Meet the law graduate who got a 2:1 from Bristol Uni and made the Olympic team in the same month

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By Katie King on

But has she got a training contract?


There’s one thing law students will all agree on: law is a notoriously heavy subject.

The workload is so intense in busy periods it’s sometimes hard to find a spare moment in the day to make some food or go for a walk.

While the best of us find solace in mooching about the library in slippers, complaining about trusts, tax and tenancies, others choose to do something truly amazing during their time at law school.

Enter recent law graduate Jazmin Sawyers, who in 2016 has not only managed to smash her Russell Group uni law degree but — thanks to a stellar performance in the British Championships — has also qualified for Great Britain’s Olympic long jumping team.

This is a moment in Sawyers’ life she — rightly — feels “over the moon” about, but just how has she managed to get to this point?

The key, she tells Legal Cheek, is organisation. The Commonwealth Games silver medallist continues:

It’s a case of work smart, as opposed to work as hard as possible.

Sawyers credits a lot of her academic success to her tutors and other staff members over at the University of Bristol, who she describes as “very supportive”. She relied on recorded lectures and was able to rearrange her timetable so all her tutorials and seminars for the week were scheduled on two days, enabling Sawyers to focus on her athletics training at the University of Bath for the other three.

Though Sawyers says she’s always been busy (she’s been competing internationally since she was 15), the clean sport advocate knows her limits. Sawyers — who dropped out of the University of Sheffield in her first year to be closer to her sports coach — explains:

I was never striving for a first class degree, I knew it wasn’t realistic. It was all about working out how little I could do to still turn in a good essay.

Sawyers is very candid about the fact that is hasn’t always been easy for her. She’s missed out on the parties and nights out students come to take for granted at university, and she’s “disappointed” she didn’t get the chance to get involved in extra-curricular activities like mooting and pro bono while she had the chance. Her CV, she admits, “is pretty bare”.

But, she tells us, she’d rather it be this way around than sacrifice the sport. Sawyers didn’t train as hard as she should’ve done in the first half of her first year at Bristol, and after this blip she realised training would have to be her priority. She adds:

Athletics is such a once in a lifetime opportunity. My legs are only going to last so long, and Rio 2016 isn’t going to come around again. A law degree can be done again.

Luckily for Sawyers, that’s not something she has to contemplate.

The world class athlete has now graduated from the University of Bristol with a 2:1, having previously turned down the university’s suggestion she spread her final year studies across two years.

? seeya Bristol

A photo posted by Jazmin Sawyers (@jazminjayne) on

The graft has all paid off, and — as you can imagine — Sawyers is thrilled about it:

It’s been the best year of my life. Most of the hard, hard work is done now. It’s just the last bits of training to go before Rio.

A solid degree from a Russell Group uni, a demonstrable sense of time management, an enviable number of sporting achievements and a place on Legal Cheek‘s influential aspiring lawyers list under her belt, Sawyers seems like the perfect City training contract candidate.

But, for the moment anyway, the 22-year-old long jumper doesn’t want to think about that. She tells us:

For now it’s all about the sport. Because I’ve been splitting my time I haven’t had the chance to research careers in law and learn what would suit me. I don’t know how long I’ll be doing sport for, but I do know it’s my dream. Law is something I found later and something I enjoy, but I just don’t have the drive to pursue it like I want to pursue sport at the moment.

Everyone at Legal Cheek HQ wishes Sawyers all the best with her Olympic journey.