How volunteering and mentoring has given me focus for my future

Recent MA in Law graduate, Tanzeem Basha spoke to us recently about her experience of choosing to study law, how she found studying in Bristol and the opportunities to gain real-life experiences of law, particularly in the area of social justice. 

Tanzeem Basha graduation

Why did you choose Bristol to study the MA in Law course 

I wanted to study in a world-class university and Bristol was one of the top 10 universities in the UK – that’s why I chose Bristol. I also wanted to study in a place that had it’s roots in law and I couldn’t find a place better than Bristol.  

I didn’t want to do a one-year GDL and I was looking at courses that could offer a well-rounded structure to give me the core legal skills that I required to become a successful lawyer in the future. That’s when I came across the MA in Bristol and Bristol is one of the very few universities that offer this course..  

How did the optional units help shape your degree?  

There are a lot of options available in the MA course. I was quite confused as to what I wanted to choose because I wanted to study everything, but I chose corporate governance in the US and UK. I think that is really helpful for me and for my career because I want to become a commercial lawyer and in a city law firm. They expect you to know some corporate law and I think Bristol has given me that.  

You were able to work in the Freedom Law Clinic during your second year – how did you find this opportunity? 

In the Freedom Law Clinic, we got to advise people who were convicted of serious criminal offences. My client was convicted of murder and we had to find new grounds of appeal, analyse new evidence and make his case stronger when applying to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. That was a really good opportunity for me because I got to do real work and I got hands-on legal experience. 


What mentoring schemes were you involved in and how did they help your career planning?

I participated in the Law School Professional Mentoring scheme in my second year. I had a mentor from a city law firm, in a corporate team, which is the direction I wanted to go into. Over seven months we had one-to-one meetings and he told me where I had to improve, how I had to navigate my career, how to successfully get into a city law firm be it training contract applications or even the slightest doubts that I had he made sure that I understood what I was getting into. Personally, I also got to know what kind of work law firms do, what kind of cases they take up and how I would fit in this whole area – that was really good.

How has studying here shaped your future ambition/what you want to do?

Studying at Bristol has navigated me in the right direction. I knew I wanted to do law but then I was confused – even though I wanted to do commercial law, there’s so many aspects of commercial law that you’d want to go into – and Bristol led me in the right direction by giving me opportunities for example the mentoring scheme taught me what I actually want to do in my future.  

What would you say to someone considering studying law here?

As an international student, I think Law as a subject can be really intimidating and then you’re moving countries, the education system is completely different but I think there’s a lot of support available be it from the academic staff or the Law School Careers Service. There’s always support and I think you should make the most of your time in Bristol – there’s no better place to study law. 

Find out more

Don’t forget to read the full Volunteering Week blog series to find out more about the options for gaining real-life experiences of law, in social justice and beyond, whilst studying at the Law School. Find out more about our Law Clinic work and careers opportunities on our webpages.

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