It might be impossible to get any work done at the University of Sussex. Its seaside Brighton location is laidback, artsy and full of distractions. But if you can stay focused, its law students very much recommend its tutors: “All the tutors engaged with us, and the material”. They “did not just want us to pass, but to critically engage and succeed as lawyers”.
Having highly attentive tutors pays off: “Most of us in my small year group (75%+) have a pupillage or training contract lined up," one recent graduate told us. No doubt the smaller class sizes with a “high staff-to-student ratio” facilitate this closer tutor support. Another graduate highlights the practical approach: “An understanding of the practical realities of the law meant I was much better placed than my LLB or GDL peers from elsewhere when I went on to study the BPTC”.
Aiming to develop students’ “professionalism”, the law school and Student Law Body organise extra-curricular activities (not the socialising kind). The “special points of interest” include internal mooting competitions, client interviewing and negotiating workshops. It’s now a “mandatory element” of studying the GDL at Sussex that “students take the workshops for at least one of the competitions”. As these legal skills workshops are sponsored by local law firms and solicitors, there are opportunities to take part in law students’ most loved and hated pastime – networking.
But then there are the distractions: student social life at the law school gets a big tick. Brighton is known as a student town with pubs, clubs and bars lining the seafront and clustering around the famous North Laines.
Above all, Brighton is a great place for alternative study spaces. Bizarre cafes and quaint coffee shops dot the city in abundance. And if the GDL gets too much, “the sea makes everything better”.