Scholarship first for Sheffield Hallam law student

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A Sheffield Hallam student has become the university’s first ever recipient of a prestigious Gray’s Inn law scholarship.

Holly Nelson, 22, from Coniston in the Lake District, was successful in her applications for the Prince of Wales BPTC Scholarship, worth £16,000, and Hebe Plunkett scholarship, worth £1,000, from the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn.

Gray’s Inn is one of the four Inns of Court (professional associations for barristers and judges) in London. To be called to the bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns.

Holly was awarded the scholarship after a lengthy application process which included a final interview with three senior barristers.

Holly, who recently graduated from Sheffield Hallam with a first class law degree, will now use the scholarships to fund the next stage of her legal training - the Bar Professional Training Course - at BPP in Manchester.

Holly said: “It’s still not quite sunk in but it’s a great feeling to have been awarded the scholarships. I wouldn’t be able to continue my training without the funding so the scholarships are really important for the progression of my career.

“The help I received from my tutors - particularly my mentor Gillian Pastuch - was absolutely phenomenal. I felt supported every step of the way.

“Whilst at Sheffield Hallam I was also an active member of the Mooting Society, which was a really positive experience. Not only did I enjoy it, but it also gave me huge confidence and allowed me to put an important legal skill into practice right at the start of my career.”

Holly hopes to forge a career in criminal law and has ambitions to become a Queen’s Counsel (QC) criminal barrister.

Liz Smart, head of law and professor of legal education at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “We are immensely proud of Holly. She is a shining example of what dedication and hard work can achieve and she will inspire future law students at Sheffield Hallam for years to come.”