Everything you wish you’d known before starting your Law degree at Glasgow

All hail Westlaw


Law seems to be a degree perceived as not for intellectuals, but rather, for private school brats who are only doing it because daddy promised them a job when they graduate.

But the reality is quite different. We don’t relish in interjecting with ‘actually’ followed by some legal jargon when it isn’t required. Ruining conversations is not what we do.

In reality, we’re just hard working students who like to go out as much as you, despite the crushing workload that breaks even the best of us.

If you study law, you’ll know all of this to be true, and you’ll also wish someone had told you all of these things before you started your degree instead of realising them at the end of your first year.

You won’t be one of the smartest kids anymore

To get into Law at Glasgow, most of us have had to get five A’s at higher, which usually made us one of the highest achievers in our school.

But when you and all the other smarty-pants are put together in a group of 250, suddenly you aren’t a clever clogs anymore.

The thought of getting a C in secondary school would have made your stomach heavy with remorse, but when you get a C at university it’s a cause for celebration.

You will love some lecturers, and despise others

It’s a weird concept to get used to in first year. You know your teacher but they don’t know you.

There’s nothing more embarrassing than smiling and waving at your lecturer when you see them in the library, only for their face to tell you they have absolutely no idea who you are.

But despite the lack of personal contact with them, you do develop strong opinions on your lecturers.

The legendary Tom Guthrie made 9am Obligations lecturers bearable with his quick-wittedness and his dramatic entrances to 70s rock music.

But a certain other Obligations lecturer, makes you wish you’d stayed in bed.

Thankfully, cases are all online

I’m sure many of us dreaded the prospect of spending hours on end in the library, searching for dusty old case books and peering over the contents until our eyes hurt.

Thankfully, our Lord and Saviour comes in the form of Westlaw, which has cases even as old as the 1700s in it’s glorious databanks.

Sure, nobody likes reading cases, but I’d definitely prefer the bright glow of my laptop screen presenting me with coherently numbered paragraphs than straining my eyes over a tear-splattered leather-bound book at 2am.

Imagine you had to read them in the actual books…

The socials are amazing

OK, so the fact that Law has so much money for socials does sort of make up for everything.

From a free bar at viper during Freshers to the Law Ball to family ties and pub golf, the Law society is always doing something amazing.

Probably for the best because if we didn’t have these events to unwind we’d probably all just be puddles of stressed out goo by now.

In fact, the Law Society is so good that when asked for pictures, a member said “I don’t think I’ve been capable of taking photos at any law socials.”

There is never a seat in the library after 11am

Most law lectures are (sadly) scheduled fairly early on in the day. So, being the early bird after your lectures are over you might decide to spend the rest of the morning/afternoon in the library, peacefully studying. Wrong.

Unless you’re in the library by 10:30am at the latest all the bloody seats are gone and the queue for the coffee machine is longer than the queue for Hive Thursday.

Your only real option is to trek from the comforting chatter of level three, all the way up to the intimidating silence of level seven. From there, it takes 10 minutes to go back down and get anything you need from the cafe. So inconvenient.

No one likes level 10

You can never rent a book out for more than four hours

You will soon develop a jealous rage at your flatmates who are able to rent a book out for a week to write an essay when you can’t even take one out overnight.

For some unfathomable reason all the law books are in the high demand section.

You can get charged up to a tenner for a late return which means you either have to fork out fifty quid for the single law textbook you need, or stay in the library endlessly renewing the same book like it’s Groundhog Day.


Your tutors may be famous

A quick google search of some of your lecturers and tutors (come on, we’ve all done it) will reveal a treasure trove of secrets.

Constitutional BAE Tom Mullen appearing on BBC news was a highlight. And we’re forever grateful for tutor (and singer-songwriter) Roddy Hart gracing us with his presence. Yes, really.

Yep, the guy in the middle is a Law tutor

You will love it and hate it equal amounts.

Yes, while everyone hates staying up til 5am the night before finishing your constitutional essay or moot preparation, it’s pretty damn satisfying when all that hard work pays off.

You’re in the same boat as most of your classmates, which results in some top notch bonding and making friends for life.

Despite all the blood, sweat, and tears, you wouldn’t change your degree for the world.