Student Awards on offer to GDL students
Neuroscience graduate Rhiannon Osborne is the latest student to win the Nigel Kayanni Award for her achievements while studying for a Graduate Diploma in Law at the School of Law, Swansea and it is hoped that her success will inspire others who may be considering a change of direction in their careers.
Rhiannon says she became interested in law while working as a medical rep and when she discovered that it was possible for her to qualify as a lawyer despite not having completed a degree she immediately enrolled on the one-year law diploma course. She admits her legal studies have been challenging but also rewarding. Her experiences on the GDL helped her make up her mind to remain at Swansea in order to complete her LPC, which in turn has lead to her joining Cardiff firm of solicitors, Berry Smith, where she hopes to specialize in Employment Law.
International GDL student Jing Xu from China has been awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award for his studies on the Graduate Diploma in Law.
Jing, who impressed his tutors with his hard work and commitment to his studies, previously studied law in China but now intends to quality as a solicitor in the UK. He has already taken the next step towards his goal and has successfully completed his LPC, also at the School.
Pictured opposite is top GDL graduate Joanne Thompson, receiving her award from Karen Davies, GDL Programme Director and Admissions Tutor.
The £500 prize is awarded to the student who demonstrates outstanding performance on the GDL course.
Joanne, originally from Swansea, joined the Swansea GDL immediately after graduating with a BA in English Literature from Oxford University. Following a successful placement with Geldards LLP law firm in Cardiff, Joanne was offered a training contract with the firm, where she will focus on employment law. Joanne said: "I am delighted to receive the GDL award from the School of Law. The GDL is an intensive course focusing on how the law works in England and Wales. Although challenging, the way the course is structured makes it manageable, and my tutors were very supportive. There is also a lot of interaction with other students which makes the course stimulating and enjoyable. Studying the GDL at Swansea has increased my confidence and has been great preparation for my placement at Geldards."
Pictured is Kate Howell, awarded the Nigel Kaiyanni Law Prize for her achievements on the Graduate Diploma in Law. Kate, who previously worked as an archaeologist, also completed her vocational legal studies at Swansea, planning to move on to practice in the area of Environmental Law. Kate is a girl in great demand, as she was offered a training contract by not one, but TWO law firms, finally taking up a place at the Cardiff offices of Eversheds.
When Kate discovered that, as a non-law graduate, it was possible for her to qualify as a lawyer without the need to first study for a traditional 3-year a law degree, she immediately enrolled on the 36-week Law Diploma course, only to become one of its top students. Kate comments “I have enjoyed studying law at Swansea University, and found the subject both interesting and intellectually stimulating. The GDL is certainly a challenge, but I have found it very rewarding. This has been the starting point for my career change into law, and I am looking forward to a long career in law.”
Another GDL prize winner, Laura Davies, who completed her GDL with Distinction was awarded the School of Law prize and commented “The GDL was a demanding course and required a lot of hard work and commitment but I found that it was thoroughly enjoyable and a really rewarding challenge. It has definitely provided me with a good grounding for my legal career.”
After beating off stiff competition from law graduates, the Lord Williams of Mostyn Scholarship was awarded to former GDL student Kathryn Novis. The award is funded jointly by the School of Law and the Swansea Legal Charitable Trust and is intended to assist students who hope to practice law in Wales. Kathryn has gone on to study for her LPC, again in the School of Law at Swansea.
A past recipient of the Nigel Kaiyanni prize, Charlotte Jones, a former Sociology graduate who has recently successfully completed her LPC, also at Swansea, has now taken up a training contract with the local firm of Cameron, Jones, Hussell and Howe.
Charlotte acknowledges that her legal studies have been challenging at times but her determination to succeed in her chosen career has seen her through and she is now looking forward to a life in legal practice.