Interview

Uni of Law LPC student bids to win Miss England title before qualifying as a lawyer

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Durham grad speaks to Legal Cheek about battle to land a training contract — or perhaps even a pupillage

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Laura Collins does not live up to the stereotypical image of an airhead beauty queen.

The 22-year-old Miss England finalist is hell bent on qualifying as a lawyer, although she is undecided on which branch of the profession best suits her.

Regardless, she is prepared to take on the perceived wisdom of the law faculty at Durham University, where she received a 2.1 in law last year.

At Durham, everyone made it seem a complete impossibility that you could get a bar pupillage unless you had a first-class degree,” relates the current Miss Bolton and Bury. “But having been in the real world of work,” she continues, “I don’t agree with that. I know that I’m good at my job.

Collins went on:

And as I’ve worked the entire time I’ve been at university I am confident that I can compete for a pupillage with those that had a better quality degree on the basis that I have a solid experience of the commercial world.

Her route to the bar — if that is where Collins finally lands — will have been unconventional.

She received four A-levels — in law, politics, history and religious studies from Runshaw College, a state school in Lancashire. After graduating from Durham, Collins headed for the University of Law’s Manchester branch, where she is currently enrolled on the part-time Legal Practice Course and LLM.

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Collins is scheduled to finish that course next year. But a summer vac scheme at the Manchester office of global law firm DLA Piper during her final year at uni taught her that she did not fancy a career in corporate law.

I want to go into property or employment,” says Collins. “I know I want to work in the law, but I’m not sure I want to be a solicitor. I’m considering doing the BPTC once I’ve completed the LPC, as I’d quite like to be an advocate.

Collins has self-financed her way through all higher education and is currently an associate at tax advisory business the OneE Group.

But it is her interest in beauty pageants that has caught the attention of the mainstream press, who have labelled her the “real-life Legally Blonde”.

Having been originally scouted in a local Manchester shopping centre, Collins recently finished in the top 10 of the Miss England semi-finals and will compete in the finals at Coventry on 13-14 August. If she takes the crown there it will be off to the Miss World event.

Collins is dismissive of those that dismiss beauty competitions as one of the worst examples outdated sexism, explaining:

It is not an obvious interest for someone that is keen on going into the legal profession. However, it has given me a degree of confidence that reading textbooks and studying would never have given me.

The law student continues:

And it has also given me an opportunity to meet many different types of people and provided me with a platform to say what I want to say.

What Collins wants to say is something that will undoubtedly raise the hackles of many.

Women don’t need to be non-feminine to be feminists. I’m a feminist and I chose to be feminine. And I am keen to encourage other girls not to be afraid of being feminine while at the same time having strong feminist views.

33 Comments

#firstworldproblems

*Barrister

(10)(9)

UCL law grad

“I want to go into property or employment,” says Collins. “I know I want to work in the law, but I’m not sure I want to be a solicitor. I’m considering doing the BPTC once I’ve completed the LPC, as I’d quite like to be an advocate.”

That sounds exactly like the firm commitment to the bar that pupillage interviewers like to hear.

(42)(11)

Blergh

Shutup

(6)(10)

fuark

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comment policy.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

loves herself…not that good looking….

(17)(17)

Laura Collins

Usually I would totally ignore people’s comments online. I can accept all of the above and below comments about my uncertainty in my legal future. They all have a point that you need to be 100% dedicated to be successful in the legal world. Just because I am undecided now – does not mean the same for the future. However, I am totally baffled as to how you ‘anonymous’ would know that I love myself. I respect your opinion on the way I look – but you probably shouldn’t judge people without knowing anything about them. So this article taught you that I want to pursue a career in law and that I went to Durham University – not too sure why that would make you think I love myself. FYI – I do not. But I wouldn’t criticise anyone else for loving themself – if you loved yourself a bit more – I suspect you wouldn’t troll the internet and say hurtful things about people. At least do it in your own name!

(52)(13)

Anonymous

Yes Laura, well handled. Totally agree.

(12)(8)

Legal Beak

I am willing to put good money on ‘anonymous’ being a 3 out of 10.

(26)(5)

Anonymous

This is obviously jealousy. . .

She’s beautiful

(6)(4)

Anon

Why is this being made such a big story? She isn’t the first law student/ aspiring lawyer to be Miss Bolton. Gabriella McCoy at Macfarlanes previously held the title!

(4)(0)

Bonton

Academic success + good looks = swarm of haters

(25)(7)

Blunt realist

Bit of a common sense failure here- if you’re not sure if you want to go down the barrister route, you don’t publish that online for any potential interviewers to find down the line. It’s the kind of lack of judgement that would make me not hire someone.

(15)(7)

Atticus Pinch

Yes – whatever you do, don’t be honest if you have a degree of uncertainty about which future path you’d most like to pursue. Hold yourself out as someone wholly committed to doing something even if you aren’t. If you want to be a barrister, you must know this from the off, right?

(7)(0)

Beauty really is in the eyes of the beholder

http://www.missbury.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Miss-Bury-Laura-Collins-21.jpg

Beautiful? Congrats on getting a 2:1 whilst working a job – now join everyone else. Currently in my final year and I’ve got a placement at a commercial law firm, working in the evenings and fitting university on top of everything. I don’t complain, and I don’t expect an advantage over everyone else. Stay humble Miss Collins.

(9)(15)

Laura Collins

Congratulations on getting a placement – I know they are very competitive. I wish you well with it and hope it is successful for you. I don’t want an advantage – in fact if anything my busy schedule means I am disadvantaged as I have less time to devote to all the causes I want to. Again – people’s opinions of the way I look are completely respected because it is a subjective thing. Your listing of you having a placement and working and being at University is not unlike this article – the only difference being – you are doing it to belittle me and I did it to show people that beauty queens are much more than what they are shown to be in the media. I do not claim to be superwoman for doing normal tasks like working and studying at the same time – but handling that on top of being heavily involved in my community is certainly hard work and I thank those that support me for doing so.

(11)(17)

Anonymous

Don’t you think it’s ironic that you’re telling her to stay humble when your comment sounds arrogant and bitter ?

(6)(6)

disappointed

You have nothing that puts yourself ahead of anyone else. You work a job whilst achieving a 2:1? Good for you, join everyone else that’s done that. Stay humble, Miss Collins.

(9)(4)

Anonymous

Miss Bolton AND Bury?!?!

Next stop Essex…

…Court.

(2)(7)

Anonymous

Crown or Mags?

(0)(0)

Not Amused

I disagree that it is clear that Ms Collins ‘loves herself’; but I hope she does. I hope you all start loving yourselves a bit more – then perhaps you wouldn’t write such unkind things.

The world would be a better place if we all loved ourselves and everyone else just a little bit more.

(38)(1)

B

Why on earth are you studying the LPC if you want to be an advocate?

Also…. Legal cheek.. Really?

(9)(2)

Anonymous

Some of these comments on here are definitely cheek. Yes, a lot of people do hold titles and are amazingly ambitious too and if you do research, THEY get into papers too. And if you read into all of Laura’s articles, she’s not doing it for attention, she’s trying to show that the stereotypical beauty queen isn’t all about the looks, the talk and the walk – she is ALSO proving to young girls that she is just like them – ambitious, motivated and determined.

She is a great credit to her community, and is slowly reaching every newspaper and online article systems – because she is interesting! A down to earth girl like the rest of us, yet showing motivation can get us anywhere!

She came second over a year ago in the Miss Bolton contest and motivated herself to do it again and achieve first place over a bunch of other talented women!

Don’t both criticising her or trying to get her ambitions lowered, because like it or not – you’re just fueling Laura, to make sure she is what she wants to be! Our friends and family keep is going but so do those people that have nothing nice to say.

Just saying 🙂

(4)(10)

Cynical recent graduate

“And if you read into all of Laura’s articles, she’s not doing it for attention, she’s trying to show that the stereotypical beauty queen isn’t all about the looks, the talk and the walk – she is ALSO proving to young girls that she is just like them – ambitious, motivated and determined.”

I’m sure the title of “Miss Bolton and Bury” carries such sway that the fortunes of countless young girls will be impacted by this young woman’s actions.

Fandom aside, I do find it unfortunate that some have decided to criticise her appearance or claim she loves herself. I personally think it is a bizarre and not necessarily a wise decision to have gone to the press with this, but I can’t see such a decision makes her deserving of either criticism. She’s entitled to do it if she wants to.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

2/10 WNB – pointy elbows.

Not a patch on our Briana.

(5)(4)

Anon

If you look at this story and feel the need to take a pop shot at her, you might want to ask yourself why.

(6)(4)

Donald McDonald

Not sure that your LinkedIn photo is well judged…

Anyway Laura, do tell us what great community work you undertake?

(3)(8)

Seriously

Oh feck off

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Can you guys please look at yourselves in the mirror before bed tonight and ask why you need to demean other people to make yourselves feel ok ? Just because you get to hide behind a computer screen doesn’t mean that your comments are less hurtful. One day when you are trying to share any accomplishment with others, you might get the same level of ugly criticis back. Karma is a bitch.

(5)(7)

Anonymous

Leave Karma alone
She’s not that bad
Can I suggest you look in the mirror before you insult her

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comment policy.

(3)(2)

Donald McDonald

FFS, Laura if you can’t take a bit of criticism then I suggest:

1. You stop giving interviews about how ‘beautiful’ you are.

2. How ‘intelligent’ you are.

3, what you are planning to do with the rest of your life.

Narcissim or what…?

(16)(7)

Anonymous

Readers’ wives

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Instructions to nearby comet:

Miss World

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