Why Study Law? | Transferable Skills You’ll Gain From A Law Summer School

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Date of Publication: 29 March 2021

Interestingly, many people think that attending a Law summer school is only recommended for those who are looking to pursue a career in the subject, but this simply isn’t true. Studying this exciting but challenging discipline can help you develop a number of transferable skills that are valued in all career paths and will be helpful throughout your lifetime. 

Yes, studying law is certainly a gateway to a career as a solicitor as a barrister, but it’s not the only avenue you have to pursue. Many options are available to you beyond the legal profession, with the skills you’ll gain laying the foundation for many unique and interesting jobs across public, private and voluntary sectors. 

Why study law then? Well, it may be that you simply do have an interest in it and want to find out more about the subject before committing to it at university. However, it could be that you’re a student who doesn’t know what to study at university and are looking to explore all your options while developing some essential skills for the future. 

 

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Transferable Skills You’ll Gain From Law Summer School

Studying Law is a hugely rewarding but also challenging subject; one which requires you to draw on a whole range of skills to research, summarise, and present your final judgement to others. 

These skills are highly sought after in the workplace – not just in the Law industry – but across many sectors. As such, participating in a summer school for Law students can be hugely beneficial for your future endeavours, especially because of these transferable skills you’ll gain. 

Take a look below at our list of 8 of the most valuable transferable skills gained from studying Law on a 2-week summer course. 

 

1. Negotiation

Why study law? Well, the chance to develop your negotiation skills may just be one of the greatest benefits you could gain from a summer school for Law students.

The ability to successfully challenge a decision is important as it is desirable in many job roles outside of Law. And the art of good negotiation is a skill that will aid you throughout your life; from swapping your best football cards in the playground to bartering on a sale price for a dream property, good negotiation skills are extremely important. 

A key aspect of your Law summer school will be to help develop your negotiation skills with in-class debates and discussions. And this negotiation goes beyond just verbal negotiation; one of the strongest skills gained from studying law will be developing your written communication skills as part of your independent studying, essay-writing, and assignments. 

Outside of class, you’ll also be invited to participate in debate nights. Debating and discussions are at the heart of the teaching at the University of Oxford, with the university’s Union hosting weekly debates on classic and contemporary motions from some of the world’s most influential politicians and thinkers.

In our debate nights, you and your fellow course-mates will be given the opportunity to prepare on the topic ahead of time, forming your point of view as backed by evidence to present your argument with conviction. You will then have the platform to present your argument, defend your position, and answer questions that the speaker has prepared in advance. It’s a great opportunity to test the skills you’ve developed in class under the spotlight of a live debate. 

 

2. Close analysis

One of the biggest skills gained from Law summer school is the ability to close read texts and evidence with a keen eye for detail. This analysis is critical in helping you to gather the data you need to form conclusions and present a strong argument on different cases. 

Part of this work will focus on learning how to recognise reliable data sources and critically think about their validity – looking at the evidence under a 360-degree microscope to ensure all sides of the story have been covered. From this complex analysis, it is only then that you’ll be able to form logical conclusions and solid recommendations on what to do next. 

Your tutor will work with you to look at complex real-life case studies, with a few questionable pieces of evidence to test your analytical skills. It’ll be down to you to evaluate the validity of each source and decide whether it would stand up in a court of justice. They’ll foster an open and judgement-free platform for you to pose your point of view and defend your reasoning based on the evidence you’ve unsurfaced.

Strategic thinking is becoming an increasingly in-demand skill across all C-Level and senior business roles. Critical thinking can benefit many areas of business, including project planning and setting company-wide goals. Developing these skills early on in your education will help you to master them later on in your career. 

 

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3. Problem-solving

It comes as no surprise that Law is often considered one of the most complex subjects to study. Filled with opposing views, different beliefs of right and wrong. as well as case studies from a variety of difficult situations, it’s down to you and your skilled judgement to decide what the best course of action is for an individual case.

Over the course of a 2-week Law summer school, you’ll learn how to find a number of resolutions to these potentially challenging situations. Learning through real-life scenarios of court cases, you’ll use your close analysis skills to dissect all the evidence and negotiate a resolution which you think appeases all parties involved. Your tutor will challenge your thinking and throw in opposing views to test your ability to quickly overcome and find new solutions and reasoning behind your arguments. It’s a challenging, exciting, and rewarding learning experience!

Problem-solving skills gained from studying law can be transferred across pretty much any sector in the current job market. Employers value those with the ability to ‘think outside the box’ and unearth creative solutions to situations, especially when those proposed answers are done quickly and take into account the wider context of the issue. 

 

4. An enhanced understanding of the law

Understandably, one of the main reasons why so many students participate in a Law summer school is to build on their foundations and leave with a greater understanding of the subject.

For some, they have a genuine interest in the subject and want to explore it further before committing to study it at university, while others are looking to cement their knowledge of the legal system and develop a greater understanding of the world around them. Both are great reasons to consider attending a Law summer school. 

In terms of transferable skills for the future, having a greater understanding of the law can be beneficial in many different business sectors. Whether it’s having knowledge on commercial law which can impact different companies, or understanding the different legal systems in different countries around the world, your advice and knowledge will be a great addition to any workplace or organisation. 

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5. Confidence in presenting

Presentation skills are essential in almost every industry; the ability to communicate an idea, sell a product, or present your findings on research can really help you to excel in the workplace. These skills are closely related to confidence, which is another important trait in helping you to present your ideas to a wider team or audience. 

Confidence and the ability to present your ideas coherently will be something that you can develop during your Law summer course. Whether it’s participating in classroom discussions or presenting your evidence for or against a particular case study to your tutor, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to practice your presentation skills and convince your classmates on your side of the argument. 

Furthermore, for students who are aged 16 and over, you’ll also have the opportunity to participate in weekly tutorials. These are typically hour-long conversations between you, another classmate, and your expert tutor. They offer a chance for you to talk in detail about the subject you’re studying and receive rigorous, individual feedback on your essays and other pieces of work.

In terms of aiding your presentation skills, tutorials will be led by your tutor, who will ask discursive questions to get you thinking about your subject critically. You will then have the chance to respond and present your ideas coherently to those in the room, convincing tutor and fellow classmates why and how you came to that conclusion. 

 

6. Sound reasoning

The ability to draw logical conclusions from the evidence you’re supplied with is an essential skill gained from studying Law. From the workplace to your personal life, the ability to take a step back and evaluate everyone’s differing points of view is important to treating people and situations with fairness, making for more effective conflict resolution.

Law summer school will train you to evaluate all the evidence presented and reach a fair conclusion based on what you’ve seen. Part of this involves learning to avoid any cognitive biases and identify flaws in your opposition’s argument, as well as form impartial judgements. 

This can be difficult to do as a newbie to the subject. As a trained expert, your tutor will be there to help ensure you’re evaluating all the sources and coming to a fair conclusion for all parties involved. Their role is to influence an environment that strips away all subjectiveness and concludes based on hard facts and figures. 

 

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7. Thorough research skills

Law is all about finding the right evidence to answer a question and coming to a conclusion. And to get there, you need to have a keen eye for detail to ensure you find the evidence that best answers your question. 

During your law summer school, it’s likely you’ll be using lots of different types of information too, from Law books and online databases to articles and monographs. This will help you develop the ability to handle and evaluate lots of different materials and their sources effectively. You’ll become an expert at checking what counts as reliable information, what is most relevant, and be selective about which ones focus on the right jurisdiction. 

Having strong research skills will be effective throughout your life; from writing essays in your A-Levels and at university, to looking at the best hotels for your next holiday, the ability to research quickly and find answers to your queries will be hugely beneficial at saving you both time and stress. 

 

8. Independent study 

Although you will participate in lots of classroom learning, a significant part of Law summer school will involve studying independently to complete research, any extra reading, and assignments. This self-guided study is critical to your learning, allowing you to come to seminars and tutorials prepared with points of interest to discuss and develop your understanding.

But independent study isn’t just a critical skill gained from studying Law at summer school. As you study for your A-Levels and beyond at university, you’ll discover that independent study plays a huge role in your academic success. You may have already heard from your teachers who may describe this type of learning as, “you get as much out as you put in.”

Adapting to independent study can be tricky to do, especially if you’ve only ever been in learning environments where your teachers and tutors have told you exactly what you need to study to better understand your subject. That’s why we’ve collated a list of 10 independent study tips to help you prepare now. 

Advice for making the most out of your Law summer course with independent study; while your tutor will provide you with a solid foundation of knowledge, you should take the initiative to research as much as you can and really immerse yourself in your studies. Taking the initiative to learn and leave with as much knowledge as possible will make the experience all the more rewarding.

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Hear from our previous students

Thinking of attending a Law summer school this year? Want to know what you can expect during a 2-week course?

Gain an insider view with these testimonials from two of our former Law students: 

The excellent quality of tuition enabled me to develop a sound understanding of European Union law, which was very beneficial when participating and organising events of the European Youth Parliament of which I am a member. 

The structure of the course that combined seminars, tutorials and independent research, realistically captured how courses are delivered at an undergraduate level and consisted of a great way to prepare for my university studies.” – Ainta

“During this time, I enjoyed studying several areas of law through seminars and tutorials, for example criminal law or human rights law. It was challenging and also involved a lot of independent studying, but that’s exactly why I loved it as it drew a realistic picture of the teaching style at Oxford University.” – Marit

 

To find out more about their experiences of studying Law with us in Oxford, read Ainta and Marit’s full articles.

 

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Study Law in Oxford or Cambridge

Discover our 2-week Oxford Law summer courses, available for students aged 16-17 and 18-24. Joined by other passionate students from around the world, your tutor will take beyond textbooks as you explore fascinating law cases throughout time, legal theories and overarching principles that have applied for centuries through to the present day.

We also offer a Cambridge Law school summer program for students aged 13-15, where you’ll study in the same city as some of the world’s greatest thinkers, including Alan Turing, Charles Darwin, and Sir David Attenborough. 

Contact our admissions team today to find out more about our courses, or you can submit an application to study with us to get started with your summer learning adventure!

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