Inspirational Law student achieves First Class degree from Swansea University

A student who was diagnosed with Dyslexia during his second year at university is today (Wednesday 22 July) celebrating gaining a First Class Honours Law Degree at the Swansea University Degree and Award Congregations held in the City and County of Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall.

Jake LoomesJake Loomes, aged 22 from Rutland, England, graduated from the University’s College of Law with an LLB Law Degree.  His proud mother and father, two sisters and grandparents were in attendance to watch him become the first member of the Loomes family to graduate from University.

Despite having a strong interest in understanding how the law works in society, Jake did not perform as well as he had hoped in his A-Levels, having achieved a B and two C’s.  In his second year at Swansea University he was diagnosed with Dyslexia which forced him to adapt to a new way of learning.  Understandably, he could have foundered, but the challenge merely spurred Jake on to work harder, and during the second half of his degree, he made remarkable strides to succeed.

In 2013 he was the winner of the first Swansea – Leeds Mock Trial Competition and runner-up in the Welsh National Mooting Competition.

After his second year at University, he spent a year working for JCP Solicitors under the College of Law’s placement scheme, and during his first month there was named employee of the month.

By the time he returned to Swansea for his final year his confidence and motivation had grown further: he worked part-time for the legal database company LexisNexis UK; set up a student mooting competition for first years; ran an Advocacy Training Programme in conjunction with local barristers and other legal professionals, and volunteered for the Citizens Advice Bureau (Swansea and Port Talbot). He was also a Student Ambassador for the University.

He managed these commitments and simultaneously achieved a First Class Honours Law Degree.  In addition he was awarded the Michael Sherrard Access to the Bar Award and COMBAR Scholarship (Commercial Bar Scholarship) which aims to provide talented students with two weeks’ paid experience at the commercial bar in London.

Since completing his studies he has spent a week shadowing barristers at One Essex Court (a leading Commercial Law Chambers) and another week marshalling Mr Justice Flaux (Head of the Commercial High Court in England and Wales).

He has also completed a paid research internship in the College of Law, working on a project to bridge the gap between studying A-levels and studying Law at University.

On receiving his degree, Jake said: “Ultimately I was attracted to Swansea by the forward thinking ethos of the College of Law and the clear recognition of the need to provide students not only with passionately delivered lectures, but also with the necessary skills and work opportunities to prepare them for a career post-graduation.

“The College of Law at Swansea is one of the top in Wales, and puts great emphasis on facilitating employment opportunities via placements for several students every year  (something that I was privileged enough to be part of during my second year). The unwavering effort and support of my personal and academic tutors has been invaluable in helping me learn and fuelling my passion for the law. I was also attracted to Swansea for its unrivalled location - a stone’s throw away from the beach, Mumbles and the Gower - it really doesn’t get much better than that!

“My main career aspiration is to be a barrister at the commercial and chancery bar, an aim that has been reaffirmed as part of my recent Scholarship Award from COMBAR (Commercial Bar Association) which provided me with the opportunity to work with a leading commercial barristers’ chamber in London as well as the opportunity to shadow a High Court Judge.”

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Ruth Costigan, said: “Jake Loomes is one of the most talented and driven students I have had the pleasure of teaching.  He has shown remarkable tenacity during his studies at Swansea University.  Instead of seeing his diagnosis with Dyslexia as a stumbling block, he simply increased his efforts to achieve an outstanding result in his degree”.

One of his tutors, Dr Stuart Macdonald, added: “Jake has an endless curiosity about Law and how it develops and shapes society – it is this that will spur him on to great things in the future, I am sure.  He really is an inspiration, and I wish him all the best.”