Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) graduate
Robert Newton studied the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at The University of Law (ULaw)'s Bristol centre
Why did you choose postgraduate study in law?
I decided to pursue law while working as a police officer, another occupation where you can gain a real insight into every level of society.
I felt that the legal profession would provide me with the opportunity to develop expertise. It's a very dynamic sector; not just in the sense of changes to the law, but also the modern demand that the profession adapts to its clients' commercial needs.
How did you fund the course?
I won a Law First scholarship worth £5,000, one of the many merit-based awards available to ULaw students who are starting a GDL, Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).
This gave me great impetus to focus on my studies while easing some of the financial burden. It really helped me to get ahead in the legal profession.
What are your plans now that you've graduated?
I aim to hone my business skills, and become a partner or specialist in a law firm. I'm also looking to work abroad, and gain exposure to a greater number of global law practices and markets.
What are the benefits of postgraduate study?
Law develops several key transferable skills, such as learning to be inquisitive, analytical and systematic, and presenting your view and arguments succinctly and cohesively. These abilities are particularly crucial if you're looking to work in a commercial environment, while they also give you a much broader outlook on life.
What advice would you give to those considering the programme?
Be absolutely sure that law is for you. Law is intensive and ever-changing, but the satisfaction of meeting these challenges is what makes it a great career.
The legal profession is also highly competitive, and legal firms and chambers seek out only the best candidates. Show a real commitment to the profession by undertaking pro bono work and volunteering in your local community. This is where you learn the all-important skills to become a great lawyer.