Posted Wednesday 17 August 2011
This time last year - like thousands of other sixth formers - Rabiyah Aboobaker was waiting nervously to find out her A level results. But Rabiyah was not one of those celebrating a few days later - she missed out on a place at her first choice university.
Rabiyah entered Clearing and decided to go to Kingston University to study international law. "It was important for me to stay in London and to do an accredited (LLB) degree," Rabiyah, from Streatham in south London, said. "International law appealed to me because it meant I could really keep my options open."
After settling on Kingston, Rabiyah was determined to make the most of her first year. "I've realised that a lot of opportunities have opened up for me that I might not have had if I'd gone to a different law school," she admitted. "I've been elected treasurer of the university law society and went to a great summer school."
Rabiyah managed to secure a place at the City Solicitors' Educational Trust Summer School. The trust was set up to try to expand the narrow range of backgrounds of entrants to the legal profession - particularly focussing on students at newer universities with no family experience of university education. Students undergo a rigorous selection process for the 100 places on offer.
The school runs for four days, during which time students get to meet solicitors from some of London's leading law firms. Rabiyah was also able to visit the offices of one firm, at 30 St Mary Axe, better known as The Gherkin.
Kingston's International Law LLB includes topics such as environmental protection, public international law, international trade and the free movement of goods, people and services. "Through the university law society, I try to keep informed about developments in the industry," Rabiyah said. "It's clear that these international subjects are becoming more and more important."
The 20 year old still hasn't decided which branch of law she wants to go into. "I'm keen to travel and the great thing about Kingston's International Law LLB is that it allows me to get out there and experience different types of law and different legal systems," she said.