Beds law students link up at local solicitors

Wed 26 May, 2021
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Two University of Bedfordshire students have united after a Law LLB undergraduate secured a trainee paralegal position at a local solicitors, supervised by a graduate of the same course.

Mariyam Ferreira, who graduated from the University with first-class honours in 2016, is now one of the managing partners of Luton-based company Aristone Solicitors and will take Patrick Bottin, a current first year student, under her wing.

Patrick has worked full-time as a chef and a holiday rep in England and around the world, but after representing himself in court over a family matter he became dedicated to studying law.

Patrick BottinOn course for a first-class mark in his opening year at the University, Patrick has taken to the legal profession exceptionally quickly and was offered his trainee position at Aristone within a week of interviewing for the position. Choosing the University of Bedfordshire based on the friendly atmosphere he was greeted with at an Open Day, Patrick is happy to be on course to fulfilling his ambitions.

He said: “I left school with nothing and began working as a chef at 16 years old. Since then I’ve lived in Spain, Italy, Austria, France, Cyprus, Greece and Thailand before coming back to England to raise my son.

“Representing myself in court started a chain of events that led to a final decision; I didn’t want to be a chef any more, but to help others going through what I went through by studying law.

“I needed to sit an equivalent to Maths GCSE in order to get into college – before starting the diploma I’d never written an essay in my life but by the time I left I had offers from five universities.

“Having worked full-time since I was 16, I knew I needed to find a job as soon as I started the course, but I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to get one in the legal profession without experience. After a number of rejections, Priya Chauhan in the University’s Careers and Employability Service helped me with mock interviews and I was accepted at Aristone.

“I have been working there with Mariyam for over a month now and I try every day to repay the trust she has in me. Mariyam has thrown me in at the deep end and the experience is giving me a real understanding of how being a solicitor works.

“I strive to become the best solicitor in the area and I believe I have already taken a few steps towards this goal.”

Aristone SolicitorsPatrick will be trained by Beds graduate Mariyam Ferreira, who set up Aristone Solicitors with another solicitor in 2018 and continues to direct the firm. Recently featured in the Financial Times, Mariyam is now a renowned solicitor and believes Patrick has what it takes to succeed. She said:

“The University of Bedfordshire is where I took my first and most exciting steps towards a legal career. At the University I was inspired particularly by Dr Narissa Ramsundar, who gave me the vision to set up Aristone.

“After we launched the firm I was approached by the Financial Times, who were running a piece on people freelancing during or straight after their studies, which is what I did. Appearing in the newspaper epitomises how I also see myself as an entrepreneur – as well as Aristone Solicitors I have also set up law marketplace LAWMAX and have recently shifted my focus to hiring more fantastic talent into the field.

“Patrick is a brilliant example of this. His passion about law was abundantly obvious during his first interview, he has great perseverance and a willingness to solve – a great lawyer’s attitude.

“His positive and upbeat personality reflects the reputation of Aristone Solicitors and these are the type of employees every law firm desires.”

Careers & Employability service

The University of Bedfordshire Law and Finance Department’s Employability team work in conjunction with the main Careers and Employability Service to promote and secure opportunities for its students.

Patrick has also been shortlisted for a ‘Skills Development Initiative’ at London-based law firm Macfarlanes Solicitors, another opportunity engineered by Recruitment Services Manager Priya Chauhan, who commented:

“Patrick is a true ambassador to the University and the Law Department. Coming from a non-traditional educational background, Patrick has demonstrated that you can change a career and take up new opportunities when you have the determination and motivation.”

Chris DixonChris Dixon, Senior Lecturer in Law, added: “Patrick is very fortunate to be able to work as a paralegal for Mariyam’s firm. Judging by the success he has so far made on the first year of the LLB, he will be a real asset to Mariyam and Aristone Solicitors.”

The University offers Law courses at both its Luton and Bedford campuses.


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