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Leeds Uni bio sciences grad and Oxford Uni physics and philosophy student secure STEM law conversion scholarships

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Duo will receive £2,500 each towards BPP course

A University of Leeds biological sciences graduate and a University of Oxford physics and philosophy student have picked up a special law conversion scholarship aimed at science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) students.

Aspiring lawyers Julia Smith and Imogen Rivers came up against over 100 applicants, drawn from STEM Future Lawyers, the UK’s only dedicated network for STEM students and graduates interested in pursuing a career in law. Over 2,000 active members, all of whom are STEM students, have joined the network since its launch in 2016.

The pair have been awarded £2,500 each to embark on a legal career at a BPP University Law School campus of their choice. The money will go towards fees for the Law Conversion Course (PGDL), an eight-month course tailored specifically for non-law students looking to sit the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). The wannabe lawyers were chosen by a panel of legal education experts, chaired by BPP’s Head of Outreach and Student Recruitment, Jonny Hurst.

Leeds graduate Smith, who started the PGDL in January, is currently studying online due to COVID-19 but will join BPP’s London Waterloo campus once it’s safe to do so. Meanwhile, Oxford student Rivers plans to start her PGDL this September.

Smith said:

“I have a varied STEM background encompassing life sciences and data analysis. Throughout my STEM experiences I have always enjoyed problem solving, and saw that law could combine this with being in a commercial dynamic environment. I have built up analytical and technical skills, as well as scientific understanding, which I can see will be great assets in practising law, particularly in areas such as intellectual property. I am delighted and extremely grateful to have received the scholarship, and have enjoyed beginning my journey into law at BPP.”

Hurst added:

“The quality of applicants improves every year for this scholarship, showing that STEM students considering a career in the law are now better informed than ever. In different ways, both winning candidates managed to demonstrate very successfully their commitment to researching a career in law, the value that their STEM background would give them and insight into technological innovation which is both an opportunity and challenge to the profession.”

Commenting on the scholarships, the founder of STEM Future Lawyers and Legal Cheek, Alex Aldridge, said:

“By extending STEM Future Lawyers to virtual events and fairs this year we’ve been able to reach thousands more STEM students interested in legal careers all over the UK. It’s great to see Julia and Imogen come through and secure PGDL scholarships. Thanks to BPP for making this possible.”

Last year, the scholarship was awarded to a King’s College London biochemistry student and a University of Surrey veterinary medicine graduate, who each received £2,500 towards their PDGL fees. They both started their law conversion courses last September.

STEM Future Lawyers is the UK’s dedicated law careers network for STEM students looking to make the leap into law. Since its launch in 2016, STEM Future Lawyers has grown to over 2,000 members, all of whom are STEM students. You can sign up to STEM Future Lawyers, which is a Legal Cheek sister site, here.

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