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Cardiff undergraduate wins Law Student of the Year

19 December 2022

La'Shaunna Williamson at the National Inspirational Women in Law Awards with Kate Vyvyan, Partner at Clifford Chance LLP.
La'Shaunna Williamson at the National Inspirational Women in Law Awards with Kate Vyvyan, Partner at Clifford Chance LLP.

A School of Law and Politics student has been named Law Student of the Year at a national awards ceremony highlighting the work of trailblazers in the law sector.

Third year law student La'Shaunna Williamson from Dudley, West Midlands was presented with the Law Student of the Year award, the first of its kind, at this year’s National Inspirational Women in Law Awards which took place in London on 1 November 2022.

The awards, which are in their seventh year, celebrate the work of individuals from across the legal profession who are leading the way in improving equality and diversity. The awards recognise those who are both excelling in their areas of practice and are working for the changes needed to ensure women working in the law can thrive.

La’Shaunna’s route into law began early following inspirational work experience at a maternity ward and a centre for the blind where she developed an interest in the legal elements of care. Tragically, La’Shaunna’s father was killed in a road traffic accident and the exposure she had to the legal world during that experience confirmed to her that she wanted to help people in whatever career she pursued later in life.

Since starting her studies in Cardiff, La’Shaunna has immersed herself in all elements of university life. She is the President and Founder of the Women in Law Society and co-founder for the Commercial Awareness Society. She is an active member of the Cardiff Law Society, former Secretary and First Year Representative, a mentor, an ambassador for various law firms and organisations and is blog and content co-lead for  The Neurodiverse Lawyer Project. The project and podcast speak to different diverse thinkers about their experiences and provides tips, insights, and ideas whilst exploring topics such as neurodiversity and mental health in work, university, and employment processes.

Speaking about project, La’Shaunna said, “The team have worked to amend the application processes for training contracts by having conversations with magic circle law firms and organisations. I help voices be heard through our website, where they can submit their articles to me which I share and upload. These articles help us create the change that is needed for the legal profession to be equally diverse and inclusive in the future.”

Following university La’Shaunna will start a training contract at Acuity Law in 2024, with the aim to become a qualified commercial corporate solicitor. She also hopes to continue to work with charities and organisations to help create change and work with schools to highlight the legal profession as an achievable career. She is currently on her Professional Paralegal Placement Year at Watkins and Gunn Solicitors, where she in active committee member for their sub-committees ‘Watkins and One,’ ‘Watkins and Give, and ‘Wellness and Gunn.’ The School of Law and Politics offers the competitive placement year to second year students to enable them to gain experience of legal practice.

“Growing up, I worked in various part time jobs, last year I worked in 5 jobs to support myself at university. I have been so determined to pave my own journey into the legal profession but also pushing hard to ensure more people from diverse backgrounds women, all can rise in the profession. I feel so grateful that the work I am doing is not going unnoticed. I took my mother to the awards ceremony, she was overcome with emotion and cried when I received the award. I felt proud of my accomplishment, and I want to thank my mother for being my biggest role model. I urge more people interested in law to keep going, there is a place for all in the legal profession.”

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