Jack is a final year LLB Law student with dreams of being a commercial lawyer. He is passionate about showing that Law students from traditionally under-represented groups can be successful in their career. By taking advantage of all the opportunities at Salford, he is developing his skills to stand out to potential employers.

To help him achieve his ambitions, Jack applied for the Future Lawyer of the Year award, hosted by Target Jobs and partnered with Clyde and Co. He has been shortlisted as one of only 10 finalists. We talk to Jack about the award and his experience at Salford.

Update: We’re so proud to announce that Jack has won the Future Lawyer of the Year award, beating stiff competition from law students studying at top universities across the country! 

Law student Jack Whittaker at Future Lawyer of the year competition
Law student Jack Whittaker at Future Lawyer of the year competition

Jack, tell us a little about the Future Lawyer award

The sheer size of the competition as a whole is really impressive, with 3968 applications being submitted and myself being 1 out of 122 finalists across the 12 awards. I am elated to have made it this far. It is a really prestigious national award with the chance to win a 4 week placement, 1-2-1 mentoring 
with the firm’s CEO and the chance to secure a training contract. The application process simulates a training contract or vacation scheme application so that in itself it is a really useful experience. After submitting, I was notified that, out of hundreds of applications for my category, 10 people got through; so 10 finalists – myself and nine others. 

The ceremony is on Friday, 29th April, so I will be heading down at the crack of dawn to London, because the event is taking place at Canary Wharf.

What does it mean to you to have got this far?

A lot. There are two reasons why I jumped at this application.

The first one was the partnership firm, Clyde and Co, a fantastic firm that I really could see myself working for.

But also personal barriers of my own. Non-Russell Group university students are really under-represented in this area. That’s just one of the main reasons why I’m so excited to have gotten this far just to really demonstrate to other students that it’s not a hinderance if you have such a fantastic community and support network around you. I’m really happy to have got to this stage to be honest, just to demonstrate it’s doable.

If you look at the stats for commercial law, the representation of non-Russell Group university students with training contracts at city law firms is very small. There’s still a very rigid stereotype in Law, it’s still seen as a prestigious profession to get into. There are a lot of partner firms trying to take positive steps to change that, Clyde and Co being one of them. But for students that work hard and attend great universities like Salford, it can really knock their confidence a bit. You have to pick yourself up and carry on. So to get something like this just proves that it is doable, and they do consider other applicants.

To be able to go down to London and not only represent Salford but to represent people from a number of under-represented groups, it is something I am very proud of and I look forward to.

I just want to show other students that you can do things like this; so don’t read something and think it’s not worth fighting for, don’t kick yourself, just go for it and see where it takes you.

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