Emma Lawley has always been interested in the law, and Birkbeck has helped her achieve her ambition of joining a top City law firm. Her abilities, hard work, and the reputation of Birkbeck’s School of Law helped Emma gain a job at highly regarded international law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP).
In 2013, Emma, 25, became the first paralegal recruited by BLP from Birkbeck’s School of Law and now works in the firm’s Construction, Engineering and Procurement Team. In 2014 she was offered and accepted a training contract at BLP. She said: ‘I have definitely achieved my ambition of working at a top City 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.’
Senior staff in the Construction Engineering and Procurement team are impressed by the calibre of Birkbeck’s students and are encouraging further job applications from the university when roles become available.
Emma, from west London, began her four-year part-time Law (LLB) degree at Birkbeck aged 20. She added: ‘Birkbeck appealed to me because it is part of the University of London, and because of the high calibre of teaching on offer. The evening teaching model was ideal as I was working and studying at the same time. It was a challenge combining work and study, but you quickly learn to manage your time effectively. The staff at Birkbeck are very accommodating and are always on hand to offer support.’
During her studies, Lawley worked at a residential property company and then for the Business Services team at British Airways. Emma was awarded a bursary from Birkbeck to contribute towards her tuition fees. She added: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Birkbeck, meeting new people and making strong friendships. The opportunities given to me by Birkbeck were absolutely brilliant – they really exceeded my expectations.’