Liverpool Uni law student pledges to use £44,000 lottery win to fund barrister dream

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By Thomas Connelly on

First year has her law school fund sorted


A University of Liverpool law and criminology undergraduate has bagged £44,069 — and immediately revealed that the cash is going towards funding her ambition of becoming a criminal barrister.

Kerri Caskie, 18, says the money will help her pursue a career that she views as being normally reserved for those of a more “affluent background”.

The National Lottery backed prize — offered by newspaper the Liverpool Echo — is aimed at helping students achieve their aspirations by overcoming financial restrictions.

The bar wannabe claimed if it was not for her win she would probably have had to settle for a life doing “something lower down within the law”.

With Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) fees costing in excess of £18,000 at London providers, the young law student told the Echo:

It’s not something I could have afforded to do without this, as it’s so expensive — about £12,000 a year upfront costs. Normally you need to come from an affluent background to get into it.

Caskie, who had to collect tokens from the Liverpudlian newspaper in order to enter the prize draw, explained how she enjoyed reading its criminal case reports, as they provided practical examples that help with her studies. She continued:

I couldn’t believe it. I’m ecstatic, as it’s not the kind of thing you think happens to you. My heart was racing. But it’s literally the student dream. I’ve wanted to be a criminal barrister since I was a child, watching Law and Order and then doing a mini-pupillage.

Despite the free cash, the investment is still a risky one. With pupillages dropping below the 400 mark for the first time in living memory last year, it’s a tough time to be aiming to become a barrister — especially for those with aspirations to practise in legal aid.

It’s very hard to get into commercial sets too, with Legal Cheek research revealing earlier this year that Oxbridge graduates make-up 77% of top chambers’ junior talent. Having said that, if Caskie can secure a first class degree and gain advocacy experience, she has a reasonable chance of success.

Caskie has a couple of years to go before he needs to start thinking about the BPTC. But before she splashes any cash Legal Cheek recommends applying first for an Inns of Court scholarship to fund her studies — this year’s deadline is on Friday.