I was the first in my family to go to university. I had no connections with the profession and qualifying as a solicitor seemed a huge challenge, but I had great support from my academic tutors and was encouraged to aim high.
My personal and professional experience is what drives my commitment, as Dean of the Law School, to transforming our students’ lives. We welcome students with a wide range of abilities and from your first day we will encourage, support and inspire you on your individual journey.
My experience of professional practice has helped me better understand what employers are looking for in the contemporary legal professional. At the same time, my personal journey – I’ve gone from lecturer to Dean in my 24 years at the University – means I feel passionately about the School being a friendly, open and supportive place in which to study. We focus on you not just getting a good degree, but on reaching your full potential.
That’s what makes our Law School different. We help you develop your skills through our uniquely varied and innovative range of co-curricular activities, which include trial advocacy, mooting, mediation and client interviewing. These will give you a wealth of professional skills, whatever legal direction your studies take you in.
We also place great emphasis on producing graduates who will support others, who want to work in and for their communities and give a voice to those who can’t access justice. From next year, we will be encouraging students to participate in pro bono initiatives, including street law and mediation. Supervised by a solicitor, our students will be giving legal advice in areas of unmet need such as housing, compensation and debt, gaining the broad range of skills needed for dispute resolution.
Our graduates include Grace Ononiwu, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the West Midlands, and Shahrzad Atai, award-winning head of the Middle East desk at Child & Child Solicitors. Others are now working in the diplomatic and civil service, and for the police and probation services. I know your studies here will equip you for a rewarding career that will make a difference to people’s lives.