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International law firm impressed by Birkbeck students

A top international law firm is keen to consider law students from Birkbeck, University of London, for an upcoming paralegal position because senior staff are impressed by the calibre of Birkbeck’s students. The commitment, motivation and ability of Birkbeck’s students to combine work and evening study are reasons why Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) are encouraging Birkbeck students to apply for the post in the coming months.

The role, due to be advertised later this year, will give Birkbeck students an opportunity to be the second paralegal from the university to gain a position in BLP’s market-leading Commercial Construction team.

Pioneering paralegal

Last year, Emma Lawley became the first paralegal recruited by BLP from Birkbeck’s School of Law. In 2014 she was offered and accepted a training contract at BLP.

Lawley, 25, had previously combined working at a residential property company and then for the Business Services team at British Airways with studying Law (LLB) at Birkbeck part-time over four years. She said: “I have definitely achieved my ambition of working at a top international law firm thanks to Birkbeck. The experience I have gained working as a paralegal has been invaluable to me and I am hoping to progress to becoming a trainee solicitor in the near future."

Lawley, from west London, was also awarded a bursary from Birkbeck to contribute towards her tuition fees. She added: “The opportunities given to me by Birkbeck were absolutely brilliant – they really exceeded my expectations.”

Birkbeck-BLP links

Marc Hanson, (pictured above), the head of the Commercial Construction team at BLP said: “We are impressed by candidates from Birkbeck as they have many qualities not necessarily found in other students. If you can hold down a full time job and study to degree or post graduate degree level at the same time, you must be exceptional. I know of Birkbeck’s high standards, and how its students are motivated and interested in their subject areas. I am also conscious that students from non-traditional backgrounds, including many Birkbeck students, find it hard to get into big law firms.”

Hanson’s association with Birkbeck began over a decade ago when he studied for a Diploma in Field Archaeology. He chose the course to pursue a lifelong interest in archaeology, and its highlights included excavating the remains of a former priory at Syon House, west London. He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and the standard of teaching was excellent.” Despite pursuing his studies as a hobby, Hanson has visited archaeological sites in London in a professional capacity as property developers often unearth archaeological sites during their work.

BLP is also supporting a student prize in Birkbeck’s School of Law and a solicitor from BLP will deliver and take part in the School’s innovative Legal Practice Conversation Series.

Daniel Monk, Reader in Law at Birkbeck’s School of Law, added: “It is very exciting that a top City firm is recognising the unique strengths of Birkbeck’s students. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with BLP.”

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