As a law student at Swansea, Mari Watkins benefitted from a range of opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities, from internal mooting competitions at Swansea’s moot court, to conducting client interviews. Experiences which have helped shape her career.
In her first year, Mari started with winning third place in the Swansea University Client Interviewing Competition and was also named the highest-ranked first-year student together with winning the first-year mooting competition.
She later went on to win the Internal Senior Mooting Competition and came runner-up in the Nationwide Essay Competition, Future Legal Mind. Her essay covered access to the outdoors, comparing the jurisdiction in Scotland and discussing how English and Welsh law could be improved.
During her final year, Mari was selected by Swansea University as the candidate for the Lord Neuberger Prize from the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, an award only provided to non-Russell group universities, and she was awarded the scholarship.
Due to the level of support Mari felt she received from her law lecturers, she has gained the courage to apply for pupillage, which she has now been awarded, further building on her list of achievements at Swansea.
A pupillage is the final stage of training to be a barrister, usually lasting one year in England and Wales, so this is Mari’s final stage of training before starting her career as a fully-fledged barrister.
Speaking of her experience applying for pupillage, Mari said:
“It is challenging as there are limited spaces to become a trainee barrister, especially during the pandemic with only one pupillage offer in Wales. I spoke to various people within the law department to gain greater insight into the profession and to better understand what was expected of an applicant during each stage of the process. As a result, I was offered a pupillage at 9 Park Place Chambers in Cardiff, meaning I will begin training in September 2022.
“I am ecstatic to have achieved what I had worked so hard for; however, this could not have occurred without the unwavering support from staff in the law department throughout my time at Swansea University, especially Matthew Parry.”
Talking about Mari’s achievements, Lecturer, Matthew Parry said:
“From her first week at Swansea, Mari demonstrated passion for the development of both her academic and practical skills. Beyond this she wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions about the path that she was seeking. By asking these questions of myself and colleagues, and analysing the answers rigorously, she was able to make informed decisions that have served her well. Everyone wishes her the best of luck.”
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