|I studied undergraduate law at Trinity College, Cambridge between 1991 and 1994 and look back with great fondness and gratitude for the wonderful three years that I spent there. I am now a barrister specialising in international commercial litigation at Essex Court Chambers in London.
When I first thought of applying there, being of Indian origin and having not gone to a public school, I was somewhat intimidated and concerned by its formidable reputation and the sort of environment I might find myself in if successful. How wrong I was.
Trinity College has a tremendously diverse student body from many differed backgrounds and many different cultures, including many international students (perhaps more so than any other college because it has the international reputation and financial means to fund such students). As for social life, I can think of few places which can boast such a varied range of opportunities in which to indulge one’s every social and sporting whim.
On an academic level, I found that the legal department at Trinity focuses on personal development, encouraging students really to make independent decisions and think for themselves rather than spoon-feeding. I personally will never forget the opening gambit of my law professor during my first supervision when he said words to the effect that he was not here simply to teach us to pass the Tripos exams but that he was interested in developing our ability to think and our analytical skills. Such an approach can potentially be off-putting to an 18-year-old student leaving school, but on the basis of my own experiences I have no doubt that it provides immeasurable benefits in the long term in making the transition to professional life and developing the clarity of reasoning and confidence needed.
I would also emphasise the fact that Trinity has the financial means to assist its students during their time at Trinity and beyond. A number of law students including myself were generously provided scholarships to pursue our legal studies at universities in the United States, going on to practice law in America for a period of time before returning to our respective home countries. I have no doubt that we all benefited from such experiences.
Perhaps the best thing of all is the fact that like so many others, I had the opportunity to develop enduring friendships from which even today I draw inspiration and strength.
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