Caroline Greenfield

Hometown & Region: London, Wandsworth

Degree: Law

A levels: English Literature, History, Maths, Ancient Greek, Critical Thinking

When I’m not working I’m…

…Trying to cram in as much of what Oxford has to offer besides a degree. Mixed Uni Lacrosse, Oxford Lawyers Without Borders, College choir, a hotchpot of college ‘sports’ and trying to prevent student newspapers from being sued. Another pastime of preference is meeting people at random events e.g. The International Roman Law moot or an OxHUB house party. I like to dance whenever vaguely socially acceptable. There are also lots of pretty places to hang out with friends so that too.

What made you choose to study at Brasenose and/or Oxford?

A very organised friend was applying to Brasenose so I supposed she had good reasons for applying and followed suit. Re: Oxford, I was in denial about having to go to University in general so my mother dragged me around Oxford and Cambridge and Oxford was definitely better. On reflection, though, there are hundreds of reasons for applying to Brasenose (see rest of brochure.) Law pros include: a solid intake of 10 a year – big in comparison to other colleges and the Stallybrass memorial library which is not only beautiful but also a good place to learn what not to write in your essays from older years.

Is life in Oxford different to what you expected it to be?

I’m bad at premeditating so didn’t think much though I do remember hearing ‘it’s a lot of work’ and not really thinking about what that meant. If anything, I was surprised at how much time there still was for everything else. There is not a lot of compulsory contact time for law so you can be flexible fitting things in your schedule. That said the lectures are fab and like ones you see in films with University scenes so that marred up nicely with expectation.

The number (though perhaps not quality) of clubs exceeded expectation and I wasn’t conspicuously less clever than everyone else, another fear. Probably because Oxford, like all other Universities, is full of people from all over, not really sure about what they want to do but a bit sure they want to study something for 3-4 years while enjoying a middle ground between home and the ‘real’ world.

What do you like most about studying in Brasenose?

In general, Brasenose is a great study environment because when you walk into the quad or Gerties or Hall you can have a conversation with pretty much anyone about anything other than your work. (Though if you want to run a legal concept past a ‘layman’ people are also happy to join in while you enthuse about your subject.) It is friendly and relaxed and the support network is great. We are the ‘just right’ porridge bowl of Oxford colleges. Not too big (the tourist colleges are fun but not that homely), not too small; not too hot/stuffy (college sport is a good example of our all-inclusive, do your best/be a body on the pitch attitude to things), not ever cold (emotionally or temperature).

In law terms, as mentioned, the Stally is a big pro of studying at Brasenose. The college law society, The Ellesmere, has a couple of events a year so the law community is strong. Most importantly, we have fantastic tutors. When applying I thought it was presumptuous to the point of tempting fate to choose colleges based on who would teach you but do consider this when applying, or just cut to the chase and apply to Brasenose.

A quality you think is important for someone looking to study at Oxford?

You have to be able to sit down and motivate yourself to do your work. Weekly essay deadlines actually make this much easier, I think, than Universities that have fewer deadlines because you can get into a rhythm. Enjoying your degree really helps here so pick something you think you like! Other than that I would struggle to find modal common traits among the wonderful people I have met here.

What are the perks of your degree?

Every 8 weeks you do something quite different – Admin law (lots of politics) is very different from trusts law (classical English private law, quite technical even mathematical at times), which is different from Jurisprudence (philosophy of law). This is refreshing. Ultimately, though, I like words and arguments, which are constant themes in a law degree. There is also scope for mooting (pretending to be a barrister) which is fun and good for public-speaking confidence levels.

I did not pick law wanting to go into practice and still have little idea of what will happen after Finals but the vocational potential is comforting at times (for my parents at least) and provides scope for vacation internships if you want to test the waters/pay for holidays.