Derrina Jebb

Derrina Jebb has had to say goodbye to a social life while studying for the Graduate Diploma in Law.


Name: Derrina Jebb

Undergraduate University: University of Birmingham

Undergraduate Degree: English Literature BA

Why did you decide to do the GDL? I decided to do the Graduate Diploma in Law, because although I had considered studying Law at 18, I thought I would use my undergraduate degree to study a subject I loved. Also I thought I would get some good legal work experience to ensure I knew exactly what I was letting myself in for. After speaking to a lot of graduate recruiters for law firms, it is assuring to know that almost half of their recruits did not study law as their first degree.

Why BPP? While I was at university, I was part of a society where I had been in contact and organised events with BPP and I found their approach to learning really refreshing. They are very flexible and offer a range of different timetables to suit your individual need and I found the ease of catching up with online lectures really useful, especially when there are days where it is easier to study from home. I also find their ease of access to online and downloadable textbooks incredibly helpful and is great for facilitating commuting time, without the weight of lugging textbooks around.

Why did you choose Waterloo to study in? I moved back home to North London after University and Waterloo is both a convenient commute and has great facilities and careers events going on.

Do you have a training contract lined up? No, I am applying to start training in 2015.

How are you funding the course? I am taking a loan from the bank of Mum & Dad and when I can, I work a part-time job. I am lucky enough to be in a position where my parents could offer to help me out this year.

How does the GDL differ from your degree? Has it been a steep learning curve? It is completely different from my degree in English Literature, which being an arts degree required a great deal of motivation to do self-study outside of the four taught hours a week. In some ways, the GDL is easier in that I am constantly busy and there is no time to ever get bored with a topic as every week we cover a vast range of subjects. It does require a new mindset, being that I treat the course more like a 9-to-6 job in order to ensure that I maintain focus and keep on top of all the seminar work. I find that the application of the law in tutorials is always so interesting that I enjoy preparing for them. Ultimately, my perspective has altered from the mindset of a student to treating the course like an actual job.

What is the social life like? What social life? Truthfully, I don’t go out half as much as I did at university, but I find that if I really maintain focus during the week, I am able to relax at the weekends. I get on well with my tutorial group and we go out for lunch and drinks every so often.

What top tip would you give to someone who is considering applying for the GDL? Really ensure that the GDL is definitely the path you want to take; it’s a very intense year which requires both your time and financial investment, so it’s really important that you’re sure you have enough of a legal interest and desire the enter the profession. That being said, I don’t regret doing the GDL at all, it is hard work but incredibly interesting and I’m really glad I chose to study at BPP.