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The students behind ‘Women and Law’

We were delighted to catch up with Jess & Tara, Co-Presidents of the student project Women and Law and hear about their experiences and hopes for the future.  

Previously a Classical Ballerina with the Royal Ballet School, changing career paths at sixteen, Jess set her sight on a career in law. Five years later, Jess is now in her final year of an LLB Law degree.  

‘After graduating as a senior associate of the Royal Ballet School, I set my aspirations on the challenging, diverse and personal aspects to a career in law. Volunteering in Panama with Global Brigades and working regularly with the Personal Support Unit have all been prevalent experiences in developing my passion for client rapport, working both professionally and personally with individuals. These rewarding opportunities have not only been academically stimulating but have furthered my aspiration to be a solicitor, providing the expertise individuals require in both their business and personal lives.  

Growing up with a brother with special needs, inclusion and diversity have been extremely important to me. My involvement with Women and Law, both as Publicity Manager and now as Co-President, have been particularly rewarding in advocating equal opportunities for all. This experience has not only helped me to develop a skill set through a leadership and co-management role, but it has been a fulfilling opportunity to engage with students, professionals and a passionate committee, in driving the project forward.’ 

Tara is a final year undergraduate studying Liberal Arts.  

As somewhat of a framework degree, Liberal Arts has allowed me to take on modules from a range of disciplines over my three years at Exeter, earning my major in International Relations. This has led me to focus on China in world affairs, with particular interest in the Belt and Road Initiative and its implications for developing countries.’  

Throughout her time at Exeter, Tara has enjoyed taking on various committee positions and volunteering roles within the law scene, first working with Jess during their Global Brigades project in Panama. From her initial role as Publicity Manager, Tara's involvement with Women and Law has been particularly rewarding.  

Besides the skillset I have developed, co-leading the project in my final year has allowed me to play an active role in creating dialogue between students, faculty members and external professionals to challenge existing inequalities and underrepresentation in the legal profession. This is no doubt something I will continue to foster as I enter the field and I look forward to playing an active role in future networks and initiatives’ 

On graduating, Tara is excited to be traversing the ‘law conversion’ route ahead of her training contract with City law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, where she hopes to build a successful legal career based on varied, internationally-oriented work.  

Women and Law:  

This academic year, Women and Law has undergone significant expansion in both size, scope and ambition. The project is now driven by a committee of eighteen students from a diversity of backgrounds and subject areas. It is this strong sense of community that has allowed W&L to pursue new and exciting avenues. This includes introducing a host of new careers-based events, creating a strong platform for the consistent publication of topical articles, and building lasting relationships between students, university staff and external professionals. To learn more about W&L and the project’s activity, you can find the project page on Facebook, here: 


Date: 27 February 2019