Name: Chen Chen

College: Merton

Scholarship: 3VB Scholarship

Summary of yourself: I studied the BA Jurisprudence with Law Studies in Europe (French Law) at Magdalen College, and graduated in 2018. As part of my undergraduate studies, I spent a year abroad at the Université Paris II – Panthéon-Assas, where I studied the Licence in Private Law. I am currently reading for the BCL at Merton College. 

What are your career ambitions?

I aspire to combine a career at the Bar with academia, and aim to specialise in English and French private law in the field of responsibility for environmental harm.

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

Life in Oxford is much richer than I expected; the variety of events and opportunities available is incredibly enriching. In terms of law-related events, the Faculty, societies and individual colleges organise a wide range of talks and guest lectures on many different areas of law. There are also many non-law related talks that are nevertheless very accessible and allow us to meet a wide range of people.

What do you enjoy most about studying law in Oxford?

I most enjoy the opportunity to study a large variety of subjects, all taught by the leading experts in their respective fields, and shared with students from all over the world with very different perspectives and legal backgrounds. It is especially enriching to study comparative law with people from both Common Law and Civil Law backgrounds, and the seminars allow us to discuss a range of legal mechanisms and combine everybody’s knowledge and expertise.

What do you find most challenging about your programme?

The aspect I find most challenging about the BCL is finding the balance between my studies and the numerous opportunities – mooting, societies, research – available at Oxford.

What do you find most rewarding about your programme?

I find it incredibly rewarding to be studying in a programme that encourages us, and equips us with the skills, to draw connections between seemingly disparate areas of law, and combine knowledge acquired from multiple existing legal fields into techniques that can be mobilised to solve new problems. Problems in today’s society are increasingly complex, global, and technology-oriented, and require us to build on existing legal infrastructure in new ways. The BCL encourages us to think beyond the material and envisage new situations, which I find incredibly rewarding.

Are you involved with any projects or societies? 

I am involved with the Mathematics and Physics societies as I am interested in law’s connection with the sciences, and hope to acquire more insight into the way the each both frames and limits the other. I am also a judge for the Oxford Undergraduate Mooting Competition, which I particularly enjoy as mooting was one of my favourite experiences as an undergraduate.

What advice would you give to a new or prospective student?

My main advice would be to get involved in all that Oxford has to offer, and in particular, participate in a few mooting competitions and attend Discussion Groups and guest lectures in the subjects that interest you. Also, I would encourage students to make the most out of Oxford’s unique and incredibly inspiring teaching style of combining seminars and tutorials, by participating in discussions and contributing their legal knowledge and perspective. One of the most enriching aspects of doing a law degree at Oxford is the opportunity to study subjects you are passionate in with people from other backgrounds who share your passion, and it is most rewarding when everybody brings their viewpoint to the discussion.