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From a Law degree to a Legal Practice Course and MSc in London

07 Jan, 2019
From a Law degree to a Legal Practice Course and MSc in London

Following the Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford, Hiu Ying Lee (Mimi) from Hong Kong completed a Law degree at Lancaster University, and went on to study a Master's degree (LPC MSc) at the University of Law, London campus. We spoke to her about her Law studies, experience at university and at Kings, and her future plans.

Hi Mimi. What course are you currently taking and how does it relate to your Law degree?

I am currently studying at the University of Law, London. I am doing the LPC (Legal Practice Course) and MSc in Law, Business and Management.

The LPC prepares me to become a trainee solicitor, which involves acquiring legal writing, drafting, advocacy and interviewing skills. In addition to the legal programme, the MSc introduces me to different fundamental business-related knowledge in banking, debt securities, leadership and finance. Moreover, I believe that commercial awareness and a business mind are essential and dispensable in life — that is why I would like to broaden my horizons and not to limit myself in law by taking the course.

How did it feel when you graduated from Lancaster? Was it worth all the hard work?

It was very satisfying. It was all like a dream to me. I had never thought that 3 years would pass so quickly, it was really like a blink of an eye. When I was reflecting at the end of my third year, I was delighted to learn that I had accomplished all of the goals I set for myself in my first year. I had my first work experience, I was actively involved in various societies and the Student Union, and I fundraised for charities. I had a rounded university life at Lancaster. It was a tough 3 years balancing my academic studies and extra-curricular activities well at the same time, and I hope that I have made my family and friends proud!

What would you say was the highlight of your Law studies at university?

The Mooting Competition (2014) and the Negotiation Competition (2016). For the Mooting Competition, participants had to speak in front of the County Judge as the role of either a senior or junior counsel. Regarding the Negotiation Competition, teams negotiated in front of corporate solicitors from renowned law firms. Although my teammates and I did not get the last victory, we gained many insights throughout. We were able to get valuable comments from professionals. Besides, these were all great networking opportunities. It was a very precious experience overall, and I was very grateful to be able to participate in the events organised by the Law Society of Lancaster University.

And what was the highlight of your university life in general?

My participation in the Lancaster University Dance Society, where I gained a lot of satisfaction and recognition. I was the dance choreographer of Ballet and the secretary of the Society. The Competition Squad and I competed in various intra-university competitions. We won a total of 4 Golds and 1 Bronze from the 2 pieces I choreographed. Likewise, the Committees and I had to organise the biggest event of the year, the annual performance of the Society, which involves over 100 members. I will never forget the sleepless nights preparing all the events. Most importantly, I have made friends for life here who are pursuing similar dreams and aims as me.

What are your plans for after you have finished your current course? Is there an area of law that you'd like to specialise in?

I will move back to Hong Kong, and I would like to bring the cultures and knowledge I have acquired in the UK to the field in Hong Kong. I am particularly interested in mergers and acquisitions and also public affairs such as initial public offerings. An alternative to becoming a corporate solicitor, I intend to become a chartered secretary in Hong Kong to maintain and promote corporate governance in a company, ensuring the company has complied with various regulations.

It is important to keep in mind that what you study at university does not necessarily mean that you have to be work in the same field. Explore more, find the most suitable path for yourself and do not restrain yourself. There is always more than one opportunity!

Are you pleased that you chose the subject that you did?

Law is not an easy subject. However, it is thrilling to know how the society operates from the legal perspective, especially the rationale behind each judgement. Studying Law has also exposed me to various legal and commercial networking opportunities, and I am glad to have met and talked to so many professionals. Whether or not I will be a lawyer in the future, I am sure that the knowledge and lessons I learnt from the previous years doing law will be beneficial to me.

Are you still in touch with many friends from Kings?

Yes, I still meet friends from Kings regularly. At Kings, I have met friends from different parts of the world. Occasionally, I travel to France, Korea, China and Taiwan to visit friends. The feeling of having friends in various places around the globe is amazing because you get to experience life with the locals! My friends from Kings and I have gone through a lot of important stages in life such as living alone away from home in an entirely new environment for the first time and going to university. It is my pleasure to have known them, and I am incredibly thankful that they have supported me for so long.

What would you say to your teachers at Kings if you met them again now? How much do you feel your time at Kings Oxford prepared you for university life?

I would definitely share with them all my interesting stories at Lancaster, and of course, I would thank them for all the individual support they gave me during my time at Kings Oxford. They all have played a crucial role in my preparation for university. Their warm welcome provided me with a very comfortable study environment, and they made my year at Kings 'feel like home'.

  • To Adam (Foundation Course Coordinator at Kings Oxford and Geography Teacher), thank you so much for advising and guiding me through the UCAS application. Thank you for explaining the corrections on my assignment line by line, and I really enjoyed your Geography lessons!
  • To Tina (Teacher in Government & Politics), thank you so much for comforting me with the UCAS results and providing me with alternative suggestions to the conventional route, and thank you so much for sharing the exciting stories you experienced in the past.
  • To Melrose (who guided my personal statement), thank you for your time for checking my personal statement, making sure that it was 'perfect' and thank you for your advice on my UCAS choices.
  • To all my subject teachers, thank you for your patience in teaching and explaining the topics to all of us. Lastly, I wish you all good health, happiness and success in the coming year and always.

What advice would you give to other people from your country who are considering studying at Kings?

Please do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and study away from home by yourself because the world is more beautiful than you think.

"At Kings, teachers and staff are very friendly. The student-teacher relationship is different from in Hong Kong, teachers are more like friends, and instead of 'lecturing' students, they share their life experiences with us. Furthermore, if you ever need any help from Kings, they respond and provide support promptly. You will always be covered!"

In addition, the mode of learning is different in the UK. Instead of acquisition (like in Hong Kong), participation is encouraged. Students are required to discuss and speak in class, and I think it really helps creativity and critical analysis skill by listening to more different perspectives.

Regarding living, staying with a host family is an extraordinary and pleasant experience. There is the right balance of privacy and care. My host parents were very welcoming and willing to listen to my concerns, they comforted and accommodated me very well, but they would never 'invade' my private life. I can assure you that studying at Kings will definitely be your 'once in a lifetime' experience!

What advice would you give to international students hoping to study Law at a UK university?

This is a hard question! Be active and take part more. Do not be afraid to take the initiative and talk to professionals, and you never know what generous people will offer you and what will happen.