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Cameron Stocks

Career Path: Barrister, Hardwicke
Location: London, UK

I come from a small mining village in the North East and I was the first in my family to go to university. I always suspected I wanted to be a lawyer since my secondary school work experience placement which involved shadowing staff, lawyers and magistrates in a local Magistrates' Court. I was then very fortunate to be placed on the inaugural year of the Durham University Supported Progression Scheme which was an access scheme aimed at encouraging local students to attend the University. Once at Durham, I began exploring my options and my first mini-pupillage in Sheffield affirmed that I had made the right choice in pursuing a career at the Bar (and also showed me that I was not cut out for a career in family law!).

What are you doing now?Cameron Stocks

I am a Junior Barrister at Gatehouse Chambers in London specialising in property and private clients matters. My practice areas are very court-heavy meaning I usually apend a minimum of three days a week in court and any remaining time working on paperwork or conferences with clients.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I was very fortunate to have secured pupillage interviews prior to commencing the BPTC but I had no experience of interviews or any idea what to expect. As such, I decided to email the institutions I held offers for and ask for help with my interviews so I could decide where to study. Northumbria went the extra mile to help me out, arranging both a first and second round mock interview and a crash course in civil advocacy so I wasn't disadvantaged compared to the more experienced applicants. The preparation evidently paid off as I secured pupillage at my dream set and I have been there ever since.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Northumbria. The course was a mixture of lectures, small group sessions and practical advocacy experience. The tutors had years of advocacy experience under their belts and were always available if you had any questions or concerns throughout the year. The adovacy exercises were difficult but for good reason as I discovered that they accurately simulated practice in the real world.

How connected was your course with industry?

I was fortunate to have obtained pupillage prior to the BPTC and as such did not need to take part in may of the extra-curricular offerings aimed at helping students obtain pupillage. However, many of my friends took up placements at the Student Law Office which were invaluable in giving them real world experience of legal practice and advice.

What was the best thing about your course?

The staff, without a doubt. They were friendly, accessible and knowledgeable. Each and every member of staff made you feel welcome and worked as hard as they could to ensure everyone succeeded during the year.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

The extra support offered by Northumbria to help me secure pupillage was invaluable and leagues above what was offered by other institutions.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

The advocacy classes provided as close to real as possible simulations of real world practice and have been incredibly useful during my first few years in practice in the County Courts.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The people. I was very lucky to make some great friends during my BPTC year from all different walks of life and they made the year so much more enjoyable and the revision less tedious.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

If you're looking for a friendly atmosphere where the staff go the extra mile to help out then Northumbria is a perfect instution for you.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Fun, friendly and rewarding.

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