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School of Social Sciences

Wajiha Ali

I studied for an LLB Law degree at The University of Manchester from 2016-19.

Photograph of Wajiha Ali

Why did you choose the Pathways to Law programme?

My college law teacher has always been a fan of this programme and has recommended it to every student he comes across, including myself, because of the invaluable experience one takes from it.

What did you most enjoy about studying this programme?

I loved making new friends, trying new activities and pushing myself! Never did I ever think that I would be able to step into a Magic Circle Law Firm in London and be able to network with so many important people. 

What has been the highlight of the programme?

Being able to network with so many people from so many different fields, from paralegals to judges, was the ultimate highlight of this programme. It is so difficult in general to be able to speak to, say, a Judge, but during this programme, we’ve been able to sit, chat and have lunch with Judges and Barristers etc. That is huge!

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’ve been part of debating societies, law firm open days (all over the country), attending case trials at court (which are free btw, so make sure you head on over to your local court and gain an insight of how cases work), and, thanks to the vital skills that I gained during the Pathways Programme, I was able to spend an entire week in the in-house legal department of Barclays in Canary Wharf!

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

I plan on doing my LPC and then securing a training contract to become a thriving and successful solicitor.

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

The most important thing that I can take away from this programme is to never doubt myself. I never thought that I was capable of meeting Judges and lawyers from global firms, or even stepping into their firms. And here I am today attending a gazillion different law firms for open days, and meeting different lawyers, and networking confidently. Not to mention the contacts I made during my work experiences provided by Pathways!

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

Keep an open mind! I came into the first Pathways session thinking I’m going to be a barrister and that’s it. But after a couple of sessions, and with the work experience I had with a barrister, I realised that this career is in fact not for me, and instead I preferred the work of a solicitor. Now, I am doing so well in working towards a career of a solicitor, and I would have otherwise been lost had I not taken part in this programme.