Pathways to Law is run by the Sutton Trust and funded by the Legal Education Foundation
Pathways to Law
Pathways to Law is an innovative and exciting programme, which provides fantastic opportunities for sixth form students who are interested in law. Run by the Sutton Trust and funded by the Legal Education Foundation, Pathways is offered at 12 UK universities, including the University of Exeter. The programme targets high-achieving students in state schools and colleges who will be the first generation in their family to attend university, and aims to raise their aspirations and provide them with the skills and confidence to pursue a successful legal career.
Pathways to Law at the University of Exeter is open to students who satisfy most, if not all, of the following criteria:
- You are studying at a state school within the south west of England
- Be in year 12 at the start of the programme
- You have achieved a minimum of 8 GCSE’s at grades A* - C or 9 – 4 to include GCSE Maths and English at Grade 4 or grade C and above
- Plus you meet one of 7 additional eligibility criteria which can be found on the Exeter Scholar's website in the Apply section
- Live within a reasonable commuting distance of the university to which they are applying
- Have an interest in studying law and/or a legal career
- Be enthusiastic and show a willingness and ability to commit fully to the demands of the programme.
Applications are now closed and will reopen in the Autumn term. Please apply through our Exeter Scholar's programme.
If you have any questions regarding the application process or your eligibility for Pathways to Law, please contact Kate Blackmore, Pathways to Law Coordinator.
The Pathways to Law programme is made up of a number of activities which are common to all Pathways universities.
Each university also runs a series of bespoke activities for their individual Pathways to Law cohort. Students on the Exeter Pathways programme will take part in the following activities:
These will be a mixture of lectures and seminars, and will be delivered by expert staff from the Law School. The exact session details are subject to change each year, but the programme is likely to include:
- English legal system & sources of law
- Law, politics & the constitution
- Criminal law
- Law & business
- Law & morality
- Human rights & justice
You will learn how to conduct a legal client interview, taking on the role of a solicitor trying to obtain detailed information from your newest "client". This session will help develop your networking and communication skills.
Visits to legal institutions
You will visit the Combined Courts and Magistrates Court in Exeter and witness current cases in session. The programme will also include a visit to London, where you will be able to see some of the most important and influential English legal institutions.
You will complete a 3-5 day work experience placement at a law firm, barristers' chambers, law courts or in-house legal team.
This 4 day residential conference, held at the University of Warwick, brings together Pathways to Law students from across the country to take part in a wide-ranging programme of academic and social activities.
Other academic opportunities
You will have the opportunity in taking part in other law-related activities or events that are offered through our central widening participation programme of events. Successful previous events such as An Introduction to Mooting, UK in Europe and You have been Selected for Jury Service, have all offered students an opportunity to extend their academic experience and team working skills.
You will be assigned an undergraduate law student mentor who will support you throughout your time as a Pathways to Law student. Communications are carried out via a secure online platform created and managed by the Brightside Trust.
All students attend a Pathways to Law graduation ceremony at the end of the programme, where you will be presented with a certificate from a member of the legal profession.
Supporting your career development
You will receive expert help and guidance in areas such as CV-writing and interview skills, along with support with your UCAS applications and personal statement. You will also take part in a skills session to help you prepare for your LNAT test which is required at some universities when applying for Law.
You will gain a lot from taking part in the Pathways to Law programme. It is impossible to list all of the programme's benefits, but here is a small selection to give you some idea:
Students who successfully complete Pathways to Law and decide to apply to the University of Exeter will be eligible for an alternative offer. Depending on your chosen course, this offer will be up to two A-Level grades, or equivalent, below the standard entry offer. Please refer to the University of Exeter Senior Scholars Benefits Package pages to see the full list of benefits of the programme.
Taking part in Pathways to Law will significantly increase your knowledge and understanding of what law is like, both at university and as a career. This increased understanding will give you a headstart when thinking about your future career path.
Through Pathways to Law you will develop some of the most essential skills for your future, such as teamwork, analysis, communication and presentation skills. You will also have lots of opportunities to interact with fellow students and legal professionals, allowing you to develop confidence and good networking skills.
And many more...
As well as these benefits, Pathways to Law is enjoyable, interesting, and a great way to make new friends!
Pathways to Law students will complete a 3-5 day work experience placement whilst on the programme. These placements normally take place at February half-term, but can also take place during the Easter or Summer holidays. Placements may take place within one of many legal settings, such as a law firm, barristers’ chambers, County or Crown Courts or in-house legal team.
The University of Exeter gratefully acknowledge the support of the following organisations in providing quality work experience placements for our students:
- 1COR Chambers
- Ashfords LLP
- Citizens Advice
- Devon & Somerset Law Society
- Dunn & Baker LLP
- Environment Agency
- Exeter Crown & County Court
- Foot Anstey LLP
- Humphries Kirk LLP
- Magdalen Chambers
- Michelmores LLP
- Pennon Group PLC
- Personal Support Unit
- Selborne Chambers
- Stephens Scown LLP
- SunGift Energy
- The Family Law Co
- Tozers LLP
- Trowers and Hamlins LLP
- Truro County Court and Family Court
- Womble Bond Dickinson LLP
Pathways to Law students are supported during their sixth form studies, and throughout their time on the programme, by an e-mentor. These mentors are either first or second year law students at the University of Exeter, who provide information and guidance to their mentees on a voluntary basis, based on their own personal experiences prior to and since starting a law degree. Mentors support their mentees primarily on-line by using a secure on-line portal operated by the social mobility charity Brightside. However, mentors are also encouraged, where possible, to join students on campus either at lunchtime or during academic sessions and other workshops or trips. All mentors have the opportunity of applying to be a Team Leader at the National Pathways Conference at the University of Warwick in the summer.
Recruitment for e-mentors generally begins in October and any Law students who are interested in becoming a Pathways mentor should contact Kate Blackmore.
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.
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.
National Cohort 8, Exeter Cohort 2 [2014-2016]
For any student aspiring for a career in the legal industry, Pathways to Law is an incredible opportunity not to be passed up. Whilst enrolled on the programme I was lucky enough to have a week long work experience placement at leading city law firm Ashfords Solicitors in Exeter, in which I was able to experience first-hand the inner workings of a busy law firm.
Iqra, LLB Law, 2015-2018
I was a Pathways to Law student at UCL and graduated in July 2014. This was wonderful experience as I gained insights into the Bar and also at a law firm of solicitors. The work placement I undertook at a commercial law firm, Cooley LLP, and the visits to the Inner Temple where I networked with barristers, truly made me understand which route I wanted to take in the legal profession.
Jason, LLB Law, 2014-2017
Being a Pathways mentor is something that I have thoroughly enjoyed as not only do I feel a personal sense of reward for giving back to those who, like myself, haven’t had the best chances in life, but you are also offering worthy students the chance to succeed in education and gain the opportunities that they truly deserve.
Jenny, Law with European Study, 2015-2019
In my first year of study here, I decided to become a Pathways to Law e-mentor as I personally had found the e-mentoring to be one of the scheme’s most valuable aspects. Being able to talk one-on-one with a current law student at the Exeter allayed many of my worries about coming to university life, particularly regarding the structure of learning and accommodation.
Joel, LLB Law, 2015-2018
I’ve been a Pathways to Law mentor for two years now and have thoroughly enjoyed volunteering my time for the brilliant programme. I am responsible for chaperoning students during sessions, trips and maintaining contact with several prospective law students through an online portal.
National Cohort 8, Exeter Cohort 2 [2014-2016]
When I look back at the Pathways to Law programme, which I started some two years ago, I am astounded by what I have accomplished. Every few weeks I would visit the University of Exeter, where I would get involved in fascinating lectures and workshops surrounding all areas of law. I have met world class lawyers, many of whom came from the City’s Inner Circle.
LLB Law, 2017-2020
I am currently at the University of Exeter thanks to the fantastic opportunities that I received through the Pathways to Law Programme. I have also been of the opinion that every opportunity that you don’t pursue, is an opportunity missed. This is why I joined the Pathways Programme and through this gained incredible work experience at Trowers and Hamlins and also a placement on the National Conference at Warwick University, something I would strongly encourage all students to attend.