First published in Gallery Magazine in March 2019
The scheme offers two bursaries annually, with financial assistance either for undergraduates entering the final year of their law degree and then continuing towards the Legal Practice Course (LPC), or for non-law graduates studying the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and then the LPC.
Katie Entwisle and Ruby Roberts were successful applicants for the 2018 Bursary and were both awarded a two year financial commitment from Appleby, with scope for a training contract at the end of their studies.
Here Katie and Ruby discuss the Bursary scheme and how the support has helped them over the past year.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Katie: “I am 25 years-old and a former Ballakermeen High School student. I graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Linguistics with French before returning to the Isle of Man and working on-island for a couple of years. In September 2018 I started the GDL at the University of Law in Manchester, a 9-month course designed to provide a diploma equivalent to a law degree. Following completion, I will then start the LPC next year.”
Ruby: “I am 22 years old and a former Queen Elizabeth II High School student. I graduated from a three-year Law LLB (Hons) degree at the University of Liverpool in July 2018 and in September of the same year I began the LPC with a master’s in Business and Management at the University of Law in Liverpool, from which I will graduate later on this year.”
Why did you apply for the Appleby Isle of Man Bursary Scheme?
Katie: “The scheme is unique for the Isle of Man; I think it is fantastic that Appleby is investing in and developing local talent. When I was looking at routes into law this opportunity was different to many of the other options available, as it also provides a potential opportunity for employment afterwards. As I had already completed my undergraduate degree, funding was, and still is, a very important aspect of pursuing a full-time course; the fact that I am able to do so without worrying about loans or debts is an amazing opportunity and one that I am extremely grateful for.”
Ruby: “This is a great initiative; it has given me the confidence I needed to pursue a career in law and provided me with the means and the motivation to succeed throughout my final year. The Bursary has meant that I have been able to enjoy my final year as a student with unparalleled support in terms of both finance and expertise.”
Tell us about the application process.
Katie: “I discovered the Bursary programme when speaking to Appleby about the opportunities that they had available and was delighted to learn that they could support me with my studies. After applying, I attended two interviews where I was able to meet the various Appleby colleagues, including those that were involved in setting up the scheme. It was such an informative process – I was able to ask questions about Appleby and the Bursary at any time, and there were no formal assessment centres or rigorous application forms.”
Did you always want to be a lawyer?
Katie: “I always had an interest in pursuing a career in law, but had never looked into it seriously until I had left university and began a graduate employment programme. My former manager reinvigorated my interest in law, and once I began looking into the career properly and what kind of training was needed, I realised how interesting and diverse it could be.”
Ruby: “I learnt more about a career in law following the completion of work experience at the age of 16. I was surprised at how diverse the career can be. It was only when I began my degree that I realised a career in law was something that I had the confidence to pursue.”
What advice would you give to someone considering studying law at university?
Katie: “I always assumed that my undergraduate degree would define my career path and I didn’t even know that the GDL existed until I discovered it when working back in the Isle of Man. If you are interested in a career in law, I would definitely recommend having a look at the options available as there are so many opportunities out there that I wasn’t aware of. The GDL is a difficult but very rewarding year, so if you are up for a challenge it is well worth the work.”
Ruby: “Law is a diverse and dynamic subject to study at university, so it is a challenging three years with a lot to cram in; however, in the long-run it pays off immensely. Your time at university is what you make it, so if you’re considering studying law I would recommend involving yourself as much as possible in the opportunities available at your university. Every little bit of work experience, pro-bono work and extra-curricular activities shape you into the graduate you eventually become. So without saying yes to absolutely everything, make sure you make the most of the opportunities being at university can give to you!
The law degree itself is different to what I expected. It is much more about analysing and scrutinising law, as well as simply learning and applying it. This academic edge is useful in developing a critical attitude to many things you come across on the LPC and life in general. You find yourself gaining a good understanding of subjects you wouldn’t necessarily think relate to a law course.”