Middle Temple Access to the Bar success for two School of Law students
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple is one of four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to Call their members to the Bar of England and Wales.
Middle Temple’s Access to the Bar Awards are funded by the donations of senior members of the Inn. The scheme provides two funded weeks of work experience every summer for up to thirty undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds. One week is spent marshalling (i.e. shadowing a judge in court) and the other week in Chambers with a barrister.
Each year the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple accepts just two applications per University for their Access to the Bar scheme and the School of Law are delighted that this year both students who applied were successful.
We spoke to Lauryn Tennant and Patient Edionwe, who are at the end of their second year of studying for the LLB, about the Access to the Bar scheme, their time at Leeds and their hopes for the future.
Why did you decide to apply to study at Leeds?
Patient: Leeds has so much to offer; the city provides the ideal balance of academic and social life.
Attending the Open Day and being surrounded by a warm and welcoming group of people definitely made my choice to study here easier – I could instantly imagine myself studying here for the next 3 years! Apart from its friendly environment, the University itself is very modern with an impressive selection of optional modules to pick from.
Lauryn: I decided to apply to study at Leeds as I wanted to move away to a fresh city and Leeds University School of Law is one of the top ten in the UK which I thought would provide me with an excellent education.
Why did you apply for the Access to the Bar Awards?
Lauryn: I applied for the Access to the Bar Award as I want to expand my legal experience in order to stand out in any future applications and to also give me a taste of a realistic legal environment whilst providing me with various networking opportunities.
Patient: I always knew I wanted to be a barrister. My interest in Law and my desire to become a barrister began with the realisation that it touches every aspect of our lives. Helping people obtain their needs and giving them a voice by putting an end to injustice excites me. I aim to make positive changes and I believe I can with advocacy plus, the success is very rewarding.
Alongside the experience, I also applied for the Access to the Bar awards to demonstrate that women, no matter the race, ethnicity, and socio-economic background, can achieve their dreams, become leaders and advance in their future careers. I advise all those who are eligible to apply for this award. I believe that everyone should have the chance to become the best version of themselves.
Are there any members of staff at the School of Law who have particularly helped you during your time at Leeds?
Patient: The staff members at the School of Law are very supportive and keen to encourage their students to obtain success. I am particularly grateful for Rosie Fox and Stuart Goosey for sacrificing their time to help me hence why I chose them both as references for my application. I am also thankful for the Senior Employability and Placements Officer Marika Hildebrandova for providing the right advice, information, and guidance in order to help me reach my full potential.
Lauryn: Marika Hildebrandova has particularly helped me in terms of opportunities and guiding me during my interview process. Also, Alex Batesmith and Steven Montagu-Cairns contributed to my application and are always willing to help and support me.
What are your hopes for your future career?
Lauryn: My hope for my future career is to be a barrister specialising in either criminal or tort law.
Patient: I aspire to become a top barrister and a role model to young black girls, in the long term. I therefore decided to take this two-week work experience as a learning opportunity, with the hope that I will gain a practical, first-hand insight into life as a barrister. I also aim to empower my fellow black women by helping to facilitate access to the legal profession.
What is your favourite thing about studying at Leeds?
Patient: One aspect of my Law degree that I truly enjoy is how we are encouraged to question and critique. There is always discussion around decisions made by the courts.
Lauryn: My favourite thing about studying in Leeds is the close-knit student community and the facilities and resources that are available for students.