This program is amazing

Headshot of Lauren smiling in front of a brick building

As a Canadian, who had just completed a degree in Politics and Sociology, some wondered why I chose the LLB Single Honours degree program at Queen’s University Belfast but the choice was easy. I knew that I wanted to study law and to practice, not just in Canada but also internationally. Queen’s offered me a three-year program similar to a Canadian JD. With this degree, I can practice in the UK, and I can return to Canada. This program is amazing because it offers North Americans the opportunity to obtain a law degree as an undergrad, so the process is much quicker! Not only that, but the Queen’s School of Law ranked 8th overall in the UK in the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2013. 

From the moment I arrived, representatives from Queen’s made me feel welcome by meeting me at the airport and helping with accommodation. Further, I love being in the LLB program because the school provides constant, easy points of contact with a variety of people who can help us with our course. Each student has a personal tutor who they can visit at any time to discuss questions or concerns. Lecturers in general are open to meeting up. 

Queen’s also offers a huge variety of opportunities for internships and study abroad schemes that I have already been offered as a first-year student. I love how the school is genuinely concerned for their students’ immediate needs and future career aspirations. I would highly recommend the LLB Program at Queen’s to any international and especially North American student who is thinking about a future in law.

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Incredible opportunities

The modern architecture Belfast Titanic building

I completed my first year in the JD program on a very high note because of the incredible opportunities available at Queen’s and the support of the key staff members at the School of Law. On the academic side, I was awarded one of the Top Module Mark prizes.  Outside of my course work, I was able to participate in various extra-curricular activities.

Through the School of Law, I was able to participate in the Lincoln’s Inn Tour in London. By visiting one of the four Inns of Court has helped me understand the process of being ‘Called to the Bar’ in England and Wales.  Another great opportunity was being able to publish a report about Northern Ireland for the World Universities Comparative Law Project with Allen & Overy. This experience was truly invaluable in developing my commercial awareness in a different jurisdiction. Through these two very different experiences, I was able to learn more about what it takes to become a successful barrister and a commercial solicitor.

As a Queen’s student, there were many opportunities to get involved on campus. One society event that sharpened my advocacy skills was the Belfast Model United Nations Conference.  I was a delegate in the Human Rights Council representing the Republic of Albania. We dealt with discussing measures to eliminate gender based violence in all levels of education, including violence against the LGBTQI+ community. Another society event that was extremely rewarding was participating in Maynooth University's International Negotiations Competition as a member of the QUB Alternative Dispute Resolution Society and the UK chapter of the European Law Students' Association.  This competition was another opportunity to expand my commercial awareness and develop negotiation skills.

Another valuable experience was becoming involved in my local community.  In March 2016, I was trained as one of the Diversity Ambassadors with the QUB Student Union.  We were hosted by Corrymeela Community (Northern Ireland's oldest peace and reconciliation organisation) and the British Red Cross.  The training involved learning how to initiate diversity awareness and recruitment in clubs or societies on campus.  At the end of the two-day residential, we were able to identify gaps in the student experience and services on campus.  Our contribution was honoured at the Student Union Volunteering Excellency Awards in June 2016. Lastly, I also became an active member of ‘Lean In’ Belfast Chapter, which connects me with local professionals who continuously encourage me to “lean in” to my ambitions.

It is through all of these experiences that I was able to complete my first year in the JD program with a great deal of accomplishment and pride in my achievements.

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Excellent professors

View of campus building with lots of people walking in front

Looking back on the past year, I am genuinely amazed at the amount of opportunities and experiences that I have had thanks to the Juris Doctor programs at Queen's. 

After completing my first year of studies, I spent the summer back in Canada working for two separate law firms - one for three months, and another for a month. I was exposed to issues and files relating to labor law, family law, civil litigation, commercial litigation, insurance litigation and personal injury. I went to court for trials, attended commercial negotiations, took part in family mediation and watched a high-profile murder trial take place. 

I was able to put the skills that I gained in my first year of studies to practical use - as I found myself frequently working out of my textbooks and off of my first year notes during my summer work. It is remarkable how often the landmark cases come up in everyday private practice. 

Now that I am back for my second year, I am keeping myself very busy in a number of ways outside of the classroom. I am once again the Opinions section editor for the Queen's student newspaper - The Gown, I am a Junior Editor of the Norther Ireland Legal Quarterly, I am taking part in internal mooting competitions and finally - I volunteer once a week with a local charitable organization that works with anti-social youth. 

This has all been made possible, and supported significantly by the excellent professors and support staff within the JD program. The student to professor ratio within the classroom is remarkable for a program of this sort - and you would be hard pressed to find a more hands on relationship between students and staff at any law school in the world. While the amount of work is substantial, and we are held to a high academic standard - that is to be expected of a doctorate program. 

I am looking forward to another great year of studies here in Belfast, and I plan on going on an exchange next year for a semester, which is another incredible opportunity that the school helps to facilitate and provides unique opportunities for all students. 

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Queen's University Belfast - Study Canada Law from Abroad

Queen's University Belfast Law School Introduction

Join this 1 hour session with Queen’s University Belfast to discover the range of Law programmes available at this Russell Group University. Queen’s is one of the oldest Universities in the UK and Ireland and has a proud tradition of teaching law, dating from 1845. Meet with the Queen’s Belfast team and find out more about: 
​​​- the £20 million state-of-the-art Law School
- the UG and PG law programmes
- scholarships for Law programmes
- extra-curricular opportunities & societies for Law students
- student life in Belfast and Northern Ireland

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