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Laura Nelson

Career Path: Barrister, Park Square Barristers
Location: Leeds, UK

I fell into studying law at A-Level and loved it, so decided to undertake a law degree at university. For me, the good thing about the MLaw LPC/BPTC Exempting course is that I didn't need to decide whether to simply do a three year law degree, or incorporate the LPC/BPTC, until the second year of study. When the time came to decide, I chose to undertake the BPTC also as I enjoyed the challenging advocacy element to the course. Alongside my studies, I took part in the University's Mooting Society, entered mooting competitions, drafted essays for entry into competitions, undertook mini-pupillages and gained all the work experience that I could with both solicitors firms and chambers.

What are you doing now?Laura Nelson

I commenced pupillage at Park Square Barristers in September 2017 which lasted for a year. I am now fully qualified and work as a self-employed Barrister, undertaking both criminal and civil work.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

The unique format of the Exempting course was the reason I decided to study at Northumbria (aside from Newcastle being a great student city, of course!). Aged only 18, I needed the flexibility that the course offered to undertake a law degree whilst not having to decide upon LPC/BPTC or neither at that early stage. It also meant that I could undertake the LPC/BPTC without having to apply for loans or extra funding, as all four of the years fell within student finance.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

There were both lectures and small group seminars, both of which really aided my understanding and learning. I found tutors to be really helpful, going the extra mile to help me out when needed, and responsive to questions/emails at all hours of the day and night!

How connected was your course with industry? 

The course was very well connected with local firms and chambers. There were always competitions available for entry in which prizes were days or weeks of work experience. In particular, I entered and won a competition for a three-month internship with Lawyers Without Borders in Washington, DC. This was a fantastic experience that, without Northumbria, I simply wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity or finance to do.

What was the best thing about your course?

The camaraderie of the BPTC students and lecturers was something I really enjoyed - I felt at home. I felt able to ask questions, listen to others and really work together to get through the course.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

I wasn't simply another student studying a normal course - the University went above and beyond to invest in students by offering activities, experiences, volunteering opportunities and so on outside of the course itself. These were invaluable when it came to applying for pupillage.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

I gained a range of skills which are useful on a daily basis including advocacy and drafting.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

This is an outstanding University and I would highly recommend studying law here.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Engaging, exciting, constructive

For more information about me visit:

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