By Rosie Sharkey, Schools Liaison Assistant, Trinity College
Trinity College welcomed forty-three Year 12 students for a Law Residential Open Day on 3rd-4th July.
Participants came from thirty-two different schools across the country, and over a third of the visiting students had no parental tradition of continuing to higher education. All were high-achieving students with excellent GCSE results and were predicted to achieve the grades needed to apply to competitive universities such as Cambridge. Many were already committed to studying Law at university, while others were new to the subject and hoped that the experience of intense study sessions with Law academics and students at Trinity would help them decide whether Law was for them.
Matt Dyson, who led the Law Residential, threw participants in at the deep end with a session on ’Feral Wrongdoers’. Introducing the concept of tort law through a scenario involving a kleptomaniac cat, Dyson encouraged participants to examine the statutory material (the Animals Act 1971) and debate the issues.
Alice, from Brockenhurst College, commented that: ’it fascinated me that such a small, insignificant issue could involve such complex laws.’
For many participants it was their first encounter with reading statutes, and the experience of university-style teaching was also new and exciting: Ruby, from Aylesbury High, said: ’it was the closest experience I’ve ever had to a real lecture and it was really interesting and thought provoking.’ Fahmida, from Bushey Meads School, thought this session ’gave a real insight on what to expect during university lessons at Cambridge.’
After lunch, Trinity Law fellows Catherine Barnard, Sarah Worthington and Ms. Louise Merrett joined the group and discussed their experiences of working in varied fields of the Law. Lindi, from Hills Road Sixth Form College, said that her favourite part of the day was ’listening to the fellows talk about their area of specialism and their pieces of advice’ for aspiring applicants.
The group then debated the law on criminal damage and drafted their own statute by working from first principles. James, from Sheringham High School, commented that: ’although both sessions were challenging at first, by the end I felt that I had not only gone through a process of understanding for each topic, but widened my general knowledge of how the law works’.