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The University of Exeter Law Society are nominated for three LawCareers.Net awards

The University of Exeter Law Society are delighted to share that they have been nominated for three in recognition of the hard work that they have put into the society this academic year. The awards, which are sponsored by Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP, seek to celebrate the brilliant work of student law societies, especially during a difficult year of remote learning and social distancing. The nominations received are for the following awards:

  • Best society for non-law students
  • Most committed to increasing diversity
  • Best society for aspiring barristers

Speaking about the nominations, Co-Presidents Jessica Phillips and Lucy Cole said: “We’re so proud that UELS has been recognised as a nationally leading society through these prestigious nominations. This is a challenging year for societies, but we’re so grateful for the hard work the committee has put in to make the virtual law society the best it can be, as well as the incredible support we’ve had from members across the 90+ events we have run.”

The Student Law Society Awards ceremony will take place virtually on the evening of Thursday 18 March 2021, bringing together representatives from the prestigious sponsor firms and nominated student law societies.

The Nominations in more detail

Best Society for non-law students (prepared by Haowei Shi, Non-Law Students’ Officer)

All UELS events are open to non-law students, and we have a Non-Law Officer who runs events and activities specifically for non-law students. Events that have been organised this academic year include a presentation on how to get into law for non-law students, aimed at demystifying the process of entering law as well as a panel featuring a Hogan Lovells Trainee, a future Baker McKenzie Trainee and an aspiring Barrister. The panellists answered some common questions non-law students had in the first half of the event, then students had the chance to take part in a Q&A.

There are more events planned for the upcoming term including a non-commercial pathways panel event featuring Chrissie Wolf, who is known for her YouTube channel ‘Law and Broader’, and a discussion with Grainne Staunton, a partner from the regional firm, Tozers. We wanted to make sure that both law and non-law students hear about other legal career paths, and not just working at a commercial law firm in the City. We are also co-hosting an event with Women in Business focused on developing commercial awareness.

Most Committed to Increasing Diversity (prepared by Rawan, BAME Officer with input from the D&I Committee)

We recognize that university life is one of the first stages of our legal careers and that, often, law facing societies are our first taste of networking within the legal field. Hence, as our University’s largest overall and law facing society, it is imperative for us to create an environment that is safe, inclusive, and accessible for all of our members, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, religion, disability, or ethnicity. For this reason, our society has appointed a 9 person Welfare, Diversity & Inclusion sub-committee (BAME Officer, LGBTQ+ Officer, Women’s Officer, Disabilities Officer, Social-Mobility Officer, Non-Law Officer, Graduate LLB Officer, Welfare Officer, International Student’s Officer), committed to increasing diversity and inclusion within our society. Backed by three law firms (Clifford Chance, Baker Makenzie, and Latham & Watkins), our team has been fortunate enough to have the opportunities, resources, and support to create events, projects and initiatives that promote and encourage diversity within our society.

During the first term, we hosted over 17 Diversity & Inclusion events, ranging from social, employability, welfare, to speaker events, with plans to host just as many (if not more) next term. We have collaborated with organizations such as our partner firms, the Queer Lawyers of Tommorow, University of Exeter Feminist Society, The Law Society of England & Wales, Bridging The Bar and the Exeter Law School to create events that our members will find enjoyable, valuable and insightful. We have hosted a diverse range of events with speakers of all sorts of backgrounds and career paths, boasting events with the likes of individuals such as Alexandra Wilson, Nazir Afzal OBE, Yasmin Sheikh and Umar Kankiye.

Best Society for Aspiring Barristers (prepared by Nathaniel Guerreiro, Bar Group Coordinator with input from the Bar Group)

The aim of the Bar Group is to educate members and provide opportunities to develop skills and knowledge relevant to a career at the Bar. This has included weekly workshops, ranging from providing information on the Bar Practice Course, the Inns of Court, the different Scholarships offered, and how to secure mini-pupillages and pupillages. This year we have drawn extra attention to demystifying the ‘white male’ stereotype of the bar with an emphasis on inclusivity initiatives such as the Inner Temple’s PASS scheme and promotion of social mobility.

We recognise the challenges of gaining practical advocacy experience so this year we developed a new mock trial workshop in October and hosted our own Newcomers Mock Trial on the 14th November. The competition was only open to participants with no prior advocacy experience and we created opportunities to provide individual feedback for all participants. In March 2021 we are hosting our campus wide mock trial open to all members and partaking in external competitions such as the Surrey National Mock and the BPP Advocate of the Year competition.

Committee 2020/2021