ULaw’s Manchester campus is located in the heart of this great cultural city, with all that Lowry art, cool music and Victorian and industrial architecture. But these elements are nothing compared with the campus’s “super comfy” chairs, a highlight for one student! No doubt a necessity for those long, long hours spent in the law library.
Seriously though, Manchester is a strong regional commercial hub that recently gained a new Media City (housing the Beeb among others). It has a good dose of home grown law firms such as DWF and lots of regional offices of international firms (though it is worth noting that some of these offices were opened as “low cost hubs”, which may or may not be what you are looking for).
On campus, students praise the “good enthusiastic teachers who have experienced life in practice”. But as with any law school, “the good were excellent, but one or two were really bad.” Others say the “teachers are friendly” but some of their “knowledge is out of date”. But “if you do the reading and participate fully in classes, you will succeed at ULaw”.
Course materials are “generally good”, with some exceptions involving the odd error and inconsistency. Online resources are also “generally good”. However, “the legal research databases crashed on the launch day of our ‘practical legal research’ assessment meaning endless extensions”. Those of you who cheer on a deadline extension might not see this as a bad thing. Happily, “they did their best to assist during IT issues”.
The careers service, while offering a decent service, sounds as if it needs some extra resource. Staff are “off sick a lot,” reports one unsympathetic LPCer. Another tells us they “couldn’t spot small mistakes in applications” (isn’t that the job of students?!). Then again, it is a “super busy” centre.
Pro bono opportunities could have been a bit better during 2016-17, we’re told. Apparently the “co-ordinator left in the first week (September) and wasn’t replaced until March”. Multiple LPC students say this led to “a lot of disruption in pro bono schemes”. But things are expected to run more smoothly this academic year. We hear that there are a lot of student opportunities currently going with the Personal Support Unit based in Manchester’s Civil Justice Centre. The PSU allows students to help individuals through the court process. LPCers can volunteer to sit through the court hearings, and explain how clients should address the judge and what to do next.
Social life at ULaw’s Manchester campus is, we are told, “extremely dependent” on which class you’re put in to do core modules in first term. If you’re “put in with a shy, academic set of people, your social life is doomed”. It’s an important time of the year as there’s “no other way to make friends, short of sitting with a random clique and begging that they take you in”. So, brush up on your social skills and be sure to say ‘hi’ on your first day.
If you need to take some time off from the law books, then there’s “Wii and table tennis tables in the canteen”, although they’re “normally hogged by the same group every lunch time”. And if GDL pressure gets too much and you need to take a break, you can go walk along the Pennines — a mountain range just a quick train ride away.