During my GCSEs, the concept of studying Law at the University of Oxford seemed fascinating, yet highly competitive and unattainable. I’d spent numerous hours researching the course, excitedly looking over the entry requirements and course structure, yet grounding myself in the sobering reality of how unfathomably hard actually getting onto the course is. However, when I discovered the Pathways to Law programme, run by the Sutton Trust and the Faculty of Law at Oxford University, I saw it as my opportunity to get closer to my goal of studying Law at university, with the aspiration of securing a place at Oxford.
From the initial launch session, my preconceived notions regarding the elitist image of Oxford were proven wrong. The Pathways’ staff and academics running the session were more relaxed than I’d anticipated, with hospitality being paramount. Our opinions as new Pathways students were acknowledged and appreciated, creating a warm atmosphere where the free discourse of information and thought was encouraged.
This continued into the Mooting activity which Pathways to Law put together, where I was able to explore a case, create my own skeleton case, and then argue it in front of a panel. The opportunity to refine my advocacy skills through this activity provided insight into how a future career in law could evolve. Posing as a barrister for a short amount of time was exhilarating and further prepared me for understanding how the law is applied in court, so when I was able to shadow barrister Matthew Slater, I was prepared. It was only due to Pathways to Law that I was able to undertake this captivating work placement at Ten Old Square Chambers which opened my eyes to the world of advocacy.
Through Pathways to Law, I was able to access a plethora of work experience opportunities, which allowed my understanding of a career in the legal sector to develop. Furthermore, through the workshops led by Causeway Education, I was supported greatly with the process of applying to university for law. The Causeway team explained daunting concepts such as the UCAS process and creating a personal statement, which boosted my confidence. The LNAT workshop in particular was invaluable, with an extensive breakdown of the challenging admissions test making it much easier to understand.
Throughout the challenging years of my sixth form journey, Pathways has provided support, care and genuine opportunities I’d never imagined before the course, and I have now received an offer to study Law at Corpus Christi College! The amazing team at Oxford helped make such a competitive process much more accessible and I can’t be more thankful for the immeasurable support I was given.
Pathways to Law 2017-2019