Saturday, November 3, 2012

SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE LLB PROGRAMME – MY STRATEGY

It is with great pleasure and personal sense of achievement that I write to inform the visitors to this site that I have successfully completed the LLB Programme of the prestigious University of London. I must confess it has been a very rigorous, demanding but excitingly rewarding academic experience. To demonstrate the quality of the academic progamme you are privileged to be pursuing, I have already been offered a provisional admission by the Nottingham Trent University, UK for LLM in Public International Law, LLM Corporate Law and MBA even when I am yet to physically collect my Certificate from the University. This says a whole lot of the reputable of the University of London. Will I or take up the offers or not? I am still considering my options.

I took the decision to share my experience to encourage others. This is because Distance learning could be quite frustrating and discouraging sometimes. The difficulty is more pronounced for those studying Law. This is because Law is interactive and you learn a lot from interacting, arguing points of law and discussing with fellow students. This important aspect of legal studies is not available to those studying by distance learning. To succeed you need to able to motivate yourself. I was able to overcome this challenge because I work with about 15 lawyers in the legal department of a government establishment. The discussions I had with my colleagues served as barometer for measuring my progress. Try to work with a study group among fellow students. Where this is not possible, look for friends or family members to discuss your essays and the legal issues as you come across them. For example you can discuss "Consideration" in Element of Laws of Contracts. If you are able to pass your message across you will learn a lot through this process. I understand the challenge of most students because throughout the duration of my programme I was working full time. If you have other commitments, your best route to the LLB is Scheme A & B.  I will only advise any student to take the Graduate Route if he or she is prepared to study full time in a College affiliated to the University of London.

What I did was to download the electronic copies of all the Study Materials on my Laptop. I used my spare times (break time, staying back in the office for a few hours every day) some few hours in the weekends and public holidays to read the materials. If I was able to read a page, I made sure that I summarised it. I also developed a 'Virtual Notebook' i.e. I opened a BlogSpot where I typed my notes. Whenever I read any study materials on VLE or read textbooks, I summarised the materials and posted them on my BlogSpot. That way if I was to read for only 15 minutes, the effort will not be wasted because I would have posted on my BlogSpot. This allowed me to have access to my materials even when I travel anywhere in the world. I can also update the BlogSpot anywhere there is an internet access. For example if I read some books in a library and there is internet facility, it is possible for me to summarise the important points on my "Virtual Notebook" before leaving the library. Furthermore, let me share the following tips with you:

1. It is essential to read all the Materials that are provided for each course. In fact, all the tools you required to succeed in the various subjects are contained in the materials provided by the University. I am afraid there is no "short route”

2. Summarise every chapter of the subject guide in an essay form.

3. The essays should contain the legal principles and authorities cases and statutes) for the legal issues addressed in each chapter.

4. The length of each essay depends on the complexity of the legal issues but I restricted the length of each essay to a maximum of 5-6 pages of typewritten documents. I further summarised these essays into what I called “exam essays” which are a maximum of two pages each. This is important because during examinations you will have a limited time to pass your case across.

5. For the cases, I adopted a strategy I learnt in my first year when I attended the revision programme organised by Cambridge University for University of London LLB Students. The strategy is simple, summarise every case you read, in your own words, into a single paragraph capturing the facts, the legal principles and the decision on the court.

6. Attempt all the activities and sample examination in the subject guide. Write your answers down and type them out. This will provide useful insights into the important issues and what the examiners are looking for.

7. Read the Examiners’ Reports and answer all the examination questions for at least 3-4 years before you write the examination for each subject. Type your answers. Through this you will be able to separate the main legal issues and important cases from the less important ones. You will also realize that the questions are similar, but they are address different angles of the legal issues. Ability to identify the legal issues when looking at examination questions is the difference between success and failure. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR PREPARATION BECAUSE YOU WILL ONLY BE JUDGE ON YOUR PERFORMANCE IN THE EXAMINATION.

8. The summary in 1)-3) above will provide excellent materials when you are preparing for examinations. Whatever you cannot understand from your summarised essays, you can go back to the materials to read them further for better understanding.

9. Typing your answers will serve two objectives. Firstly, it will provide an opportunity to review your notes while typing them. Secondly, you will be able to amend, delete, add or expand your points when preparing for examinations.

10. Finally, visit the VLE on a regular if not a daily basis. From experience, you will learn a lot from visiting the “Discussion Forum” for each subject

It is not compulsory that you should follow all the above tips. Pick the ones that you find useful and include whatever you consider best for your peculiar situation. You can even talk to others.

These notes served as excellent materials for my revisions. I repeat these are rough notes, I intend to use them as reference materials for research purposes in future. I must however confess I was not able to update it while preparing for my final exams due to pressure of work at the time. In fact, I have not visited the site for a long time. Most of the materials for my final years are on my laptop. When I was pursuing the LLB I did not share the site with anybody. Unknowing to me, several LLB students discovered the site through search engines and have been visiting the site and recommending it to others. I have some of the better materials on my laptop. Now that I have completed the programme, I will be posting the new materials on the Blog. I will also be cleaning up some of the rough notes and improving the qualities of the legal issues address. That notwithstanding, I believe you will find some of the materials on the BlogSpot useful. YOU WILL HOWEVER GET IMMENSE REWARD IF YOU CAN DEVELOP SIMILAR NOTES ON YOUR OWN.

E-mails: afuwape2001@yahoo.com diamondstrategiks@gmail.com Twitter: @olatundeafuwape  

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