ST. MARY’S STUDENTS NAMED FINALISTS IN NATIONAL LEGAL COMPETITION
Two Year 13 students from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt have successfully reached the final of the ‘Legal Apprentice’ competition.
Una Campbell and Luke McCallion will compete against three other schools from the UK to be crowned the winning team in the final at News UK (Headquarters of The Times) on 19 June 2019.
Launched last September by law firm Kingsley Napley LLP in partnership with The Times, the competition saw 902 teams from 308 schools across the UK compete against each other through a series of heats testing pupils’ drafting, negotiation and interpersonal skills. Since then, the St. Mary’s pupils, under the guidance of Ms C. Donoghue (Head of Careers), have spent many hours after school preparing for their participation in the prestigious competition.
Expressing her delight at the success of the students, Ms Donoghue said: “We are absolutely delighted to have reached the Legal Apprentice final. We have learned so much about the legal profession and are very grateful to Kingsley Napley for this wonderful opportunity. We are looking forward to the final and feel privileged to represent our school and Northern Ireland.”
Students in the winning team will each receive £500 and will be interviewed by Kingsley Napley for the ultimate prize of winning a highly coveted paid-for apprenticeship at the firm following completion of their A-Levels. The winning team’s school will also receive £5000 to put towards any technical advancement of their choice.
The second runner-up will receive a paid-for internship at Kingsley Napley and the remaining pupil from the winning team will receive one week’s work experience at the firm.
In preparation for the final, pupils will attend a one-day masterclass hosted by the firm to hone their legal and debating skills.
“We have learned so much about the legal profession and are very grateful to Kingsley Napley for this wonderful opportunity.” Ms Donoghue
Stephen Parkinson, senior partner at Kingsley Napley, comments: “The response to our inaugural Legal Apprenticeship competition has been overwhelming and the calibre of applicants, outstanding. The competition was fierce but our ten finalists performed consistently well across the three heats and stood out for their excellent legal flair.” The competition aims to encourage more students from non-traditional backgrounds who are underrepresented in the profession to pursue a career in law. “Kingsley Napley is keen to spearhead the drive to increase social mobility within the legal profession and I sincerely hope the competition has inspired more pupils to consider a career in the law,” said Stephen Parkinson.
Jonathan Ames, The Times’ Legal Editor, comments: “The Times takes coverage of the legal profession very seriously and as a newspaper we benefit every day from the counsel of an excellent team of lawyers.” He adds: “The Times is keen to encourage young people from across society to consider the law as a career. We wish the finalists every success and hope to welcome all participants as readers.”