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Real World Questions essay competition: Meet the winners

We were delighted with the standard of entries in our essay competition, Real World Questions, aimed at students studying in years 10-13 with a chance to win work experience at leading law firms up for grabs. We wanted to get students opinions on two topical questions facing law and business today.

  • How fair is the Criminal Justice System?
  • How do businesses adapt to change effectively?

By Cara Fielder. Published 1 February 2021. Last updated 17 August 2021.

Both overall winners were awarded prizes including £1000 cash, a week’s work experience with either Clyde & Co or the Co-op, a 2 hour session with The University of Law’s Director of Employability, and the regional winners were awarded a set of Bose Soundlink II speakers and a Lenovo MIIX two-in-one tablet.

Today we’re talking to the overall winners of our Real Life Questions essay competition to discuss their entries and their career hopes for the future.


How fair is the Criminal Justice System? – Milena Prochorovaite

I study at Winstanley College in Wigan and after I complete my studies, I want to train to become a detective serving with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in London. I discovered the Real World Questions essay competition when I was doing virtual work experience with ULaw. My college promoted it to our class too.

I chose to answer the law subject question - How fair is the Criminal Justice System? I discussed how diverse the system is and why diversity is needed in a justice system, along with sharing some statistics. I also briefly explained how stop and search policies affect fairness in the system.

I entered the competition because I wanted to take part in a project that extended my knowledge on the criminal justice system. The question was very fitting for the current situation with the Black Lives Matter movement and how the system doesn’t execute fairness to all. The essay was a way I could help highlight this.

I was speechless to win the Real World Questions essay competition. I entered the competition thinking I didn’t have a chance of winning, so it’s given me a lot of confidence to know that I am very capable of getting my point across. Winning means a lot to me and I’m proud of myself.

The prize money has given me a solid starting foundation for life at university. It will pay for transport and anything else I need to survive, as well as treating myself a bit.

In five years, I hope to have finished my degree in professional policing with a high grade. I’ll be working on getting my driver’s and bike licence and trying to get fit for a career in policing and detection work.

My advice to anyone entering an essay competition is to make sure you get your points across clearly and directly. Try to answer the question from both sides, like a debate. Have evidence to back up what you’re saying. Other than that, trying your best is all that matters; you have the chance to succeed in anything if you believe in yourself.


How do businesses adapt to change effectively? – Winner Matthew Alex

I’m currently in Year 11 at Hymers College in East Yorkshire and in the future I plan to go into some form of engineering. That could be in robotics, artificial intelligence or something else. Eventually, I want to establish my own technology-based business which helps benefit people in less fortunate situations.

A teacher recommended the Real Life Questions competition to our year as something productive to do over the summer and my friends convinced me to do it.

In my ‘How do businesses adapt to change effectively?’ essay, I outlined some of the different ways businesses have succeeded through diversification, acquisitions, using technology and a number of other methods.

With the current coronavirus situation, we can see that many businesses have struggled while others have performed better than ever. I was interested in researching what determines a business’s success in this changing world. The University of Law also offered some very enticing prizes which were a good incentive for me.

I was pleased that the skills I'd been taught at school could be effectively used to answer a practical question. As of now, I am not exactly sure what I’ll do with the prize money, so I will save most of it for the time being. However; I did put some of it towards buying some Christmas presents.

In 5 years, I’ll be 21 and will probably be studying at a technology university. Hopefully, I’ll have a clearer perception of the career I want to pursue and I’d like to have developed my skills to work towards other such achievements as winning this competition.

I would definitely recommend other students to enter competitions like Real World Questions. Alongside some great prizes, the topics are very interesting to research and learn out more about. Entering the competition also develops your skills in essay writing, while providing an insight into how people are trying to solve important issues in our world.


Want to learn more about ULaw essay competitions? Read our blog from Change the World Fund winner Katie Landsborough.