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Aspiring law and business students tackle real-world problems through essay competition

The University of Law has announced the winners of its Real World Questions Essay Competition aimed at aspiring legal and business minds in UK secondary education.

The overall winners were Milena Prochorovaite from Winstanley College in Wigan, and Matthew Alex from Hymers College in East Yorkshire. Alongside these winners, the South & Wales Regional winner is Adishree Bansal, the Midlands Regional winner is Dhruval Soni, Grace McGarvey is the North Regional winner and the London Regional winner was Emily Reed.

The overall winners were awarded prizes including £1000 cash, a week’s work experience with either Clyde & Co or the Co-op, a two hour session with The University of Law’s Director of Employability, and the regional winners were awarded Bose Soundlink II speakers and Lenovo MIIX two-in-one tablets.

Students in Years 10 – 13 from across the country, were asked to consider current Real World Questions faced by lawyers and business professionals today. Essays covered “How Fair is the Criminal Justice System?” and “How do Businesses adapt to change effectively?” and showed students to be inquisitive, thoughtful with detailed research skills and high ambition.

The competition was judged by a stellar line-up: Shelbey Whitehouse (Legal Counsel, Corporate Functions, the Co-op), Gill Gardner (General Counsel, Food and Ventures, the Co-op), Vicky Lowe (Legal Counsel, Food, the Co-op), Jennifer Schmidt-Petersen (Programme and Student Lead, Policing Programmes, The University of Law), John Watkins (Director of Employability, The University of Law), Zoe King (Campus Dean, University of Law) and Amanda Crutchley (Probono Coordinator, The University of Law)

For the top essays, the judges looked for opinions offered and supporting evidence, sophisticated language that can influence and persuade people, and demonstration of using a mixture of resources including those that The University of Law provided, along with their own independent research. The judges also wanted to see that the topic they had chosen genuinely interested the student, and that the essay had a strong structure, no grammatical issues and had an introduction and conclusion that followed the flow of the essay itself.

Shelbey Whitehouse, Solicitor and Legal Counsel, Corporate Functions, at Co-op said: “At Co-op, we’re always looking to give young people opportunities that they might not otherwise have, to gain insight into working life.  Taking the chance to be involved in ULaw’s Real World Competition is a very welcome recent example of this.  We’re really looking forward to having one of the winners join us for work experience”

Peter Eley, Senior Product Marketing Manager at The University of Law said: “Our Real World Questions campaign is designed to engage those interested in careers in law, business, policing and criminology, with the types of questions they will face in their future careers. Teaching at The University of Law focuses on these real-life scenarios, and our Real World Questions competition is designed to give prospective students a taste of these important learnings. We were thrilled with the number and the high quality of the entries, which showed an excellent level of engagement with the questions, and I’d like to personally congratulate the winners.”

The University of Law will be re-running this competition in 2021 and hopes to see many more students taking part.