The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University will welcome the first cohort of students to the Pathways to Law programme at a special launch event.
Thirty-five recruits, along with their parents and carers, will be officially welcomed on to the programme at the Old Library in Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building on Wednesday 6 November.
The students, who have been recruited primarily from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire, will be welcomed by Professor Andrea Nollent, Dean of Nottingham Law School, part of Nottingham Trent University, and Professor Nigel White, The Deputy Head of School at The University of Nottingham.
Professor Nollent, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome our first cohort of young people to Nottingham Law School as they begin their Pathways to Law programme.
“It is vital that we encourage and support social mobility within the legal profession and that we play our part in improving the opportunities for young people locally.”
The Pathways to Law programme is an initiative developed by The Sutton Trust and The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF), with support from major law firms, to inspire and support academically-able students in years 12 and 13 (sixth formers) from non-privileged backgrounds interested in a career in law.
Professor White said “Throughout the two-year programme, students will benefit from interaction with leading academics and professionals, encouraging both an interest in law and personal development. The pathways programme plays a central role in the Law School’s commitment to achieving the vital goal of widening access to the legal profession.”
The two Nottingham universities are among 12 law schools committed to helping 1,200 pupils develop skills and knowledge relevant to the legal profession over the next four years. Ultimately, the aim is to help more low and middle income state school students secure places at the country’s top law schools.
They will follow a two-year programme throughout their sixth form studies, including academic sessions providing an insight into legal issues, mentoring by law undergraduates and work placements with legal professionals.
Programme modules include spending time in court and preparing for a mock trial, commercial law focusing on negotiation, a criminal law and forensics day and a three-day residential conference run by the Sutton Trust.
Pathways to Law aims to attract state school students from low and middle income families and to help students who attend low-performing schools or who live in areas with limited educational or social resources beyond school. Half of the Pathways students gain places at leading universities.
Applicants had to demonstrate an interest in a career in law and had to have achieved at least five A or A* GCSE grades.
Rachael Mensah, who was on the Pathways to Law programme with University College London and is now a student at The University of Nottingham, said: “I feel so grateful and privileged to have taken part in the Pathways To Law programme. It provided me with many opportunities and experiences I would have never otherwise had.
“Not only did it expand my knowledge of the law, but it also gave me practical and first-hand experience of what a legal career would involve. From watching mock trials to gaining valuable work experience, the Pathways to Law programme has given me invaluable insight into law, and has helped me to improve as an all-round individual. I started the course with only an interest in law, now, having completed the course, I am confident that law is the career path for me.”
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.
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