Law school: studying for the GDL at Kaplan

Student Tom West on studying for his Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at Kaplan Law School

Student Tom West on how he came to study for his Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at Kaplan Law School, how he's finding the course, and his advice for other students interested in a career in commercial law.

Why did you choose Kaplan?

I studied history and politics at the University of Southampton and I decided I wanted to become a lawyer in my second year there.

I chose Kaplan because I really liked the location, size and the careers service. When you arrive they overhaul your CV and really help pinpoint the areas you need to improve on - it's a great service.

After studying at two large universities for four years, the idea of a small, friendly place appealed to me as it felt more personal.

What was it like studying there?

My GDL at Kaplan started in September, which was great because you need as much time as possible!

There's a mix of students on the course, including some mature students, although most have just come straight from their undergraduate degrees.

They're a great help as we all feel as if we're in the same boat - there's a real camaraderie.

I've set up a commercial awareness group where we've talked about development issues, emerging markets, and the oil and energy industry, which helped me secure my training contract at Clyde & Co, who are experts in trade and shipping law.

Any advice for future law students?

I found that the course structure worked well for me. Everything was learnt on a ramping scale, so each week got slightly more advanced and you never felt too overwhelmed.

If I could go back and give myself any advice, it would be to consolidate every note you take during the year into one-line principles.

The GDL culminates with seven three-hour exams and you'll find that when you're trying to deal with twenty subjects and each subject has twenty units and you have three days to revise it all, you'll appreciate having concise notes!