Aspiring lawyers at Paddington Academy are being given a helping hand through a new partnership with leading barristers’ chambers, One Essex Court. The commercial chambers, whose barristers frequently appear in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, is working with the academy to help students embark on legal careers.
As part of the partnership the academy’s Sixth Formers have attended talks giving them an introduction to a career in Law. Year 13 students, who have applied to study Law at university, have also enjoyed mini-pupillages during which they spent the day with barristers to gain an insight into what life in chambers is really like. The students also benefited from mock interviews to help prepare them for their university assessments.
A legal mentoring scheme has also been launched through which barristers will support those students looking to follow careers in law. The barristers will mentor the students throughout the Sixth Form offering advice on entering the legal profession, including applying to university and arranging work experience placements.
Saul Lemer, a barrister at One Essex Court, said: “It is a pleasure to be partnering with Paddington Academy. All the students who have spent time with us have shown a real interest in the law and the legal profession. We are looking forward to developing this partnership further and helping young people from all backgrounds enter careers in law.”
Student Ali Taghdisi-Rad said: “Seeing that all people in Chambers were very academically successful and had got incredible degrees from top universities motivated me and stopped my complacency as it showed that if I don’t perform at the top of my potential then I can forget about being in that position in a few years.”
Another student Ardita Sylejmani said: “Having spent some time at the chambers, I was given the insight I needed into what working as a barrister would really be like. With that, speaking with an experienced barrister gave me the direct contact necessary for me to narrow down my options when I complete my course.”
Peter Jones, Principal of Paddington Academy, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to our students. The One Essex Court barristers have really opened up the world of law to our students and have shown them what they need to do to become successful lawyers. We have had an overwhelming response from students wishing to be mentored which shows how ambitious and determined our students are and how seriously they are considering their careers beyond school.
“This partnership is one of the ways in which we are delivering an Education with Character to our students. Opportunities like these broaden their horizons and encourage them to aim high. Spending time with barristers has really taken them out of their comfort zones and made them challenge themselves to perform in a completely new environment.”