Leeds Beckett law graduate set to enter Love Island villa

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Lavena Back completed a mini-pupillage at Doughty Street Chambers

Lavena Back – credit: Instagram (iam_l.v) and ITV

A law graduate is set to enter ITV2’s Love Island tonight.

Lavena Back, 23, from Croydon, south London, is one of twelve(!) new cast members joining the popular sun-soaked reality TV show this evening.

The return of rival villa Casa Amor is set to spice things up: the show’s current contestants will split into two villas as six single guys and girls get ready to turn Islanders’ heads, put their romances to the test and attempt to couple-up in order to keep their place on the hit show.

A scan of Back’s LinkedIn profile shows the brunette completed an LLB at Leeds Beckett University, graduating with a 2.1 just two years ago. In a post on her Instagram page, where she has over 10,000 followers, Back says she got on to the course through Clearing: “Did you see what I done… came through clearing… left with a 2:1 👩🏽‍🎓… #LAWGRADUATE!!!!!,” she writes. Her LinkedIn page goes on to list activities she presumably undertook while at law school in the Northern city, including “law society”, “mentor scheme” and “ambassador”.

It appears Back has also completed a week-long mini-pupillage with famed human rights and criminal set Doughty Street Chambers. “I was exposed to the inner workings of a trial,” she writes on LinkedIn.

Following graduation it appears Back turned her ‘back’ on the law, completing stints as a customer advisor at mobile phone giant EE and a managerial role at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Before packing her suitcase and jetting off to Majorca (where the show is filmed), it is understood Back worked as a business developer for cloud-based software company NetSuite, and has undertaken various modelling and music video gigs.

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

Speaking to producers ahead of her appearance on the show, Back says she has been single for four years and admits: “I needed a while to get over my last relationship and really enjoy myself before I could commit to someone. But now I’m very much ready.”

She isn’t lacking in confidence either. “I’m a five times two out of ten. My best feature is my smile”, says Back, who isn’t afraid to step on the other girls’ toes, adding: “I don’t really care. I’m there to find love. As everyone says it’s not Friend Island. I’m not afraid to say it how it is.”

Back isn’t the first legally-minded Love Island contestant to appear on the show. Last series saw Rosie Williams, a newly qualified solicitor at Manchester-based law firm Just Costs Solicitors, enter the Spanish villa. Williams, who refers to herself as “Legally Brunette” in several of her Instagram posts, was on the show for just 16 days before being booted out. Since then she hasn’t ruled out a return to the law, and attended our glitzy Awards ceremony earlier this year.

Rosie Williams with the Legal Cheek campus ambassadors and vloggers Chrissie Wolfe and Eve Cornwell #squadgoals

You can catch Love Island, which is narrated by University of Edinburgh law grad Iain Stirling, on weekdays and Sundays on ITV2 from 9pm.

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wOw – bReAkinG nEWs

Offended Bystander

What happened to JD Partner? More censorship from LC!!!


“LLB at Leeds Beckett University”

absolut topppp




Unlikely she turned her back on the law. That 2:1 from Leeds Beckett was never going to get her a TC or pupillage

2nd Year MC Trainee

I honestly wish that students from universities like LBU do not take these kind of comments seriously.

For the record: I graduated from UCL but there are quite a few people on my intake (and the year below) who have diplomas from less prestigious universities, including Leeds Beckett, Oxford Brookes, Brunel, Swansea, Keele, Portsmouth, Hull, etc.
All of them are fantastic colleagues and sometimes I truly wonder why they did not go to better universities (especially since some of them actually had the required A-levels).
The only noticeable difference between them and the rest of the cohort from your ‘usual suspects’ is that trainees from the above institutions had to work for a few years as paralegals before landing their training contract, I think that there are only about two who managed to secure their TC while still at law school.
Graduating from university outside of the Russell Group definitely does not help and these people have just installed a major obstacle on their path by attending such institution but it does not mean that they stand no chance in obtaining a TC from top City law firms. It can be much harder for them, but not necessarily impossible.

So, dear Realist, I take it you are probably a RG student who does not actually work at the law firm yet. Here’s my piece of advice: do not get sniffy about other people who you think are not good enough because one day you may find yourself losing your precious training contract to someone from worse university. Or just simply be a decent person and do not make such comments.


Real MC Associate

You must be a CC trainee



I’ll have fries with that.

You may call me “My Lord”.

The bar

I am inclined to agree with Realist; Oxbridge still dominate both the magic circle firms and the bar, followed by the London universities and Durham. Whilst it is possible to get a TC or pupillage at a prestigious firm or chambers, a candidate from a ‘lesser university’ will find it much more difficult to even get a look in.

Anecdotally, maybe I haven’t been looking hard enough, but I certainly have not come across a Beckett grad at the bar in my 5 years.


Tbf, the typical Leeds Beckett graduate will be tripped up by the a level minimums that MC / SC firms have.
If she actually has ABB or better and went to Beckett there’s probably something going on (a scholarship most likely) that would make her stand out despite the degree


Although someone going to a worse university then they can get into on a scholarship should really be getting a first


True, 4.56. That’s how some people from Durham get in.


Not sure why you had to name these “less prestigious universities”; Non-Russell group would have sufficed.


Is Beckett the one that used to be a public convenience?

Brian Griffin

I have a tip on how to get on to the show:

Wish it, Want it, Do it.

Diane Abbott's Lovechild

Each and every counsel at doughty is cringing right now


I fucking hate legal cheek


Then why do you keep reading it?


Don’t read it then! Easy as that !


KK triggered


Who will rid me of this turbulent university!?


Leeds Polytechnic. There, its gone. And no messy murder to explain away afterwards either.


Can I get into Skadden with a 2.1 from LBU? Or maybe Kirkland on the off chance Skadden don’t make an offer


Are you the CMS trainee?


What’s it to you.,


Just wondering. Each of LC memes (CMS trainee, Alex, the aforementioned partner) is like a family member to me now.

Kirkland NQ

On the deck of my yacht LOLing that you can get in to the ‘land. Maybe as a toilet attendant?


Well she will be called to the Bar soon…

The one down the road from me that is, waheeey!


She’s hot.


Because she’s working in retail/customer service doesn’t mean she turned her back on the law….it’s hard to enter the profession! You need to pay your bills somehow.


No it’s actually quite straight forward – get ABB or better, get 2i at respectable university, do a couple of relevant vac schemes, get tc in the city.
At most you might have to do some random shit to make ends meet during the lpc, but she’s not doing that


What of you are from a poor background and had to work to support yourself and your family during your a-levels and did not get the desired results? What if you are from abroad and do not have a-levels at all? Foundation degree is 15k and some families cannot afford this amount outright!
What we are all dirt to you then?




Baby got back


No she hasn’t she is slim as anything!


Why do people think going on Love Island makes you an airhead. You get to spend 12 weeks in a luxury Villa with extremely attractive people looking for romance and you get instant fame. Who wouldn’t take the opportunity?

Sarah Watson

Why does it matter what university you go to? What makes a lawyer isn’t just about the legal knowledge it’s the character of the individual. I didn’t go to a top tier university. I also narrowly missed getting a 2:1 (exams just weren’t my strength – nor do you sit an exam when you deal with a client – so a wholly unrealistic test of knowledge – but that’s a different debate). My point is I obtained a TC in a high street firm and now I run my own law firm, which I started before I turned 30! My intention is to open an office in London and I want international offices. Ultimately I am following my dream. If you want something bad enough just keep trying. I also offer TCs and you know what I look for … character and the right attitude! I honestly do not care what university the trainee went to. It’s whether they can do the job? How they look after the clients? Whether they have the tenacity to be a lawyer? After all this profession is not easy!


While I agree with you, exams and university ranking are all a firm has to determine the trainees abilities. Character and attitude are difficult to determine without sufficient time. An interview is not sufficient. In other words, exams and university rankings are all that is practical.


Are the people on love island displaying the “character and the right attitude“ that you claim you are looking for? How many people from LI have you offered a TC to? Have you put your money where your month is and offered this girl one?


But you’re not working in a MoneyLaw city law firm are you


A tad delusional I must say…Who would a client rather use, a bright button who graduated from a top university, or some pleb who graduated with a Desmond from an irrelevant former polytechnic?


The law turned its back on her.


So creative! Well done Mr/Ms Cliche

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