Year 13 student, Sara Nazir, has won a national competition to receive a bursary award from one of the largest international law firms, CMS Cameron McKenna, to help to meet some of her university living expenses as she studies for a law degree.
As part of the prestigious award, worth a total of £2,500 per year, the sixth form student will benefit from regular mentoring sessions from one of the firm’s senior lawyers, who will not only provide advice and support throughout the UCAS application process but also in the first stages of her career. She has also been offered paid work experience at their head office in London.
With the law firm ranked in the world’s top ten, employing over 3,000 legal experts in over 30 countries, Sara was quick to recognise the potential value of the opportunity in furthering her career.
She said: “I initially entered the competition because of the calibre of the company behind it and the opportunity of work experience and the access to such experienced and qualified mentors.
“In a really competitive market, I know this kind of experience will be extremely beneficial.
“Of course the financial support towards university living expenses will almost certainly be a huge help.”
Sara was selected for the award, through a national essay competition, designed to test an applicant’s knowledge and research of in-depth legal and ethical issues, followed by a rigorous interview and assessment day. Her submitted essay, which addressed the legality of tax avoidance, was one of over a hundred entrants from sixth form students across the UK and so impressed senior partners to be one of twelve students invited to the next stage.
Sara said: “I was really excited to be invited to their London office and found the day to be really interesting.
“The interview process itself was quite challenging as they set tasks to test our negotiation skills, so I was very surprised when they called me to say I was only one of four finalists to be awarded a bursary.”
Sara now hopes to study at Law at one of the region’s Russell Group Universities and is particularly keen to focus on Corporate Law.
She said: “I am really fascinated by this area of law; how you study an issue from different angles and use critical thinking and analysis to negotiate the most optimum resolution.
“I also enjoy studying Commercial Law and Intellectual Property and the research involved around copyrighting and trademarks.”
She added: “I am extremely grateful to CMS for this bursary, not only for the financial help, but all the support that comes with it.”
Senior Associate, Sarah Hyde, who leads the CMS Bursary initiative, commented: “We are proud to see the difference this scheme can make to aspiring lawyers, who may not have the opportunity otherwise, to gain an insight into the legal profession and what it is like to work at a top law firm.”
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