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School of Social Sciences

Matthew Hoyle

I have been studying for a Law degree at The University of Nottingham since 2017.

Photograph of Matthew Hoyle

Why did you choose the Pathways to Law programme?

I felt confident in wanting to study law at university and pursue a career in the field however I had no real justifications for this and knew little of the route I would have to take. Pathways seemed like the perfect scheme to gain that understanding and insight I required to be confident in trying to become a lawyer.

What did you most enjoy about studying this programme?

Meeting the wide range of people. This includes the other participants who I grew close to over the two years, people like Saba and the other members of the scheme who attended the events and, most importantly, meeting the lawyers. Being able to network with lawyers and ask them for advice and tips on the steps I needed to take was extremely useful and genuinely enjoyable. 

What has been the highlight of the programme?

The highlight of the programme was either my work experience or the residential at the University of Warwick - I struggle to decide between the two! The work experience at DLA Piper was an amazing opportunity to meet lawyers and to spend time at a huge international firm. The time in Warwick was just a really enjoyable experience.

Meeting people from around the country was a great opportunity to make new friends, some of whom I’m still in touch with today and the entire time at the conference was full of both interesting and exciting activities.

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?

I think a really important thing to get involved with, both at college and later at university is societies. When applying for jobs, firms look for rounded candidates with varied experiences. Societies allow you to develop skills, discover important information and take part in enjoyable activities.

At college I was part of the politics and debating societies and at university I have been part of the law society and the pro bono society which involves volunteering and teaching law classes in primary schools.

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

I recently received a training contract offer from a firm called Travers Smith in London. Pathways provided amazing insight and experience I still rely on today but, more importantly, gave me the confidence to believe I could be a lawyer and I should pursue such a competitive but rewarding career.

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

Meeting so many lawyers and such a huge range of lawyers in such a short period. Even when working I will only spend time with a particular kind of lawyer. Pathways allowed me to spend time with lawyers from different fields and at different stages and I think only pathways could provide such an opportunity.

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

Try to attend every event, throw yourself into it and speak to as many people as you can. It’s unlikely you’ll ever spend time with so many lawyers again until you work in the field and you’ll be able to gain advice that thousands of other people around the country would love to have the opportunity to gain. Ask questions for the same reasons - the programme flies by so make notes of your experiences and what you learn about as you will still refer to them in a couple of years!

Most of all, just enjoy yourself! I really did make some great friends on the scheme and enjoyed all of the sessions so even if I had decided law wasn’t for me, I still would have had a great time.