29 June 2010
An outstanding Aston Law undergraduate has beaten off fierce competition to secure a place on a highly regarded national scheme.
Laura Taylor, aged 19 and a first year student on the LLB Law with Management programme within Aston Business School, has been selected to attend the prestigious City Solicitors’ Educational Trust (CSET) Summer School next month (July).
The aim of the scheme is to provide key skills and knowledge and so improve access to the most competitive legal firms by students from less traditional backgrounds, particularly those who have no family experience of legal education and the university sector. The scheme is designed to overcome practical barriers which may inhibit even the brightest law students from realising their full potential.
Sharing her elation with fellow classmates, mentors and family members on discovering her “brilliant news”, Laura said: “I am absolutely thrilled. I applied to the Summer School with no expectations of succeeding. I was amazed that I made it through the first filtering process and astounded when I discovered that I had been rewarded with a place. I am incredibly excited about this fantastic opportunity.
Laura was one of almost 1,000 applicants for the Summer School. “When I found out that I was successful I was gobsmacked,” said Laura. “Me, an average girl from an average comprehensive school, unbelievable,” added Laura, who lives in Birmingham city centre.
According to Laura, there are various qualities needed to be a successful solicitor, including commitment, dedication, flexibility, good communication and an ability to maintain personal integrity and to have a non-judgemental ethical understanding.
Laura’s career ambition is to qualify as a solicitor and work in commercial practice for a UK law firm. Several of the UK’s leading law firms are sponsors of CSET and involved in the organisation and management of the Summer School.
Jill Poole, Professor of Commercial Law and Head of Aston Law, said:
“We are delighted that Laura has secured a place on such an excellent scheme, particularly as competition for places is so stiff. Laura is a committed and hard working student whose dedication has been rewarded with this tremendous boost to her future legal career. We are all very proud of her achievement. I am sure she will both enjoy and benefit from attendance at the Summer School and the networking opportunities it presents. This success will give Laura an important competitive edge, particularly when it comes to seeking a law placement in year 3, and I know from talking to past successful students that the CSET support continues long after the Summer School has finished”.
Laura, in turn, heaped praise on her mentors for their “outstanding teaching style and amazing support. At times of hardship and distress, the lecturers are always prepared to offer their guidance”. Laura said that her LLB course had “taught me to be a bit more cautious in everyday life.” She added: “A slight difference in circumstances can lead to huge consequences in the eyes of the law.”
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(1) Aston Business School is one of the largest and most successful business schools in Europe, committed to lead and enable transformation through teaching, research and through supporting and influencing organisations and their leaders. The School aims to contribute positively and substantially to society – regionally, nationally and internationally.
(2) The CSET Summer School is open to all students who wish to enter the legal profession and are in the first year of a law degree or the second year of a non-law degree at a UK university. There is a full and varied programme with guest speakers and a mixture of individual and group work, with a particular emphasis on the intellectual rigour required of successful lawyers.
(3) The first CSET Summer School was held in July 2008 and its success – demonstrated by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from participating students and their universities – led to CSET doubling the number of places available at the 2009 Summer School. This increased capacity was made possible by the growing support from the legal profession, with 20 leading City law firms getting involved in the initiative. CSET also offers financial support to University Law Schools, to fund lectureships, library and IT resources, through a competitive grant annual grant scheme. To find out more visit www.cset.org.uk