Justin Leslie

Graduate Diploma in Law

Justin Leslie

Brookes provided additional sessions in Public Law which gave me the opportunity to take the subject further

Before coming to Oxford Brookes, I studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Durham University.

I was attracted by the challenge of the Brookes GDL where there is a more academic approach rather than being simply taught for the exam. This allows a greater depth of understanding than elsewhere and whilst the year is challenging it is also highly rewarding.

Amongst the subjects I studied, I found myself particularly interested in Public Law as it touches on areas of politics and philosophy. Brookes provided additional sessions in Public Law which gave me the opportunity to take the subject further. We were able to explore fascinating legal issues in detail and develop our own perspectives towards the subject. These sessions allowed me to find my 'voice' in the subject which was very satisfying.

Brookes runs a variety of skills-based competitions and I took part in both the mooting and client interviewing competitions, essential skills for budding lawyers. There are also great pro bono opportunities and I have been involved with both the Innocence and Human Rights Teaching Projects. As well as looking great on a C.V., these projects have allowed me to apply my classroom knowledge to real life situations.

On the GDL there is a strong sense of solidarity between the students since the trials and tribulations are shared. Everyone finds a difficulty at some stage but being able to call on your newly made friends makes a real difference. One of the best things about being a student at Brookes is that it is a complete and student-centred experience. There are great library resources that are accessible off-campus, there are good sport facilities for casual sportsmen such as myself and an excellent bus service.

Oxford shares a student-orientated ethos with other university towns such as Durham where I had been an undergraduate. Whether visiting a quirky bar in Jericho or taking part in the May Day celebrations, Oxford has a tangible 'buzz' which is very exciting.

My interest in Public Law has been fostered to such an extent that next year I plan to take it to Masters level. Ultimately, my ambition is to become a barrister and I would hope to practice in this area.