Why Non-Legal Activities are Important for Law Students
According to 2019 findings from the Insurance Firm Protectivity, 63% of respondents active in the legal industry reported stress on a daily basis.
It is a well-known fact that the legal industry is a demanding and time-consuming one. Based on research produced by the Legal Cheek 2019, the average working time in London and UK law firms was a whopping 10 hours. The 9-5 working hours that are often depicted in shows and movies, like Suits is often false, along with a poor work-to-life balance ratio despite the attractive salary. It is vital to be actively engaging in extracurricular activities to boost your energy levels and productivity. I believe that such activities should slowly be incorporated into your lifestyle as early as first-year. I’ll describe in more detail below different extracurricular activities you can participate in!
The Brunel Law Society encourages participation from all Brunel law students on our first day of freshers week. They hold amazing workshops, such as Mooting and our very own Pro-Bono Clinic. Onto the non-legal activities, I would definitely encourage you to join other societies that speak to your interests and passions!
I am a huge book lover and therefore, I am part of the Book Society! Every month we meet to discuss a book voted on by the society and these can range from novels, graphic novels to manga. This could be a part of your non-legal extracurricular activity as well. Several key benefits of reading is it boosts your brain power, helps to add to your vocabulary and comprehension, which will then support your case law readings, studies and courseworks. Studying law means you are required to read massive textbooks, extra long case studies and judgements. Therefore, reading a book, articles, or even mangas are highly encouraged, as a fun way to develop a stress relieving habit. It’s a win-win!
University Sports Clubs
As said by Ian Hodges, University of Exeter’s Careers and Employability Manager, employers are looking for students and graduates who have a range of skills, personal qualities and experience, to contribute towards a workplace's productivity. Participating in non-legal activities throughout university will give you the chance to develop these by cultivating interests that can enrich your legal experience and profession. This is the best opportunity to have fun and make yourself more employable at the same time. Besides being part of social clubs organised around a shared interest, sports clubs are also a fantastic way to boost your skills and qualities to become more well-rounded!
There are many sports clubs available at Brunel, such as football, volleyball, badminton and even swimming! Despite current circumstances preventing us from joining such clubs, you can definitely form your own sport club with flat-mates or friends that are part of your social bubble, making use of Brunel’s quad space to get active and moving. Sports results in better sleep and productivity, a necessity for those of us waking up for 9 am lectures. Our mental health will continuously and gradually improve as we invest in our well-being.
Maintaining a low stress, part-time job during university enables you to be financially independent, whilst developing employment skills that are transferable to the legal industry. Examples of such skills could be time management, team-work, and leadership. Working in your local Starbucks store can help you develop a fast-paced work mindset.
The work possibilities available to students are endless and it is a great opportunity to expand your social circle by meeting people outside of your residence halls. You can apply to be a student worker in the Brunel Job Shop either online or in their office on campus.
There are many types of non-legal extra-curricular activities available to law students. I’ve simply mentioned a few along with their benefits. I strongly advise and recommend all law students to take part in non-legal activities to foster your creativity, and provide a balance between your professional/academic life and your personal life.
Sharon Rose Sooriyakumar, 1st Year Law Student, Communications Editor and Publisher