Celebrating 130 years of Law at Liverpool: Sharina Razali's memories
Posted on: 26 September 2023 in 2023
As Liverpool Law School celebrates its 130th anniversary, many will be reflecting on their time here at Liverpool.
Sharina Razali (LLB 1994, LLM 1995) came to Liverpool from Malaysia to study law in October 1992, having completed her first year at the Northern Consortium of the UK in Malaysia. One of Sharina’s earliest memories of her time at Liverpool was the temperature difference, coming from temperatures averaging between 26-34 degrees, to a slightly colder, windier and wetter Liverpool. Read on to hear about her memories of her student days and life after Liverpool.
“My first accommodation was at the Philharmonic Court on Catharine Street; the small and often cold room was at the end of a corridor on the topmost floor. The room heater would only come on for a few hours in the morning and in the evening, so I was often cold. I also had to go to a different block to use the public phones, there was no such thing as smartphones then! Liverpool has always been a home for students from around the world, and I shared the floor with five guys and four girls from various parts of the UK, Italy and Nigeria. My floormates were great fun and we would often walk down to the city for meals. I learnt very quickly that no matter the temperature it was always skirt weather!
Throughout my time at Liverpool I made friends from all over the world, from Singapore, Brunei, Iraq and the Dominican Republic, to France, Belgium, Canada, Thailand and Israel; Liverpool became a home for us all.
One of my standout memories is my first trip to the post office. When I asked for stamps, the lovely lady behind the counter replied in a language I coud have sworn wasn’t English (I later found out that she was speaking in broad Scouse). Not wanting to say the wrong thing, I just mumbled something about coming back and practically ran out. I turned to the the local radio to learn Scouse. I may not remember the name of the station but Snelly the DJ has stayed with me, as he was my go-to guy for learning Scouse. Whilst it may have taken a couple of weeks until I was confident enough to return to the post office and ask for stamps, DJ Snelly must’ve been a good teacher, because not only did I get my stamps, I also had a lovely chat with the staff.
Despite being a student 30 years ago, I’m sure I was in the same position as many students today, as I didn’t really know how to cook. My diet consisted of Ryvita with various toppings (tinned dressed crab was my favourite), pizza-flavoured Walker’s crisps and iced cupcakes. Whilst this saw me through my first year, I upgraded my diet after moving to a flat in my second year, sharing a flat with another three girls from Malaysia, one of whom was a fantastic cook!
Liverpool may have been slightly different to Malaysia, but everyone in Liverpool has a story and the city was full of diversity and culture. I used to shop at a small halal butchers, near the Law Faculty. The butcher was an old Malaysian sailor who had planted his roots in Liverpool back in the 70’s. I also used to get my tinned dressed crab from there.
When I was a student, the Law Faculty was in a huge airy building. The largest lecture hall had a few skylights and we would crowd round the patches of sunlight whenever they appeared. The Faculty’s porter, Finlay McQuorqdale, was the dearest man I ever met. He always had time to lend an ear or a helping hand, the Liverpool community has always been so welcoming.
As many students do now, I joined two societies which transformed my time here. I joined both the Asean Society and the archery club. I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to shoot arrows, despite often missing the targets.
My favourite place on campus was Blackwell's bookshop, followed by Abercromby Square. When it was warm enough to sit on the bench I’d treat myself to an ice cream cone with a Flake.
As our flat used electricity cards, my flatmates and I spent many an hour at the Faculty or Stanley Jones library, bringing our own lunches of pasta with tuna and mayonnaise, which tasted pretty good if I do say so myself. I sometimes would survive a whole day on a frozen cheese pizza, heated up so many times that by the end of the day it would look like a piece of cardboard. Smoked salmon was cheap, so if I was feeling fancy I would add that to my pizza!
After graduating with an LLB in 1994, I continued my studies at Liverpool and completed a Masters in International Law. I had fantastic lecturers and am very grateful that they were patient enough to entertain all my theories. Having received my LLM in 1995 I returned to Malaysia, working with a trustee company as a trust officer. I left the company after my second child was born and I am now a freelance copy editor and both a book and cat hoarder.
What I miss most about Liverpool is walking into the city to wander around the alleys and discover quaint shops, as well as the kebab shop on Renshaw Street. Whilst I haven’t been back to Liverpool since I graduated, I am hoping to return with my family and take a trip down memory lane soon.”