University law school links with Cumbrian law firm

University law school links with Cumbrian law firm

A mentoring scheme which will see law students from the University of Cumbria take advantage of professional development opportunities and advice on becoming a lawyer from practising lawyers is to be launched this month (Sept 28.)

Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors have agreed to offer support to students studying at the university in the latest link established between the university and law firms in Cumbria.

“I am really pleased to be collaborating with Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors and the Cumbria Junior Law Division on our new mentoring initiative,” Ann Thanaraj, Principal Lecturer in Law, Law School said. “Through our collaboration, we seek to support our students further to gain actual insight into the legal profession and in building a broader understanding of the value of legal knowledge and skills and to encourage members of the community to pursue careers in law.”

The firm, which has five branches in Cumbria and Northumberland, will begin offering support from this academic year. Mentoring is proven to help increase social and academic confidence and will help students gain a valuable insight into the next stage of their careers.

“This is an exciting project, the first of its kind in the area, designed to help prepare future law graduates for the final part of their training before qualification as solicitors,” Scott Garson, practice manager of Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors said. “Working together with the University’s Law School and the local branch of the Junior Lawyers’ Division, we aim to offer practical advice, encouragement and support, learning from the experiences of trainee and qualified solicitors all who have worked through the route to qualification. Mentoring is proven to help increase social and academic confidence and will help students gain a valuable insight into the next stage of their careers. We have a group of very talented future graduates in the Law School and it’s great to be able to help in the development of their careers.”

This is the second tie-up announced between the university and solicitors. This summer Carlisle-based Bendles agreed to offer fortnight-long work placements as well as launching the Bendles Solicitors, Charles Attenborough Award for a top performing student who has shown academic merit and made a contribution to the community.

“Having spoken to many partners of recruiting law firms in Cumbria I have received feedback on how work-ready our UoC law graduates are and how their practical and commercial skills embedded in the law degree are valued equally with their excellent knowledge of law,” Sandra Booth, Pro Vice Chancellor Enterprise Business Development and Engagement, University of Cumbria said.

”The law team are driving innovation within our programmes and are committed to meet employer’s skills requirements through by delivering a practitioner focused range of qualifications and training for the legal workforce.”

Sophie Allinson, an alumni of the University of Cumbria and trainee solicitor at Burnetts is also current President of the Cumbria Junior Lawyers Division. She says this latest agreement is welcome news for students who looking to join the profession.

"Cumbria JLD is proud to be supporting our local law students and, as an LLB graduate from the University of Cumbria, I'm delighted that we can assist with the mentor scheme.

We have a fantastic group of Trainee Solicitors and NQs who can provide advice and support on anything from juggling university commitments to studying for exams and obtaining that all elusive Training Contract.

Our members are employed across numerous firms and have experience in a large range of practice areas meaning students will benefit from a diverse pool of mentors."