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School of Social Sciences

Louisa Cuddy

I did the Pathways to Law Programme and went on to study Law LLB at The University of Manchester.

Photograph of Louisa Cuddy

Why did you choose the Pathways to Law programme?

I actually decided to do the programme because it was advertised at my college. As a first-generation university student of my family I found the programme to be extremely useful and believe that attempting to bridge the gap in the legal profession and widening participation is extremely important.

What did you most enjoy about studying this programme?

I made some amazing friends on the programme whilst at the same time experiencing law as a profession first-hand, something which would not have been previously available to me. This definitely solidified my decision to pursue a degree in Law and has contributed greatly to the enjoyment of the course as I already know a lot of things which others don’t, such as the steps that need to be taken in order to pursue a career in the future.

What has been the highlight of the programme?

For me, the highlight of the programme was being allowed on a whole to develop my interpersonal skills. I did this not just by attending the networking sessions and interview practice but also by mixing with other people in my class. I believe that this has contributed greatly to the subsequent successes I have had in both interviews and networking.

Have you been involved in any other activities outside the programme which you think may be relevant to your degree and career, such as events or groups?

Outside of the programme I have been able to become a Pathways to Law Mentor; it is so nice being able to give something back to the community. I have also become a student ambassador for the University meaning I help out on open days and do campus tours. This has subsequently allowed me to develop the skills taught initially on the programme and also mix with new people. In addition, I am also part of the Manchester University Law Society which is a must! 

What are your future plans? How do you feel being on the Pathways to Law programme has prepared you for your future plans?

I am actually delighted to be going to London over summer to do a three-week VAC Scheme with Slaughter and May. I spoke extremely highly of the programme in my interview there in January, and strongly believe that my time on the Programme over the two years gave me the required confidence and skills to stand out in an extremely competitive climate. Pathways allows you to recognise your own achievements and feel comfortable in an environment that once seemed so alien. This will be invaluable in the future. 

Name one valuable experience that you will take away with you that you could have only experienced on this programme? 

Work experience in a law firm at such a young age is a part of the programme which I have always been extremely grateful for. It opens that initial door for you in the legal sector which would otherwise stay securely locked for some time. In having this experience, it made me sure of myself and my choices in the future as well as making me stand out from the crowd. For this I am grateful. 

What advice would you give to new students about to study this programme?

I would urge all new students to grasp every opportunity given with both hands. It is one which many don’t realise the importance of until it’s gone, and for me it has cemented a vast majority of what I do today. Be confident going forward in the next two years as you have been selected for a reason and enjoy every moment. It is a truly wonderful experience!