FORGET making tea or stuffing envelopes, six Swansea students will be spending their work experience in California this summer seeing LA law for themselves.

The students, from the College of Law at Swansea University, will be spending six weeks just outside Los Angeles shadowing federal public defenders and staff in the offices of district judges.


News item 19th April 2014

The six Swansea law students who are off to California for six-week work placements (from left) Jood Alharthi, James Denton, Elinor Shanahan, Liam Bestwick, Charlotte Murray and William Davies.



Charlotte Murray, a second year law and American studies student from Ammanford, said: “I am so excited to be able to experience such a wonderful and unique opportunity. It will give me a chance to expand my legal knowledge in a place filled with such amazing culture and history.”

Students were tested and interviewed to win the places, six of 80 placements organised for College of Law students this summer. The winners will receive college scholarships to help with travel and accommodation costs.

The placements were set up with the help of the he‌ad of the College of Law Professor John Linarelli, who used to work in California and has contacts in the legal profession there.

Professor Linarelli, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for our students. It represents the sort of active and engaged learning which we are developing as the hallmark of Swansea Law. One of the best ways to learn the law is to experience it in action. Add to this the comparative element which Swansea law students are getting in this California experience and the results will be transformative for our students.”

Winner Will Davies, a second year Law with Business student from Bedfordshire, said: “I am very privileged to have been selected to represent the University. It is a unique opportunity to experience the day to day activity of the US legal system as well as life as a Californian resident, and see how different it is from life in Swansea. It is something I am very much looking forward to and desperate to make the most of.”

Jeffrey A Aaron, Directing Attorney of the Office of the Federal Public Defender, said: “These placements will give the students the opportunity to gain valuable experience working with federal judges, or agency supervisors and their staff, and to be immersed in the practice and procedure of civil and litigation in the United States.”

The college’s summer work placements scheme is now in its seventh year. Graham Jones of Smith Llewelyn solicitors in Swansea said: "We are proud to support this excellent scheme. In today's job market it gives students a valuable opportunity to develop new skills, increase their employability and make informed decisions about their future careers.”

Open days for youngsters considering studying at Swansea University will be held on June 28, October 11 and November 1.