It’s not often that you sit down with a final year student who’s able to tell you that they’ve known what they wanted to be since they were 13, but that’s exactly what Rosie says when asked why she chose to study Law.
“I did work experience when I was 13 at a local Magistrates’ Court and ever since then, all I could think of was a career in law,” she says with a smile. What’s more remarkable is that Rosie chose this work placement from a list of dozens, explaining that she wanted to do something different to all of her friends, who were going to their parents’ workplaces or spending time at local primary schools.
“I thought, I’m going to do something different and work at the Magistrates’ Court and I absolutely loved it,” she enthuses. During her brief time there, she sat in on a cases and was able to help with paperwork.
Rosie was hooked by the legal world after her short spell at the court and went on to organise work experience with a local firm in Bristol when she was 16. She said it was fascinating to see the processes from a different angle and this only strengthened her conviction that a career in law was what she wanted, although she admits she was still considering going down a different path at this point.
“I’ve always loved English and I always thought when I was much younger that I’d be a teacher. But then I got into law and I thought, ‘ok, I need to make a decision here’, and I thought that law would give me whatever I needed - there’s just so much you can do,” she says with real passion in her voice.
And Rosie hasn’t looked back since. Now in the final year of her LLB (Hons) Law degree with us, she is preparing to continue her studies as a postgraduate student at BU. “I’ll be doing my Legal Practice course, which is what you need to be a solicitor,” she states, adding: “A law degree, to qualify, is just as long as a medical degree, but no one tells you that because the academic side of it stops, but then you have to the next course and the next bit - it’s all worth it though!”
Her time working at Bobbetts Mackan in Bristol during her placement year gave her incredibly useful experience. Rosie was keen to get involved in as much as possible during her year working there, which resulted in her taking on work for legal aid. This meant she was the first point of contact for many of the clients seeking criminal defence and she admits it could be tough at times. “The client would call in, but they wouldn’t tell me what they’d done - all I’d have is their name and a court date. It’s not until you’d been sat with them for ten minutes that they’d tell you the offence. I dealt with some pretty strong stuff,” she reveals. “I just had to learn to be completely blank when they told me their offence. I think that was probably one of the things that toughened me up quite a lot. It was a fantastic experience,” she adds.
Rosie has also been heavily involved with BU’s Law Society, joining it in her first year and now holding the post of Vice President in her final year, a role that she feels has given her a lot of useful connections. “I ran a networking event last term as Vice President of the Law Society and it was brilliant because we got loads of local firms involved,” she enthuses. “It was really good to network with people face-to-face.”
As well as being incredibly passionate about her future career in law, Rosie loves Bournemouth and hopes to stay in the local area once she graduates. “I absolutely love it here,” she says with a sparkle in her eye. “There are probably four or five firms [around Bournemouth] that offer training contracts in the areas that I’m interested in, so I’m in the process of looking at applications.”
When asked if she’s got any advice for anyone coming to BU in the future, she breaks into a massive grin: “I’ve loved my time at BU. What I’d say to anyone applying to the law degree is to get as much experience as you can, even if you do a couple of hours at a firm making tea, experience is experience. It will really help you when you come to your placement year.”