Essay Competition

Do you dream of becoming a lawyer but can’t scrape together the tuition fees? Look no further, as Lawyer 2B has teamed up with BPP Law School to give away two free places on a GDL or LPC course

In conjunction with BPP Law School, Lawyer 2B is running another essay competition with the fantastic prizes of a free place on either the BPP’s GDL conversion course for non-law graduates or a free place on its LPC for law graduates. The prize will cover all course fees, examination fees and a range of books and materials. Winners can choose to take their place on the GDL or LPC in September 2007 at any branch of the law school.

BPP, which is donating these fantastic prizes, is one of the leading providers of professional legal education in the country, with law schools in Leeds, London and Manchester. With close links to the legal profession and an award-winning pro bono centre, BPP is the exclusive provider of the LPC to eight of the UK’s top firms: Addleshaw Goddard, CMS Cameron McKenna, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith, Lovells, Norton Rose, Simmons & Simmons and Slaughter and May. Carl Lygo, the chairman of BPP’s law division, said: “The competition challenges students in the art of both written and oral advocacy. The disciplines of research and formulation of argument, which are then tested by questions from the judges, are essential for any would-be lawyer. The judges were enormously impressed by the quality of the essays and presentations of the finalists, who all no doubt have successful legal careers ahead of them.”

Non-law students who are seeking the GDL scholarship prize should write essay number one. Undergraduate law or CPE students seeking the LPC scholarship prize should write essay two. The closing date for the submission of essays (which must not exceed 2,000 words) is Monday 8 January 2007. A shortlist of essays will be drawn up in the same month and an assessment day, which all shortlisted candidates must attend, will be held in February 2007.
Candidates will be asked to give a brief presentation on their essay title to a panel comprising representatives from BPP, Lawyer 2B and law firms or chambers, and answer questions from the panel. The competition is only open to candidates whose GDL or LPC is not being sponsored.

A lunch and awards ceremony will be held in London later in the year.

For further details about the competition and to enter, please go to the competition section on BPP’s website at

Théobald Jean-Marie Naud
A-levels: Business Studies,
French, Maths with statistics, Political Studies
University: Essex
Degree: Law

Since winning the competition, I have completed both my LLM in European Law and the LPC. I had my last LLM exam the day before starting on the LPC so needless to say my 2005 summer holiday was rather short. To compensate I have just come back from a seven-week holiday in the sun this summer. I went to Brittany, in France, where I spent most of my time sailing and wakeboarding, fishing and eating fish.

Now that I’m back in England I’m sadly restricted to a rather less aquatic adventure. I’m currently working as a paralegal in a top 50 firm trying to save money in order to go travelling before I start my training contract at DLA Piper next September. I’m planning to go to South America, and in particular Peru where I would like to walk the Inca trail. This takes you from Lake Titicaca to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, and will probably include a few strenuous climbs. I would also like to go to Japan for a more cultural holiday, avoiding the bigger cities in favour of smaller villages, and probably a small climb up Mount Fiji. Finally, I’m planning a walk across Corsica called ‘Mare a Mare’. Corsica is also known as the Beauty Island and I would recommend it to anyone in search of breathtaking landscapes.

This is extensive travelling and I fear that it may break my bank balance, but my plan is to take in as much scenery as possible before I start on the arduous journey, so I have heard, that is the training contract.
I’m really looking forward to working at DLA Piper as it is one of the fastest-growing firms in the world. Moreover, DLA Piper has been consistently named as one of the best companies to work for, a factor which certainly influenced me in accepting its offer of a training contract.
Once I qualify I would like to specialise in European and competition law.

Victoria Booth
A-levels: Economics, History, Maths, Politics
University: Magdalene College, Cambridge
Degree: Social and Political Sciences

Since winning the BPP Law School essay competition I have completed my final year at university. I then returned to London, where I’m from, and spent the summer working and completing two mini-pupillages at family law chambers, Queen Elizabeth Building and 1 Hare Court. Although I had already decided on specialising in family law, gaining an insight into these two sets confirmed completely to me that my choice to train as a barrister, and to specialise in family law, had been the right one.

Following this, I started the GDL at BPP at the law school’s Waterloo branch, which I found challenging yet very enjoyable. I found that I needed to adjust my approach to studying and was surprised by how different the study of the law was to my degree subjects of politics and sociology. However, I learnt that the skills I had picked up at university and my passion for certain issues, particularly the sociology of the family, would become increasingly useful. Part of the GDL includ0ed a long essay on family law, which was centred on issues concerning child abuse and children being taken into care. Writing this essay made me realise that I wanted to try and gain pupillage at a set which covers a broad range of family law and does not focus solely on ancillary relief. I therefore began to investigate various chambers and applied through Olpas.

During the GDL year, I also joined tutoring agency Cambridge Tutors and tutored two A-level students in psychology and sociology. I found this work to be immensely rewarding. What’s more, having to simplify and explain concepts to students has proved a useful skill, which I was able to use in pupillage interviews and at bar school. I also found tutoring to be an excellent job to fit around the GDL course as I worked as many hours as I wanted, when I wanted.

Midway through the GDL, I joined Gray’s Inn, and received the Lord Justice Holker Award, which has been extremely useful to fund my BVC year. Following my exams, I attended pupillage interviews at family law sets and have accepted a pupillage at 4 Paper Buildings, which I’m extremely excited about. After a summer of relaxation, I started the BVC at BPP in September. I was initially quite surprised by the workload on the course, but am finding it very interesting and am particularly enjoying advocacy classes. I greatly look forward to my years ahead at the bar.

Essay 1 (for non-law graduates)
‘Freedom of Speech does not extend to criticising religions.’ Discuss.

Essay 2 (for law graduates)
‘The judiciary is hampering the executive’s duty to keep the UK safe from terrorist attack.’ Discuss.
To enter, go to

Terms and conditions
Essays must be submitted before 5pm on Monday 8 January 2007. Entries received after this date will be ineligible.
Essays must be submitted electronically via the BPP website ( No other method of submission is acceptable.
Candidates must take their place in September 2007. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into concerning the outcome of the competition.
Candidates agree to the publication of their essay in Lawyer 2B and on BPP’s website. They also agree to participate in promotional follow-up activity.
Candidates undertake that essays submitted are their own work.
The maximum number of words is 2,000 (including footnotes, if any). Essays above this limit will be disqualified.
All essays must include a declaration of the number of words used.
All quotes must be referenced fully.
The criteria under assessment are:

  • Persuasiveness
  • Clarity
  • Research
  • Structure of argument
  • Content
    Entrants must be able to attend the final selection panel in London. BPP will pay up to £60 towards the travel costs to London for the selection event (on production of receipts).
    The competition is open only to students whose GDL or LPC is not being sponsored by any other source. A candidate who obtains sponsorship before the awards ceremony will be disqualified from the competition.
    Competition winners must be able to attend the awards ceremony in London. If the first winner cannot attend the awards ceremony, the scholarship prize will pass to the runner-up.
    All essays must include a covering sheet with the following information:
  • Essay number one or two
  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Mobile number
  • Email address
  • University
  • Course