I have wanted to be a lawyer since reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee at the age of 13. The Atticus Finch model of the moral lawyer was appealing to an idealistic and politically radical teenager, although I probably didn't really appreciate the novel's exploration of the compromise required to work within a horribly flawed system to achieve a just outcome until much later.
After many and varied "careers", marriage, two children and 30 years, I decided to see if the teenage dream was achievable. I am realistic enough to know that I may have left it too late to stand in a courtroom and argue for justice, but thus far into the academic stage I know that, even if I never get to be Atticus, I can (almost) believe that I could have been!
Studying with the OU hasn't always been easy. W224 was my sixth course since November 2009 and I started W300 in February this year, working full time throughout. An A level student recently explained the "study triangle" to me; good grades, good sleep and a good social life are not possible - at least one of them will suffer. For us "mature" students, the triangle often becomes a square (probably appropriate) with work, or a pentagon with family. My grades have been good and but I confess the other four points have suffered in turn, with sleep most often being the loser.
W224 was very much a compromise choice for me. I wanted to study law modules for my optional points and didn't fancy employment law (W221). I found the course interesting and challenging and I was blessed with the most fantastic tutor. She provided support and encouragement throughout and sometimes her feedback on my assignments was longer and more detailed than the assignment itself! I do consider myself to have been extremely lucky to encounter her at this point in my studies, although I have been impressed by my tutors in every course.
I have another year and a bit with the OU before the LLB is finished and what happens after that is still very much in the lap of the gods; however, I doubt that I will stop studying. My son has challenged me to undertake some rudimentary maths or physics, subjects he understands but which go right over my head: in an idle moment recently I found myself searching the OU website for suitable courses - the bug has definitely bitten!
The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
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