Pathways students

Ellie Parsons

National Cohort 8, Exeter Cohort 2 [2014-2016]

It has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of Cohort 8 of the Pathways to Law scheme at the University of Exeter for the past two years. It has given me a multitude of opportunities – from seminars with some of the best lecturers in the country, to workshops with legal professionals, and many trips to various universities and locations across the country. For me personally, as an aspiring Barrister, the placement I attended at Magdalen Chambers in Exeter was by far the best part of my Pathways experience. It allowed me to shadow Barristers in a variety of areas of the law, in different courts around Devon and Cornwall, and to witness first-hand the inner workings of a modern chambers. The professionals I had the privilege to work alongside made me feel immensely welcome and made sure they answered any questions and challenged me so that I could achieve my full potential whilst I was with them. The advice, support and future opportunities that I have received since then have also been truly invaluable, and have helped me to start making legal contacts at a young age, standing me in good stead for a future career in the law. This simply wouldn’t have been a possibility without the support of Pathways to Law and our Pathways co-ordinator.

Pathways to Law has definitely taught me the importance of taking any opportunity offered to me, even if it is completely out of my comfort zone. I have taken part in many debate-style sessions whilst at university and also argued a Plea-in-Mitigation case in a mock hearing at the Inner Temple, London, both of which have taught me the importance of confidence and self-belief which will help me going forward. I have also represented the student cohort on the Pathways to Law Management Board (Exeter). This has enabled me to put across suggestions and feedback from other pathways students on the programme whilst experiencing a professional working environment within the university. Working with a variety of senior people as a seemingly inexperienced teenager can be very daunting, but being on this programme gave me the confidence to be able to hold my own and thrive in these situations. The E-Mentoring has also been really useful; I had a fantastic mentor who was a huge source of advice and support throughout the programme. I now feel much more prepared to study law at University and have been offered a place at both the University of Exeter and Cardiff University this September.

Finally, it has also taught me that nothing should be a barrier to my future – be it financially, physically, mentally or geographically. I can achieve what I aspire to achieve just by working hard, being committed, and grasping every opportunity I have to better myself and succeed. I highly recommend the Pathways to Law programme to any aspiring young person.

Ellie completed her GCSE’s at Tiverton High School before studying Law, Sociology and Psychology A level’s at Exeter College.