Harriet Dare

The research and analytical skills GDL student Harriet Dare developed in her History & Politics degree have been very useful on this demanding course.


Name: Harriet Dare

Undergraduate University: University of Liverpool

Undergraduate Degree: History & Politics

Why did you decide to do the GDL? I had thought about pursuing a career in law after work experience which I undertook when I was 16 years old, and after finishing my degree the GDL seemed like the next logical step in achieving my goal.

I also felt the skills I had developed during my studies in History & Politics could be further enhanced by the GDL. Whilst studying history I developed my research skills, ability to think analytically, my capacity to think creatively about a wide range of ideas and concepts, and my problem solving ability, all of which I felt lended itself to a future career in law.

Why College of Law? Whilst I was at university, representatives of the College of Law came and gave a talk on studying the GDL. It was a very practical workshop and we were each given a problem to work through, similar to those given on the GDL. I enjoyed the talk, and the practical method of learning stood out to me. It was this talk which swayed me towards the College of Law and after doing some further research into the other law schools which offered the GDL, and looking into the layout of the courses, it was clear that the College of Law had an excellent reputation so I applied for the GDL, and luckily got a place.

Why did you choose Bloomsbury to study in? Location was very important to me, and Bloomsbury is very central, and close to the commercial hub of London. I live just outside London, so studying at Bloomsbury meant I could live at home and commute in during the week. The fast-paced London life really appealed to me so Bloomsbury was the obvious choice.

Do you have a training contract/pupillage lined up? No not yet, but I am busy doing applications at the moment and am hopeful for the future.

How are you funding the course? After finishing my degree I took a year out where I worked full time as a sales consultant in order to save the money to fund the GDL, and I have been using my savings to fund the course.

How does the GDL differ from your degree? Has it been a steep learning curve? The GDL is very different from my degree. To start with there are a lot more contact hours, and the way in which you learn is completely different. It is a more practical problem based learning approach, whereas at university my studies were more theoretical. There are some similarities, my degree was very heavily research based and analytical and those skills have been useful during my time on the GDL. It is a steep learning curve but it is worth all the hard work involved.

What is the social life like? The social side of this course is quite different from university. There is a lot of work to do in preparation for the week, as well as coursework and applications, and my fellow students tend to be more focused on their studies. However, there is still plenty of time to socialise outside of class, especially on Fridays after the last workshop of the week when we all hit the pub around the corner from college.

What about pastoral care, such as the careers service? The careers service at College of Law has provided exceptional support. They organise numerous talks and events, as well as holding C.V and application workshops. It is all geared towards helping the students gain the information and skills necessary to obtain a training contract or pupillage and to forge a successful career in law.

What top tip would you give to someone who is considering applying for the GDL? The best advice I can give to anyone applying for the GDL is to do your research on each of the law schools. The course is expensive and you will be spending two years and a lot of time wherever you choose to go, so make sure you pick the right place.