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Michael Linnane

Studying with The Open University has ended up having a profound and life-changing effect on my life and the life of my family.
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Mike, 46, is set on a change of career after a previous life working in financial services. 

“I suppose I first got interested in law when I was about 14 years old when I cheekily argued against some friends and I not being suspended after being caught off school grounds. I laid out the far-fetched but potential long-term repercussions of the suspension having a possible effect on our option subjects which in turn could affect our career paths and so on. Following my successful intervention, the Deputy Head asked me what I wanted to do for a career and told me very directly ‘Law, boy, law!’ I never did forget that advice and although the opportunities were not available to me leaving school, that belief, and my subsequent fascination with the law, constantly affected my life and character immensely. 

“I am naturally competitive, enjoy stimulated debate and often played devil’s advocate purely to entice discussion. For the next 20 years career and life got in the way but eventually in 2014, I finally took the plunge and decided to embark on a law degree. 

“I don’t really know what I expected; I wasn’t doing it to practise law or anything, it was more so that I was more up to date with the law than the next man was and if anything it was vocational, something that was on a virtual bucket list I guess. I also figured if it could help in my career, in financial services, then all the better. 

“What happened over the next three years studying with The Open University has ended up having a profound and life-changing effect on my life and the life of my family. It has enabled me to get involved in voluntary work with the Personal Support Unit in the Central Family Courts and the Royal Courts of Justice through the Open Justice programme; work that I find truly humbling and inspiring in equal measure. 

“I was also introduced to the great work that the Open University Law Society (OULS) does and I am grateful that through being a member, I have been able to participate in competitive mooting as well. I have been so taken with the OULS that I put myself up for election to the committee and am one of the current mooting co-ordinators, helping other students hone their advocacy skills. I would definitely recommend anyone doing the LLB to join and get involved with the OULS. Interacting with others in the same situation as you is invaluable and by being involved in mooting competitions really helps with research skills, developing arguments and introducing you, in depth, to areas of law that you might not otherwise get to experience. 

“I was over the moon to get awarded a First Class (Honours) degree in 2017; in order to obtain it I needed three out of three distinctions in my third year modules. I had taken this degree for vocational reasons but the more I got involved the more I knew that I wanted to change career, even at my age (46). All of my OU legal studies and experiences have left me in no doubt that I wish to be called to the Bar. At this stage in my life such a decision is not to be taken lightly and I make it because I am truly passionate about the law and The Open University really did relight the dampened taper. 

“I will always be grateful to The Open University, the Law School itself, the numerous tutors who put up with me and guided me, and not least my fellow students who pushed and pulled me across the finish line. I’m absolutely ecstatic and amazed to learn that I was top student on W302 – ‘Equity, Trusts and Land’; it really does top off a fantastic time I had doing the OU’s Bachelor of Laws LLB (Honours) undergraduate degree over the last three years.” 

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