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Alumni

Peter Wilson

Career Path: Barrister, 7 Harrington Street Chambers
Location: Liverpool, UK

I became a barrister to help people. I always wanted to practice criminal law in particular because those who are charged with offences, guilty or not, deserve to be protected and have a voice when the Crown are throwing their resources at prosecuting them and potentially taking away their liberty.

During my degree I undertook mini-pupillages, judge marshalling across the country and across different areas of law. This was a great experience not only to confirm your career choice and guide you into what area of law you think is best for you, but it is a great chance to network with barristers that may ultimately be on your pupillage panel.I also undertook work experience in Sri Lanka and then on death row for the Arizona Capital Representation Project, who I still, on occasion, work remotely for.

What are you doing now?Peter Wilson

I am now a barrister at 7 Harrington Street Chambers in Liverpool.

I practise both Criminal law and Family law, mainly dealing with cases under the Children Act and Adoption Act.

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

I chose Northumbria because of the exempting degree and the practical nature of the course.

The BPTC is a demanding course and splitting it over 2 years alongside a Masters is a great opportunity to help spread the work load of the BPTC, but to also obtain a Masters in a subject that you find particularly interesting.

What was it like studying at Northumbria? (eg. were there a mix of lectures, seminars, team projects? Was the feedback constructive?)

I loved it. There was a great mix of seminars, lectures and team projects. A particular highlight for me was the feedback and small group advocacy sessions that allowed you to have constructive and lengthy feedback from your tutors.

How connected was your course with industry? (eg. did you have a placement, work on projects? were there interesting guest lectures?)

We had guest lectures from lawyers from across the world and also ones that were regional and would help you in anyway that they could. Particular highlights for me were winning the Family Advocacy Moot and as a prize obtaining mini-pupillage at a local Chambers, and the guest lecture from Mark George QC who inspired me to go for an internship with Amicus ALJ, and from that I spent over 4 months interning at the Arizona Capital Representation Project.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

Whilst I didn't undertake a placement year, I did do work experience that the university were very supportive of and without doing that work experience I do not believe I would have had the opportunities and experiences that I have had.

What was the best thing about your course?

The tutors. They were brilliant. They had an open door policy and helped me in all aspects of my life and I even keep in touch with them now.

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

The course, the support from tutors, the links to local Chambers/solicitors firms/job panels cannot be underestimated. Every day they helped us get better and it was a huge part of the reason I got pupillage.

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

The ability to engage with people and research skills. The seminars and lectures are not ones were you can sit in silence and be spoon fed the answers. You have to research the law and apply it to every scenario you are given in seminars and be able to argue your point, whilst also appreciating other views and taking a step back when you may be wrong. This is not only a skill that I have to use every day but it is also a key life skill.

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

The entire experience was great ranging from the course and the tutors right through to the city of Newcastle.

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

Do it! You will not regret it. I only studied law whilst at Northumbria, but the tutors know that you may not want a legal career and they have great guests and knowledge about steps that you can take to get into a different industry.

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

Demanding. Fun. Unforgettable.

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