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Aspiring lawyer raises £30,000 to secure spot on prestigious Oxford Uni law course

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After wealthy anonymous benefactor spotted Brighton grad’s online appeal

Ebun Azeez pictured working at Burger King

A first class law grad has raised enough money to secure her place on a prestigious postgraduate course at the University of Oxford.

Ebun Azeez, who completed her LLB at the University of Brighton, was offered a spot on Oxford’s elite Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) course at Pembroke College. However, there was just one problem — aspiring lawyer Azeez couldn’t afford the hefty £31,000 in fees.

Refusing to admit defeat, the 20-year-old, like many before her, turned to crowdfunding in the hope of raising the much-needed cash. Azeez’s GoFundMe page raised over £8,000 in just one month.

Still way off her financial target, international student Azeez was fortunate in that her appeal was spotted by a wealthy alumnus of Pembroke College, who came forward to offer substantial financial support. Digging deep, The Oxford Law Faculty then matched the anonymous benefactor’s generous gift through the Sants BCL Scholarship.

The upshot of all this? Azeez will be one of just 99 students enrolling onto Oxford’s BCL course this autumn.

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It’s probably fair to say Azeez hasn’t had the easiest start to her legal life. She’s a first-generation uni grad, the daughter of small business owners and had to pull shifts in Burger King and the uni’s accommodation office to fund her LLB studies.

Speaking to Legal Cheek about her crowdfunding success, Azeez said:

“I cannot put the feeling into words when I recall the exact moment I found out about the scholarship. It was a mix of relief, disbelief, excitement and profound gratefulness — all at once! I am very thankful and overwhelmed by the support which I received from people all around the world.”

Azeez’s story follows similar successful fundraising endeavours. Last week, we reported that second-year law student Raphael Chinwuko raised the £27,000 he needed to complete his studies at Durham University.

Last year, Oxford law grad Katy Sheridan successfully raised £4,500 to fund her BCL studies after opening up about her struggles with endometriosis. Just weeks before, Leila Taleb, a bar hopeful from Bradford raised all of her Bar Professional Training Course fees (and more) thanks largely to a £12,500 pledge from a “mystery person”.

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50 Comments

Anonymous

Can we do a crowd funding to pay for my mortgage. Legalcheek are you willing to write an article and share it?

(46)(7)

Anonymous

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.

(7)(23)

Anonymous

Or fellowess, sexist.

(0)(4)

Anonymous

The very fact that you have a mortgage shows that you clearly don’t have the hardships that this person does, and are simply an envious, entitled (and possibly racist) penis.

(15)(26)

Anonymous

Definitely racist, and sexist. Probably a homophobe too.

(4)(8)

Anonymous

Dont’s assume, if you dont know me, C*nt!

The fact that I have a mortgage means I worked and saved up for my deposit and acquired a mortgage in London. Secondly don’t assume I’m rasict because of my comment, it shows your stupidity. My post is based on the fact that all the fundraising stories published here have been successful, hence why I joked and mentioned my mortgage. But you wouldnt know that because you like to jump to conclusion and assume sh*t.

Definitely dont know how race comes into place within my comment, or gender nor sexuality.

In terms of envy – BA jurisprudence (Oxon), LL.M Corp.Gov (Stanford Law School).

learn to take a joke and learn how not to be miserable, little sh*ts

(8)(22)

Anonymous

Whatever, you’re the one who attacked an innocent person due to their race and gender. That makes you racist and sexist.

(1)(9)

Anonymous

How is her race and gender attacked in the original post?

I really don’t understand why people are taking it as an attack to her gender, race , sexuality.

Typical

(11)(4)

Anonymous

I’m glad it’s “typical” that your views get called up. If you’re going to exhibit blatant racism and sexism (and implicit homophobia) you can at least own up to it.

Random passerby

Lets be honest, it can’t be a bad thing that this lady succeeded. And the BCL will open so many doors for her compared to just the Brighton degree. Well done and good luck.

(31)(6)

Anonymous

I have student loans and a sense of self-entitlement, will LC publish a story if I set up a crowdfunding page?

(36)(2)

Alex

Send us your details. We’re pretty desperate for articles.

(40)(1)

Anonymous

Get back in your kennel

(2)(0)

Anonymous

When you join a proper firm you will get paid properly.

(0)(0)

Aspiring Lawyer

Quick question. Will a specialized commercial LL.M. from Lse, Ucl or Kings increase my chances of getting interviews with top london firms? In addition to work experience, good grades, application and etc?

This would be really helpful please – can someone share their stories

(0)(9)

TheAcresOfFour

No, you are either ready now and will be made an offer, or you won’t.

All having an LLM will show is that you are monied and from the right class. Unless of course your looking for an institutional upgrade because your undergraduate degree was at a bog roll university…

If however you want to do it for your own enjoyment and learning as opposed to an improvement in your career prospects, go right ahead.

(16)(2)

TheAcresOfFour

you are looking*

(0)(1)

Demos Craticus

TheAcresOfFour

Did you notice how you made the first error but still made a second error on the correction? ‘You’re’.. looking, was the right answer for the context of that sentence.

it indicates that you have difficulties with basic grammar especially in real time situations yet you still felt or believed you held qualification to answer a substantive question. You still continued disparagement by referring to ‘boll roll university.’

Do you see the conflict?

(1)(13)

TheAcresOfFour

Get lost you arse.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

At best, it will give you a 1% greater chance. Unless you have bad grades at A Level and/or uni, an LLM is (mostly) a waste of money if you’re looking to practice whereas it’s obviously good if you’re looking towards an academic career. Quite a few trainees on my intake have done LLMs at various unis and I’m sure the LLM played almost no part in that. You’re better off taking a year out to work and doing the LPC rather than throwing money away for the LLM AND the LPC too.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Why would anyone spend money on the LPC? Paying for the LPC oneself must be the most idiotic thing one can do. Either one gets a TC or one doesn’t. In the former case, the fees paid for the LPC could have been better spent in Vegas…

LLMs aren’t a bad way to spend another year studying/laundering one’s previous degree/grades, so it’s definitely not a bad thing to do…

(4)(2)

Anonymous

Why would paying for the LPC yourself be worse than paying for an LLM yourself? If you have to pay for the LPC yourself, at least a paralegal job after the LPC is easier to obtain. A job which can lead to a TC. An LLM isn’t a ‘bad thing’ but it’s not worthwhile. You won’t be any nearer to getting a TC just because you have an LLM, you might as well just get a Masters in something else or go to Vegas with that LLM money.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

One paid for the LPC oneself over here, secured a TC six months later and qualified last year…

(11)(0)

Anonymous

Liar.

(1)(1)

Miss Vanjeee

I obtained my TC whilst doing my LPC, it definitely helps to do it even if it just means you can network with associated firms to the uni.

(1)(0)

Young sage

I doubt it. The Oxford BCL is really quite special. If you could get on that course or Harvard/Yale then it may help, particularly post qualification. City firm partners are quite snobby. But an LLM from KCL won’t do anything for you professionally unless you are working and doing it part time in construction law or Competion law.

(16)(0)

Anonymous

The BCL is one the one graduate law degree that really does impress people. (BCL Grad).

(9)(1)

SingaporeSwing

The BCL is difficult, difficult, lemon difficult

Respeck

(9)(1)

Anonymous

This course is a nice little earner for Oxford – in reality, it’s just another way of monetising England’s historic (if imperilled) academic reputation to gouge fees from foreign students.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I can’t speak directly to law firms but have some experience re. applications to chambers. This may or may not be helpful.

I went to a red brick university for undergraduate and then did the BCL. I applied for pupillage twice (once pre-BCL, once post-BCL). My applications were to commercial and commercial chancery chambers. The first time I received two to three interviews, the second five or six times that (and ultimately pupillage). Little else had changed on my applications. In some sense, the postgraduate was an “institutional upgrade” as one commenter has put it above. Doing a postgraduate definitely made a big difference, though the BCL is particularly valued at the Bar.

LSE is a well-respected academic institution. That said – at the Commercial / Commercial Chancery Bar at least – very few tenants have done an LSE postgraduate. Generally speaking, unless you have an outstanding undergraduate degree, doing a postgraduate seems to be necessary at the Commercial / Commercial Chancery Bar (http://www.indx.co.uk/pupilbase/?mode=detail&id=636830313337 – provides some idea though seems to be a limited sample).

This is all based on my personal experience and research so take it with a pinch of salt.

(13)(0)

The Question Asker

Thank you very, very much. One of the best answers I have received. Also thanks for using an anecdote of your experience.

(3)(1)

solciitorlondon

Good answer. If you don’t mind me asking what kind of set?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Fair play, don’t ask don’t get I suppose

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Usually women need to do things in front of a web camera to raise such funds in a short period of time. Fair play that she has managed to raise the funds without needing to do such things.

(12)(2)

JD Partner

We heavily recruit from such applicants, by the way.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Do you sponsor Venezuelans?

(1)(1)

JD Partner

Measurements please.

(12)(2)

Demos Craticus

If you don’t get close to 1st class, but at least 2.1, grades for hypothetical (er ‘problem questions’) assignments is it really special? Law assignments at levels 4 and above require several ways of approach and remedy to the question, and at levels 5 and above, they likely have additional alternative circumstances. It’s almost like saying if you get 2.2 for hypothetical problems it’s quite bad. If you get 2.1 – it’s standard. If you get 1st class if it mean you’re good at recognising problems. Even if you get a 100 it does not mean it is perfect answer.

(0)(2)

Demos Craticus

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Very pleased for her.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

LLM’s are good when you have a 2.2 (due to special circumstances) to show you have the ability. You need a distinction or commendation to make it worthwhile.

(2)(0)

Demos Craticus

Year 2 is a 1/3 of the degree classification and 3 is 2/3. So what type of special circumstances warrant a 2.2.?

If the 2.2 plus special circumstances warrants an indicator of ability then why does it require an LLM. Are the LLM exams proportionate (or equivalent) with LLB’s?

We could therefore say a 3rd class based on poor exam performances but would this be sufficient for ‘special circumstances.’

Hypothetical person was born with brain damage and has difficulties judging time; organisation problems; structure difficulties; but all are only medically affective in situation-specific environments, namely exam performances. Other than exams this hypothetical person performs to good standards. Would getting a 3rd class in a university that uses 100% for assignments and 100% for examinations (ie equal weighting) in these circumstances be special circumstances in itself? For guidance to the hypothetical consider reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.

There are several hypotheticals that one could come up with actually.

(0)(0)

Big Dolla

Is that you De Montford?

I’ve missed you.

(0)(0)

Anonymous benefactor (also a JDP)

I attached some pretty onerous terms to the ‘substantial financial support’… Let’s just say I’m going to be spending a lot more time in Oxford.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

Eewww.

(0)(1)

Cam

Oxford are accepting people from unis like Brighton..? Wow, so glad I turned down my BCL offer for Cambridge!

(12)(10)

Anonymous

Key point; how will she fund the BPTC if this is indeed her intended route?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Inn scholarship and pupillage drawdown. I was fully funded for my BPTC year from these sources, and that’s not uncommon.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

And the new postgraduate loan too.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

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