We’re so proud of our class of 2022. They’ve overcome enormous challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities, and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. And they’ve done all of this during a global pandemic when life – and student life – changed beyond recognition. Here, we’re taking the opportunity to share some of their stories.
Tue 12 Jul 22
The chance to gain valuable client skills at the Essex Law Clinic is what drew Emma Newton to Essex, and it's continued to fuel her passion for public family law.
When Emma heard about the Essex Law Clinic, she knew this was the university for her.
“I wanted to pursue a career where I could be a voice for people who didn’t have their own and, given my interest in literature and advocacy, I felt that law was the right choice,” she said. “Essex particularly interested me due to the Law Clinic, as well as the ethos and motto to be a risk-taker and an opinion-maker.”
Emma started volunteering at the Clinic as soon as she could, soon becoming firm manager, and student leader of the housing and homelessness project.
“The Clinic does such pivotal and incredible work for the local community; something which I am so passionate about. It also gave me a basis for understanding what is required of me in practice, as well as fuelling my passion to pursue a career in public family law,” she said.
Emma had initially planned to do a three-year LLB Law but attending a placement year workshop at the end of her first year inspired her to take a placement year, a valuable experience which she says was a highlight of her time at Essex.
“My placement in private family law was truly one of the most insightful and worthwhile years of my life,” she said. “I'm very proud that I diverted from my initial plan to complete a three-year degree and take a chance with completing a placement year, because that too has helped fuel my passion to work within family law, and one day qualify as a family law solicitor.”
While she was at Essex, Emma also worked for the Students’ Union (SU). Before the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked as a front-of-house assistant in Moa restaurant on the Colchester Campus, and as a venues supervisor. Post-pandemic, and after returning from her placement year, she worked as a member of the bar staff in the SU Bar.
“The SU became the family that every new student at university needs,” she said. “I’ll always be grateful for the laughs, the support, and the memories I made working for them – it definitely shaped part of who I am today.”
Emma is graduating with an LLB Law (with placement year) from the School of Law. She is now working as a childcare caseworker for Duncan Lewis Solicitors. She plans to start the LLM Legal Practice Course at the University of Law part-time from September.