that

The University of Bristol’s law school, housed in one of the city’s most distinctive buildings, takes on about 400 new students a year — but what’s it like to be one of them? Former law student and Legal Cheek features editor Katie King counts down 11 things you’ll only understand if you study at the West Country Russell Group.

1. The law building is the best

Image via YouTube

Not only does it look like something out of Hogwarts, it’s just a stone’s throw away from a Sainsbury’s, a Subway, a Nando’s and a Pizza Express.

2. But that means half the university population is always in there

Nothing makes a law student madder than entering the law library and seeing groups of students with sociology, history, chemistry, maths, and French textbooks. Go back to the ASS!

3. You could read the works of Shakespeare twice in the time you have to queue for a law ball ticket

Image via Instagram (@bristollawclub)

Okay so you like Wills, but you don’t want to stand on its steps for the whole afternoon.

4. The lack of law lecture theatres surprised you in freshers’ week

You’ve spent more time in the physics building than you ever planned. The chemistry building is pretty nice though.

5. You feel suspicious that your lecturers’ names keep appearing on your reading lists

I wonder why your university is asking you to buy a £70 book by one of its academics?

6. Walking up Park Street to Wills feels like climbing Mount Everest

You’d only planned to pop to College Green for half an hour now boom, you’re close to fainting. Walking past Agora brings back bad Saturday night memories. At least you get to admire a Banksy on the way up, though.

7. You have to bring your sunglasses into the law library in the summertime

The light through those windows is blinding.

8. Bristol’s exam venue system is not okay

You can’t go through Temple Meads station anymore without getting exam flashback-induced palpitations. Also, if the university has to provide coaches to get to exam venues, they’re too far away.

9. Bristol Law School is not prided on its diversity

Public schoolboys aplenty.

10. Sneaking food and drink into the library is no mean feat

Yet there’s non-law students sitting across from you drinking out of Costa cups and eating pasta bowls? What the hell is going on?

11. Everyone’s an Oxbridge reject

Someone’s gotta say it.

Legal Cheek’s Commercial Awareness Question Time is coming to Bristol on Thursday 12 October. Apply to attend.

Want to tell readers what it’s like studying law at your university? Get in touch.



LOL at Number 11!



Frustrated Writer

It was luck that Fiona McGowan, a sub-editor of the Stirlingshire Gazette happened to be in London, following up on a story she had written the year before, and so able to meet Tom for a face to face interview. They had arranged to meet at a Starbucks near Kings Cross one Thursday. Tom arrived early, sitting nervously near the window waiting on her arrival whilst nursing a soya chai latte.

Tom had looked up Fiona’s profile on Linkedin so knew that the tall, athletically built woman approaching his table was the person he was expecting. Her expression broke into an attractive smile as she extended her hand in greeting, moving her black leather handbag from her wrist to her left hand as she did so. Tom suddenly felt underdressed; Fiona was wearing a smart, grey jacket and matching skirt with a crisp white blouse. Her grey steel glasses were even co-ordinated with her jacket and her blonde hair. Tom meanwhile looked like he had just stepped off a farm, wearing his usual thick green woolly jumper and navy blue chinos. He had considered a suit, but was concerned that would not fit in in the more relaxed world of local media with that look. Also, he had to go back the office later, and he would have stood out like a sore thumb amongst the teenage school bunkers and tradesmen that occupied the area.

“Tom, I presume? Lovely to meet you.” Fiona said, with a hint of an Edinburgh accent. Fiona gave Tom a warm, genuine smile.

“That’s me” Tom responded, cautiously accepting her handshake, then waving her towards the spare seat at the table he was occupying. “Take a seat.”.

As she sat down, Fiona pulled out a small neat pad and matching pen from her hand bag, releasing the front cover from an elastic restraint and flipping to an empty page. “Thank you Tom. It was, honestly, a surprise to get an application from a news editor at a major legal publication for a junior legal reporter role with us. The editor insisted that I meet you in person to make sure it was real!”. She laughed slightly at her joke.

Tom beamed back, thrilled by the compliment. “No, no joke. I’m excited to meet and discuss the role with you.”.

“Grand”. Fiona said. She pointed at Tom’s half full cup. “But first things first. Need a top up?”

Tom nodded appreciatively and gave Fiona his order. Whilst Fiona was at the counter, Tom tried to calm himself down. This was going well already. He tried to stop his mind speeding ahead to working at the local paper, with the lovely Fiona. Once he had thought of a cover story for his parents, it would all fall into place. No more flying stationary, emotional counselling of his boss and retention rate articles. He would fainnally be a real journalist. He could hardly wait.

Fiona returned and took up her position again opposite Tom. She picked up her pad and pen and looked across at him, poised to write. “So, Tom, why are you looking to leave Legal Week?”.

Tom was slightly thrown but thought he had misheard in the din of coffee cups hitting saucers and the hiss of steam from the nearby espresso machine. He pushed on. “Well, it’s a family decision. I need to be back near my folks, to help them, and spend more time with them. When I saw the vacancy for the legal reporter job with you guys I thought it would be ideal”. He smiled and waited for the next question.

Fiona nodded slowly, as she made some shorthand notes. “I see. Such a heart-warming reason Tom. What a good guy you must be.”. She looked up at Tom over the top of her frames, a serious but genuine look on her face. “So, I think our editor, Andy, asked you bring some examples of some of your articles?”.

Tom nodded eagerly and groped into a back pack he had propped up against his chair, his hand emerging clutching the faux leather folder of trainee retention articles he had diligently collected over the years. He presented it to Fiona over the table.

“Very nice” Fiona remarked, turning the folder in her hands, clearly impressed by its presentation. That did not last. On opening the folder, Tom could see Fiona’s expression change to one of confusion, which only intensified as she leafed through the pages.

Eventually, after skimming a few of the articles, Fiona closed the folder and looked at Tom. “So, you work for what publication, Tom?” her eyes were narrow and tone confused.

Tom noted the change in body language of the reporter opposite him. “Legal Cheek, Fiona. It was on my CV?” he responded, hesitantly.

“Legal…? What?” Fiona replied, looking perplexed, her head moving involuntarily towards Tom as if she couldn’t hear him. “Is that part of Legal Week at all?”.

“Erm, no, I mean our editor used to work for them, but we’re not officially linked. Actually, they keep writing to us asking is to change our name.”. He immediately regretted adding that detail.

“Could I trouble you to see the website?” Fiona asked, not responding to Tom’s comment. Tom pulled out his iPhone and quickly pulled up the Legal Cheek page, passing it over to Fiona, who returned the folder in the same transaction.

After a few minutes that seemed like hours to Tom, Fiona passed the iPhone back and smiled again. This time though it was obviously forced. She slowly put the cap back on her pen, and closed her pad, replacing the elastic strap on the front. “I’m sorry for wasting your time, Tom. It was lovely to meet you.”.

Tom’s stomach did a summersault. “What, sorry, are we finished?”, he said, desperately. “You haven’t asked me anything”.

Fiona maintained her false cheerful demeanour as she put her pad and pen back in her bag and stood to leave. “Yes, Tom. Sorry again. There’s been a terrible mistake. It’s my fault.”.

Tom stood too, moving slightly to block Fiona’s path. “But, but why? Didn’t you like my work?”. His voice was wavering, panicked almost. His dream was evaporating. “I can change what I write, really. Just tell me what you need.”. He was begging now.

Fiona grimaced. For the first time she did not seem cheerful. “Tom. I know we’re only small, but we’re a decent newspaper. We write about real news. Not articles about what random law firms pay their staff. Most of our articles are not about diversity issues. We never take quotes from Twitter.”. She slid past Tom to the door, looking back briefly. “Look Tom, it just wouldn’t be a good fit, OK?”. With that, she left.

Tom sank back into his seat, rubbing his palms on his face, feeling depressed. Fiona hadn’t even touched her Americano. At least he could take that to go, he supposed. In terms of his career though, it was not good news. It was back to square one.






Brutal yes, but This is the funniest most laugh out loud piece I have read on this site.




Still, at least it wasn’t ‘summersalt’.



LOL. The part about taking Fiona’s Americano – gold.



I am from Stirling, and I can confirm that the Gazette has higher standards than this website. The coverage of the sheriffs court is quite superb. In a couple more years Katie might be qualified enough for an internship at the paper.



I hear there’s a village in the Outer Hebrides that isn’t “just a stone’s throw away from a Sainsbury’s, a Subway, a Nando’s and a Pizza Express”. That’s just a rumour though.



No.9 on this list could not be further from the truth



Bristol is notoriously stuffed with the posh kids who weren’t bright enough for Oxbridge.



Katie just said that in No. 10 Captain Obvious





Libeturd Leftie

I attended Bristol, and I did not see that much diversity, especially not when compared to the student body at UWE.


Ciaran Goggins

To tune of “Paddy Whack” My old man, said to me, UWE girls give you VD, with a knick knack Paddy Whack give a dog a bone UWE can go (redacted) off home”.



Number 12: Being glad that you’re overqualified to attend UWE because you have more than half a brain cell


Libeturd Leftie

Harsh, very very harsh



How original: another listicle. It’s got LC’s trademark stamp of being devoid of any humour.


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