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Barrister in training
Jamie Hill is set to become a barrister after graduating from Staffordshire University in 2015. The LLB Law alumnus begins his pupillage in September 2017 and his sights are firmly set on a career in the court room.
“Generally, I think people are not very well informed of their legal rights,” said Jamie. “The criminal justice system had always been of interest to me, particularly the checks and balances that keep the system fair. I wanted to study law to help people and ensure they’re well advised when it comes to their rights.”
He has been chosen from hundreds of applicants for a prestigious pupillage at 9 St John Street Chambers in Manchester. It’s a career path he hopes to see future Staffordshire University law students follow, as he recently returned as a guest lecturer, to help other aspiring barristers.
Education in law
Jamie grew up in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, where he attended the town’s college to study A level law. “Law is something that has always interested me,” he recalled. “When I was picking my A levels, law was my number one priority, the others were secondary to that. I’m not one hundred percent sure why but it’s just something that appealed and I found it enjoyable.”
Wishing to remain local, Jamie attended open days at several universities in the region, before settling on Staffordshire in 2011. He said: “I picked Staffordshire University Law School because it was local and I wanted to stay close to home at that stage. I had a positive experience at the open day and the lecturers were great.
“I considered other universities but I found, when I was looking at the student experience at Staffordshire, it was more focussed on the real world of law practice, looking at it as a vocation rather than just an academic subject. It was more hands on and practical.
“The course provided a great education in law. There were practical exercises and academic discussions. We studied cases and read judicial decisions. It was a very well rounded course.”
Pupillage in Manchester
Jamie completed a mini-pupillage during his time at Staffordshire University, at Regent Chambers in Stoke-on-Trent, and soon realised advocacy and being in the court room arguing cases is where his passion lays.
After graduating in 2015, he pursued the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) in Manchester, and was subsequently successful in securing a pupillage in the same city. “Of all the people that successfully complete the BPTC, only around 40 percent go on to get a pupillage,” he explained. “Competition is extremely high so I’m very pleased and excited to start in September.”
Between completing the BPTC in July 2016 and beginning his pupillage in September 2017, Jamie has been working as a private English and law tutor. He also returned to Staffordshire University to give current students an insight into the BPTC, when he led an advocacy exercise in the University’s mock court room. He said: “I was really very impressed with the quality of the students. They were of a high calibre and highly motivated.”
His own motivations and long-term goals are now focussed on becoming a barrister. “I’m certain I will continue to work as a barrister in the future but one long-term ambition would be to sit as a district judge. But first I’m going to focus on my pupillage and hopefully, if I impress sufficiently during the 12 months, a tenancy at the same Chambers.”