Student sets out to prove disability is no barrier to a life at the Bar

Like other law students, Nick Stephens faces an uphill battle to become a barrister.

But the 18-year-old is determined that his disability will not count against him.

Stephens, who is paralysed from the neck down and unable to move or breathe without assistance after contracting meningitis when he was 18 months old, has beaten all the odds to gain a place at New College, Oxford, to study law.

BBC2 screened his story, Nick Goes to New College, which covers his first term, on Monday evening.

He told The Lawyer that he wanted to becoming a barrister, possibly in the criminal or personal injury areas.

During the summer he did a work placement at College Chambers in Southampton. Tenant Gary Self said of Stephens' one-week mini-pupillage: “He seemed able to grasp the detail of each case with ease, and was impressive in the way he related to lay and professional clients. Hopefully it was an instructive week for us all.”