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Biotech grad bags SQE1 scholarship for essay on ‘why STEM students make great lawyers’

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Viktoria Dipla’s £3k award covers cost of BARBRI course

Viktoria Dipla

A STEM graduate is a step closer to realising her lawyer aspirations after winning a Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) law conversion course award from BARBRI.

Viktoria Dipla, 26, has secured £3,000 in funding for part one of the SQE with the global legal educator after impressing judges with her essay on ‘Why STEM students make great lawyers’.

“It feels incredible to have won such a scholarship, allowing me to be one step closer to realising my aspirations of becoming a solicitor,” said Dipla. “I am very grateful and thankful for this opportunity provided by both BARBRI and Legal Cheek.”

In her 800-word essay, Dipla, who holds a masters degree in biotech from Greece’s International Hellenic University, drew comparisons between the way a STEM and non-STEM lawyer think, highlighting their similarities and explaining the STEM lawyer’s scientific approach to problem solving. She also pointed out some of the practical skills STEM grads bring to the lawyer profession.

Find out more about SQE Prep with BARBRI

Dipla this year completed a masters in law specialising in intellectual property and technology at the University of California, Berkeley, having studied undergraduate law at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. She continued:

“I am thrilled that the judges selected my essay, as it is my dream to be able to combine my STEM background in biotechnology and bioeconomy with my legal education to pursue a career as a commercial solicitor, with a focus on everything tech!”

Dipla will start on BARBRI’s extended prep course, which runs over 40 weeks and is specifically targeted at non-law students, next year.

To be in with the chance of winning the award, students and graduates had to attend STEM Future Lawyers and BARBRI’s ‘Why STEM students make great lawyers’ virtual event in November.

Robert Dudley, international deputy managing director at BARBRI, said:

“At BARBRI we believe everyone should be given the opportunity to access the profession and that’s why we’re proud to have launched a number of SQE 1 Prep course scholarships to support the future SQE student body attending these events. This particular scholarship attracted a high number of excellent essays, however the judges were in agreement that Viktoria’s submission was the strongest.”

Earlier this month BARBRI awarded a full SQE1 scholarship to Edinburgh University graduate Natalie Northridge for her vision of what the law firm of the future will look like.

The 2022 Legal Cheek SQE Providers List

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