Morgan Davidson- LLB (Hons) Law

Having grown up in a deprived area in a low-income family, Morgan (23) describes her astonishment, disbelief and immense pride at being awarded a 2.1 (Hons) Degree in Law. As the first person in her family to go to University, Morgan, says never in her wildest dreams, did she think she’d graduate. She attributes her success to hard work, determination and a wonderful experience at RGU.

Whilst at Torry Academy, Morgan (23), was taken under the wing of a programme called ASPIRENorth. The programme helps pupils who have the capabilities to excel and progress into higher education and expand their opportunities and horizons. The programme also gives secondary school pupils general skills and takes them to universities for taster sessions and day trips.

“Without ASPIRENorth’s assistance, I highly doubt I would have considered higher education. Their intervention at S3 allowed me to realise that higher education was what I wanted to pursue once I left academy.”

Morgan didn’t have the Higher grades to access University straight away however she obtained the grades necessary to access the HND Legal Studies course at the North East Scotland College (NESCol). This provided a steppingstone and direct entry into a 3rd year Law and Management Course at the RGU Law School after being attracted to the wealth and variety of modules. From here, it was clear to Morgan that her ultimate goal was to pursue a career as a lawyer, and it was at this stage she transferred onto the LLB Law Course.

“The journey of my studies, itself is very interesting. The traditional way of going to University was to obtain grades at secondary school. The route I followed however, was arguably non-traditional. It was a relatively fresh concept that you could leave secondary and complete a 2-year HND at college which would allow you to gain access to a degree in 3rd year. This was an absolute game changer.

“Some might think that by not having the immediate grades for University when you leave school, that you’re a bit of a failure and that it would be difficult to achieve and progress. Now, those attitudes have completely changed.

"Personally, I believe my HND was a great steppingstone to support my personal and academic growth. It’s increased my wealth of knowledge, understanding, skills and personality traits, but at my own pace.  

“It has been small steps at a time but that’s exactly what I needed, even if I didn’t know it at the time. My unintentional study path has given me the opportunity to achieve and become the person I am today.”

Morgan was attracted to the variety of modules and the hybrid mix of teaching methods at the Law School at RGU. It was during her time at RGU her career ambitions were clarified and her determination to pursue a law career grew.

Reflecting on her experience at RGU throughout the pandemic, Morgan says, “It truly takes a special person to push themselves to study at University at the best of times. Throughout the pandemic, it was a tough. A lot more was required of students mentally. There were times when I convinced myself I’d be lucky to see the end of a semester. You’re isolated, with only an email to discuss with your lecturers, and even then, a lot of students were seeking help which added pressure to the lecturer’s role. Things were so uncertain; I was made redundant and unsure how to survive in day-to-day life and strive in my academic life.

“Through all of that however, it was the belief and dedication I had in myself, and with the support of all my peers, to push on, push through, and ensure that we were able to provide the same quality of work and learning as if we were on campus. Study groups were formed, weekly quizzes took place and there was more teamwork. All of this may not have happened if we were on campus. And so, the pandemic led to pros and cons for learning but it definitely pushed students to be independent, step outside their comfort zones and excel.”

Morgan says she’s benefitted from the support services at RGU, “Towards the end of my degree, I sought help from the student Study Support Service. They were fantastic in assisting with my dissertation. Whether it be pointing me in the right direction, helping me with my analysis or a second pair of eyes to read over a paragraph, all their advice and help was greatly appreciated. I wish I had used their services earlier on in my studies.”

Looking back on her time at RGU, Morgan says the whole law course has been an absolute highlight! “The teaching methods of all lecturers I crossed paths with varied so students could learn in their own way. The lecturers were very understanding and open to new ways to improve and make their lessons more fun and interactive for all included.

“The variety of practical and theory-based learning for the LLB has also been extremely useful. I don’t think I would have learnt half as much if it was theory based only. The mix allows for a well-rounded student.”

“My law placement was great and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do this. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to study abroad as I was a direct entry student, which was disappointing. I would have taken this opportunity with both hands if it had been given to me. Perhaps this is food for thought for future years to improve the overall experience?”

Now that Morgan is almost finished her degree, she has applied for her Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at RGU and once she’s completed this, wants to pursue a career as a lawyer. In the meantime, she is working at Pinsent Masons Law Firm in Aberdeen to support herself through her studies and to continue to progress her learning and understanding in a professional legal environment.

As to anyone considering University, Morgan says: “Believe in yourself and anything is possible. And when you think it simply feels overwhelming, take it one step at a time”.

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