Sarah Beattie is a diploma in professional legal practice student at the University of Dundee, having previously completed her Accelerated LLB in Scots Law at the University of Dundee
When I started the Diploma, I was somewhat apprehensive and nervous as I was unsure how much of a challenge this would be in comparison with the accelerated LLB course.
The Diploma at Dundee University started with an induction week which gave an insight into the teaching methods and the topics covered. It also provided an opportunity to meet the tutors that would be teaching on the Diploma.
In the induction week, we were given the opportunity to take part in a ‘Plea in Mitigation’ which is a procedure used in Criminal Procedure. Students were able to see this put in to practice by “real life” lawyers as well as having the opportunity to take part in a plea in mitigation themselves. I took part in this and really enjoyed putting theory into practice.
The structure of the DPLP is very “hands on” and allows for students to see what practising law is like. My favourite module so far, is Private Client. This module teaches students various aspects of the law which include, drafting wills, executry administration and a more in depth analysis of the law of succession. Through weekly assessment, my confidence was built up in regards to how to deal with clients in the event of a relative or loved one’s death.
Another module taught on the Diploma is that of Professional Practice. Although there are various elements to this module, client interviewing and ethics were some of the subjects that I really enjoyed. There are many ethical dilemmas for lawyers in today’s world. Through tutorials and lectures, this really challenged and developed my understanding and what procedures to follow in respect of the ethical dilemmas.
There is no getting away from the fact that the workload in the first semester is very fast paced. Having done the accelerated LLB prior to the Diploma, I was no stranger to a high workload. However, the Diploma is much more intensive and anyone considering undertaking the Diploma should be reassured that, although it is fast paced and hard work, dedication and commitment will get you through. I am now looking forward to the next part of my journey in semester two of the DPLP.