Photo Credit: Appleton Event Photography
Exeter Cohort 5 Pathways to Law Students Graduate
26 students from 14 state schools and colleges from across the South West region graduated from the Pathways to Law programme, a national project which aims to inspire and support high achieving students from non-privileged backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a legal career.
The Pathways to Law programme is offered at 12 universities, including the University of Exeter. Part of Exeter Scholars, it is managed by The Sutton Trust and funded by The Legal Education Foundation. Over the past 15 months, these students have engaged in academic and skills sessions, field trips, work experience, and in some cases, additional academic sessions and visits to partner Pathways to Law universities. The graduates are the University’s 5th cohort of Pathways to Law students to complete the programme, and nationally they are the 11th cohort.
The graduation ceremony brought together individuals and organisations that have helped to support this programme, including participating students and their guests, University of Exeter Law academics and professional services staff, law undergraduates, placement providers, law alumni and other supporters of the programme. Iqra Ali was a previous Pathways to Law student at UCL and subsequently a Pathways to Law mentor at the University of Exeter whilst studying for her LLB. She is now working at Blackfriars Chambers in London and attended the event as a guest speaker: “I was honoured to have been invited to celebrate this year’s Pathways to Law graduation ceremony, an event that was nothing but full of merriment and joy. As an enthusiastic participant of the Pathways programme, first as a student and then a mentor, I know how valuable these experiences are. To every student who took part in and graduated from this year’s Pathways to Law programme- I hope you all found the programme to be as meaningful as I did; I wish each and every one of you the very best, as you embark on your next endeavours”.
Guests at the graduation ceremony included law firms and other organisations that have provided work experience placements or who have provided direct support to sessions throughout the year. The law firms and organisations involved were Magdalen Chambers, Michelmores LLP, Dunn & Baker LLP, Stephens Scown LLP, Trowers & Hamlins LLP, Womble Bond Dickinson LLP, Humphries Kirk LLP, Tozers LLP, Foot Anstey LLP, Truro Combined Courts, Exeter Civil Courts, the Personal Support Unit (PSU) in Exeter, 1COR Chambers in Brighton, SunGift Energy and Citizens Advice.
Lisa Lyons, Marketing & Administration Clerk at Magdalen Chambers commented: “Magdalen Chambers are delighted to support and encourage the Pathways to Law programme and the students who enrol. The programme is extremely well run offering a unique and inspirational opportunity and we are very impressed each year with the standard and commitment of the students. We wish all the students many congratulations on graduating and the very best for a thriving future career in the law”.
Natasha Bellinger, Law Lecturer at the University of Exeter and Barrister at Magdalen Chambers, also commented: “It is so rewarding and inspiring to see the next generation of potential lawyers develop their skills and raise their aspirations through the Pathways to Law programme. Personally, I am proud of the local legal profession for their offering of placements to students, the University's commitment to the programme, and of course the graduating students who every year are bright, diverse and exceptionally talented”.
Professor Rob Freathy, Academic Dean for Students and Dean of the Faculty of Taught Programmes, attended the event and stated: “The Pathways to Law Graduation Ceremony was a fabulous event. It was wonderful to celebrate the achievements of those who had completed the programme, to hear the success stories of Pathways to Law alumni, and to receive inspiration from the passion and enthusiasm of current mentors. We owe a debt of gratitude to the funders and other contributors for providing this wonderful opportunity”.
Richard Edwards, Senior Law Lecturer and Head of Exeter’s Law School, also commented: “I was delighted this evening to be able to share in the success of so many of our Pathways to Law graduates. This wonderful programme is an integral and important part of Exeter Law School. We treasure it and our graduates!”.
Pathways to Law Coordinator, Kate Blackmore was delighted with the evenings celebrations and stated how proud she was to see them progress from the start of the programme to graduating: “The Pathways to Law students impress me every year with their ability to engage fully with the programme and with each other, and this year has been no exception! I have enjoyed working with each and every one of them and wish them all the best in their futures. I also wish to thank all of the supporters of the programme for ensuring that these students gain the best possible opportunities and experiences that are on offer, and for enabling them to gain such unique insights into law as a career and the various professions within it”.
The evening’s celebrations on Wednesday 27th March were facilitated by Professor Rob Freathy, Richard Edwards, Claire Maton (Senior programmes Manager at the Sutton Trust), Natasha Bellinger, Law mentors Oliver Hutchings and Alice Favre, and Kate Blackmore.
Date: 17 April 2019