The University of Law competition winners awarded work experience with legal firms

updated on 02 February 2021

The University of Law recently announced the winners of its ‘Real World Questions Essay Competition’ who were awarded prizes including £1,000 cash, a week’s work experience with either Clyde & Co or Co-op and a two-hour session with The University of Law’s director of employability.

Aimed at encouraging aspiring law and business students in years 10 to 13 to tackle real-world problems that lawyers and business professionals face, the competition included topics such as “How fair is the criminal justice system?” and “How do businesses adapt to change effectively?”.

It was judged by representatives from Co-op, including legal counsel (corporate functions) Shelbey Whitehouse and legal counsel (food) Vickey Lowe, as well as representatives from The University of Law, including the director of employability John Watkins, the programme and student lead Jennifer Schmidt-Petersen, and the school’s pro bono coordinator Amanda Crutchley. The judges were on the look out for essays that offered opinions alongside supporting evidence, sophisticated language that was both influential and persuasive, and evident use of a variety of resources. Entrants were also required to demonstrate a genuine interest in the essay topic while avoiding grammatical errors and seamlessly incorporating an introduction and conclusion.

Milena Prochorovaite from Winstanley College in Wigan and Matthew Alex from Hymers College in East Yorkshire were named the overall winners. Meanwhile, the regional winners were Adishree Bansal for the South and Wales, Dhruval Soni for the Midlands, Grace McGarvey for the North and Emily Reed for London.

The competition’s regional winners received Bose Soundlink II speakers and Lenovo MIIX two-in-one tablets.

Shelbey Whitehouse, solicitor and legal counsel, corporate functions, at Co-op said: “At Co-op, we’re always looking to give young people opportunities that they might not otherwise have, to gain insight into working life. Taking the chance to be involved in The University of Law’s Real World Competition is a very welcome recent example of this.  We’re really looking forward to having one of the winners join us for work experience.”

Peter Eley, senior product marketing manager at The University of Law said: “Our Real World Questions campaign is designed to engage those interested in careers in law, business, policing and criminology, with the types of questions they will face in their future careers. Teaching at The University of Law focuses on these real-life scenarios, and our Real World Questions competition is designed to give prospective students a taste of these important learnings. We were thrilled with the number and the high quality of the entries, which showed an excellent level of engagement with the questions, and I’d like to personally congratulate the winners.”

Students can find out more about the competition, which will be running again in 2021, via the competition’s website