Alumnus: Conor McLaughlin
Conor McLaughlin studied the BA in Law with Law Studies in Europe and graduated from the University of Oxford in 2013. He will begin pupillage at Erskine Chambers in October 2017.
What have you been doing since graduation?
After graduation in 2013, I spent a year in the Stiftung Maximilianeum in Munich, studying for an LLM and working for Professor Horst Eidenmüller (now the Freshfields Professor of Commercial Law at Oxford). I then worked as a research assistant at the Law Commission on a project concerning the protection of consumer prepayments – such as deposits and gift vouchers – on retailer insolvency, before completing the BPTC and teaching contract and tort law at King’s College London. I have just finished a six-month internship at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in the chambers of Judge Vajda and Advocate-General Sharpston, which was a great experience.
What aspects of your law degree have proved to be the most useful in your career so far?
Studying law at Oxford offered a lot more than an understanding of the subjects I studied as part of my law degree. It also taught me a lot of important skills that will never stop being useful: weekly reading lists teach you how to get through a large amount of information in a short space of time; having to produce essays regularly for tutorials provides good practice for writing and improves your ability to make reasoned arguments; and leaving everything until the last minute helps you deal with crises. As for the law: many legal disputes in practice revolve around principles of contract and tort law, and I am especially glad to have received a solid grounding in these two subjects during my degree.
What did you most enjoy about your degree?
Studying law at Oxford was (hectic, intense) fun, but I enjoyed the challenge of struggling to understand things (and then wondering why it took so long). There are a lot of mooting opportunities, and I think these are worth getting involved in even if you don’t want to go to the Bar. As I did the Law with French Law programme, I was able to study for a degree in French law during my third year and enjoyed my time in Paris.
Who was the biggest influence on you when you studied here?
Jeff King, who is now Professor of Law at UCL, was my constitutional and administrative law tutor, as well as my personal tutor at Balliol. He was an excellent tutor and extremely encouraging and supportive during my time as an undergraduate - and beyond!
What was the best thing about your time at Oxford?
Making wonderful friends during my time as an undergraduate. While some of them studied law, one of the biggest advantages of Oxford is how many people studying different subjects you can meet. I am lucky to have friends who studied other subjects and who have ended up doing wildly different things from me.