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student experiences

student experiences

Erin Tschiderer

Works at the Crown Prosecution Service and passed SQE1 with the College, studying the LLM in Legal Practice (inc SQE1 & SQE2) 

Hi, I’m Erin and I’m a qualified teacher but  recently decided to make the move to work in law, so I currently work in the Crown Prosecution Service. I'm currently studying the College's LLM programme part-time and I've sat and passed the SQE1 assessment. Currently, I'm studying for the SQE2.


Why did you choose to study with The College of Legal Practice?

There were a number of reasons! One of the biggest was the ability to study remotely. I work full-time and the idea of attending campus after work or on weekends in central London would have been incredibly mentally taxing for me. Preparing with the College allowed me to study at my own pace, which suited my learning style and schedule.

Cost was also a significant factor - since I already had a postgraduate qualification, I couldn't access government loans or bursaries, so the affordability when self-funding was crucial for me. Considering my full-time job, part-time studies were the only realistic option I had, so these were the main reasons I started looking into the College. 

Prior to making the decision to commit to the College as a provider, I attempted some of their practice MCQs online. I quickly realised you couldn’t answer these simply by using logic, or your previous knowledge of the law. I didn’t know what I was looking at, or how to approach the questions. It became immediately clear to me that you can’t simply walk your way through them, it’s a skill and you have to be taught that skill. The College’s provision of MCQs was a huge deciding factor and a “wow” moment for me! 


What have you enjoyed about the programme so far?

The SQE1 prep manuals! They saved me so much stress and the hassle of having to source my own materials and then wondering if I was buying the right materials or textbooks. Before joining, I looked at purchasing books or materials but I was always thinking, “Is this going to be relevant?” “Is this chapter helpful?”, “Do I really need this?” - you know? So, I would say, it really took a lot of the guesswork out of what I am meant to be reading. With the College’s SQE1 prep course, everything I needed was in the manuals. It was sent to me in huge boxes - three ring binders, and I could take sections of them out with me. They were also provided to me online in PDF form, so I could read it from my computer if I wanted, giving me the flexibility of choice with whatever study method I preferred.


What was the individual support like for you?

All of the tutors were fantastic! I have Anita for Family Law and she was fantastic. I currently work nights, and at one point I had an overnight shift until 5am. If I had a supervision meeting with Anita at 9am, she would be really understanding and offer to rearrange or provide written feedback instead. It’s been a gift working nights and having the flexibility of when I can figure things out, and Anita has been really flexible in the feedback and how I have received it. Sarah was my personal tutor for SQE1 and was also really fantastic. Again, really flexible about time, making time for me and simply going above and beyond.

In addition to the individual support, the student services team’s support was brilliant, and the liaison that the College did with me between myself and the SRA to get reasonable adjustments put in was really fantastic. For someone who has never had reasonable adjustments before or requested them, I probably wouldn't have done it if the College hadn't supported me in doing it. I would have sort of just let it bypass me and miss the deadline. Ultimately, without the reasonable adjustments, I don't think that I would have been able to take the SQE, and I don't think that I would have been able to pass, so that support was amazing. 


As someone who is neurodiverse, do you have any reflections on the College’s learning that you’d like to share?

Of course, I can’t speak for everyone, but from my perspective, the materials were really accessible. I had them both physically and digitally, the videos also came with transcripts, and so having all of these things helped me. I know that I personally learn a lot auditorily rather than reading, so I recorded the audio of all of the videos for each of the modules back-to-back and then I would listen to them on repeat over and over and over again. You really can take the materials and find ways to make them work for you. Also, being able to do it in your own time, at your own pace and in your own space, I think, is probably very helpful. 


Have you got any tips for students looking at taking the SQE prep?

Time management is really important. When no one is holding you accountable, it can be easy to lose track of where you’re up to, so it’s important to remember the end goal.

My advice would be to make a schedule and stick to it. I followed the timetable that was given by the College, but I always ensured that I was a week ahead, because I knew something will eventually come up! It was only after I'd done all of it and started revising for the assessment that I realised things actually started to fall into place, and how the units connected to one another. The flexibility of the course is great, but you have to be self-disciplined. Sometimes 20 weeks doesn’t feel like 20 weeks - it might seem like such a long period of time, but it flies by and there's so much that you need to get through in that time.


"I know I can’t speak for everyone, but from my perspective, as someone with dyslexia and ADHD, the format of the materials was really accessible. The manuals were available digitally and physically, and the video content came with transcripts. You could really take the materials and find ways to make them work for you." - Erin Tschiderer, LLM student.