Name: Luke Rostill
College: Wadham College (2007-2016)
Scholarship: 3 Verulam Buildings Scholarship
I read for the BCL in 2010-11 at Wadham College. Before that, I was an undergraduate law student at Wadham and, after completing the BCL, I stayed to do the MPhil and DPhil. I am currently an Associate Professor at the Oxford Law Faculty and a Tutorial Fellow at Trinity College. I teach property law and trusts to both undergraduate and graduate students and I carry out research in these areas too.
What impact did your scholarship have on you as a student and in your career?
It had a huge impact on my life and career: I would not have been able to do the BCL if I had not received financial support and, if I had not done the BCL, I would not have undertaken a research degree and I would not be employed by the Oxford Law Faculty today.
I undertook a mini-pupillage at 3 Verulam Buildings, which was very enjoyable and rewarding.
What aspects of your law degree have proved to be the most useful in your career so far?
As a legal academic, I am constantly drawing upon and utilising the knowledge, skills and abilities I acquired by virtue of studying for the BCL. It is difficult to identify which aspect of the degree was most useful but, if I had to choose, I would say it was the relentless focus in seminars and tutorials on critically analysing the law. My tutors taught me how to think critically about the law and legal reasoning and about practical reasoning more generally.
What did you enjoy most about studying law in Oxford?
The aspect of my time studying for the BCL that I found most enjoyable and rewarding was attending and participating in seminars and tutorials that were led by outstanding legal academics. I encountered intellectual and pedagogical exemplars—their influence on me was immense and I try in my academic life to emulate them.
What advice would you give to a new or prospective student?
If you are interested in doing a postgraduate taught degree in law, I would encourage you to give serious consideration to the BCL. It is an outstanding degree and, if you come here, you will meet people who are immensely interested in, and deeply curious about, the law and legal phenomena, and seriously committed to academic law.
If you are a new student, I would encourage you to make the most of the academic and intellectual opportunities that will be available to you at Oxford: go, for example, to lectures, seminars and talks that interest you—whether or not they form part of the courses you are studying, and whether they take place at the Law Faculty, or the Business School, or the Philosophy department. The range and depth of the expertise that you will encounter at Oxford is extraordinary—there is far more on offer than any one person in one lifetime could reasonably expect to engage with.