From education to employment

Next generation of Lawyers already paving the way

University of Salford Business School students balance winning cases with graduating with first class degrees

LLB Law students at the University of Salford Business School are graduating with first class degrees in their droves this year, with multiple having already gained experience winning cases. This week, Obioma Ibe and Elle Holland graduate with firsts plus legal experience under their belts, while fellow student Alayali Rizvi graduates with a scholarship to cover his bar fees.

Obioma’s landlord unlawfully tried to claim her rental property deposit for issues she shouldn’t have been footing the bill for. It was only due to her knowledge on housing law, in light of her degree as well as her experience supporting the University’s Law Clinic, SILKS in this area, that Obioma was able to challenge her landlord and ultimately win her case.

Fellow student, Elle, helped win a whistleblowing case against a Legal 500 Lawyer, supporting her mum who was unfairly dismissed during the pandemic; while Alayali has completed work experience with the Crown Prosecution Service, plus a placement at Freedom Law Clinic. Alayali has also been awarded the Salford Bridge Scholarship with BPP to cover his bar fees, enabling him to further build on the core skills and competences he’s learnt throughout his undergraduate degree.

On her experience at Salford Business School, Obioma, commented:

“Getting a first in Law has been one of my proudest moments to-date, despite the rocky start due to the pandemic and several lockdowns; and building both my knowledge and experience in the sector over the last three years has been incredible. Serving as a Law Clinic Volunteer at SILKS Law Clinic has not only enabled me to gain first-hand experience supporting clients, while helping me to discover the area of law I want to pursue, but these skills and insights have translated into my personal life and supported me with my own real-life housing law case.”

Post-graduation, Obioma has plans to pursue a career in family, employment law or any other area of law life may present to her. Her goals over the next couple of years include starting her LPC (Legal Practice Course) and gaining more experience through Paralegal roles, and hopefully obtaining a training contract to qualify as a solicitor.

Elle, whose knowledge of employment law due to a module she had studied as part of her degree, enabled her to help her mum get the justice she deserved. She has balanced winning cases, extracurricular activities and work placements, all while still managing to achieve the highest grade for her studies. She said: “My first year was very much taken over by the pandemic and continuous lockdowns. On enrolling onto my course, my confidence was at an all-time low and learning entirely remotely from behind a screen really didn’t help. So, upon progressing into my second and third years, I made sure I got the most out of every opportunity, taking advantage of anything that came my way.

“Last year I was made President of the University’s law society, Level Up Law, and throughout the last two years I’ve really pushed myself into situations to purposely make myself uncomfortable. I’m now a confident public speaker and debater, skills I know will set me up for a successful career in law.”

Since finishing her degree, Elle, who is passionate about driving social mobility as a first-generation university student from a low-income background, has been working as a Law and Technology Intern at global professional services firm, Accenture. Her plans following graduation are to remain in Salford, while securing a training contract to continue her journey to becoming a qualified Solicitor.

Graduating alongside Obioma and Elle is Alayali, who is now another step closer to achieving his dreams of becoming a Barrister, after being awarded the coveted BPP Salford Bridge Scholarship. He added: “In the last three years I’ve overcome some great obstacles, namely starting my university journey during the pandemic. This resulted in a lack of opportunities to build my CV through work experience placements that year. I did however make sure I made up for this during my second and third years.

“Last year I was also made Vice President of the Level Up Law Society and, as the first person in my family to pursue a career in law, I have great drive and determination to make it happen. Thanks to the support of my Lecturers at Salford Business School and the connections I have been able to make during my time here, I now have a great deal of confidence that I’m well on my way to achieving my goals.”

Upon graduating and completing his bar training course, Alayali aims to be a practicing Barrister with a positive name in the community. His hopes are to be in a successful chamber or firm which will support his development in the field in the next few years.

Louise Hall, Senior Lecturer in Law (Practice) and Solicitor, as well as SILKS Lead at Salford Business School, concluded:

“It’s inspirational to see our Law students continue to go from strength to strength and already achieving great things. Many of our students come to us lacking confidence and for Obioma, Elle and Alayali, starting their journey into higher education at the height of the pandemic presented countless barriers. However, each has overcome these to firmly break them down.

“To already have experience fighting (and winning) a case prior to graduating is incredible, and we’re excited to see what great things these students go on to achieve.”

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