Jade Leo – Scholarship Student

Jade Leo will soon be attending the University of Worcester, Worcestershire, as a scholarship student. Learn more about what Jade is planning to study and the skills she is looking forward to bringing back to St Helena.

Why did you chose this field?

“Early in my secondary education it was evident that I found subjects surrounding humanities to be the most interesting. I chose A levels in English Language, English Literature and Psychology which I found highly interesting and rewarding. During the time that I chose my A levels I did a work experience placement with the Public Solicitors Office, and it was from this placement that I also gained an interest in Law.

I chose this specific degree subject because my work experience placements in law have been very interesting to me. As an avid reader and someone who enjoys the ever-changing nature of law, this naturally seemed like a brilliant subject to study. The addition of the Forensic Psychology section of my course means that I can build on the knowledge I learned during my A level Psychology studies, which is a subject I am eager to learn more about, both in academia and leisure.”

Why did you apply for a scholarship?

“I applied for a post-school scholarship as it provides a brilliant opportunity for students coming out of school to further their education in a field in which they are passionate about.

The scholarship scheme has allowed numerous students to access the facilities to acquire the necessary academic skills that are needed in key job roles on the Island so that when they return, they can combine this with the necessary experience to consolidate their learning. This is something that I was keen to utilise as a post-school leaver and aspiring lawyer.”

Are you looking forward to going to University and why?

“The prospect of studying at university is very exciting and is something I’m very much looking forward to.

Mainly, I am looking forward to learning more about my chosen subject and having the ability to be able to discuss this subject with other current students in the field.”

What opportunities/experiences are you most looking forward to?

“Due to COVID-19 restrictions last year I was unable to travel to the UK to start my degree. I instead completed the first year of my degree self-taught online with a different university, and then to transfer to my chosen university in September 2021 for my second and third year in the UK. This proved to be a challenge as I did not have a tutor, however I saw this as an opportunity to strengthen my resolve and work on my skills of positive-criticism of my own work.

I feel that I would thoroughly enjoy my second and third year of studies, as I would have a tutor to liaise with, as well as being connected to other students on campus.

University allows students to join on-campus clubs which are crucial for personal development alongside our studies. Specifically in a law-based degree, students are invited to engage in a event where they simulate a real court session and perform the roles of various legal professionals. This is something I am very interested in participating, as I believe it would improve my public speaking skills, as well as providing application of any knowledge I learn from cases into a practical setting.”

What are you hoping to bring back to the Island?

“On the completion of my qualifications, I aim to return to St Helena Island to work within the legal department as a qualified Barrister. I have not decided on which section of the legal department I am hoping to work within, as I believe that a sound knowledge of both Prosecution and Defence matters is crucial for my future development and exposure to both sides will put me in good stead in becoming a lawyer.”

How will University help you develop your career path?

“Attending university would be highly beneficial as a starting point to my law career as it forms the basis of all my future knowledge.

The university degree that I will be undertaking is a vital stepping stone towards a career in law. This undergraduate degree forms the foundational point for aspiring lawyers to learn 12 modules related to the subject of law, seven of which are compulsory for any students wishing to qualify as a lawyer. These are namely, Constitutional and Administrative Law, Contract Law, Criminal Law, European Union Law, Equity and Trusts, Land Law and Tort Law.

Following this degree, I would have to complete a work-based Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) with a duration of one year which will qualify me to practice as a Barrister. This is followed by a Pupillage (12 month duration) which is the final stage of qualifying as a lawyer and allows aspiring Barristers to consolidate the knowledge they have learnt in the earlier courses.”

What skills are you hoping to develop?

“I believe that studying a law degree will aid me in developing a number of key skills needed to be a lawyer. One of the most imperative skills is research and analysis as the majority of the first year of my law degree involved reading and summarising information whilst also drawing contrasts and comparisons across subject matter. General confidence, especially in the form of public speaking and conviction in speech, is essential to an effective legal professional trying to win a case in court for their client.

I also consider developing a sense of equity or impartiality as central to the notion of law as everyone has a right to a fair hearing.”

How important is learning to you and how will your learning impact the future of St Helena?

“I believe that learning is a crucial skill for me as a student studying Law with Forensic Psychology, and the more I learn during the time of my studies, the more I feel I can reap the benefits of a job role once I have completed my qualifications. This will also ensure that I can contribute to the Island through the skills and expertise I will have acquired.

Personally, I think that law is a brilliant and versatile subject. The skills of which are not solely catered to becoming a lawyer, but can also prepare students for careers in the Police Department, Forensic Psychology, Human Rights, Politics, Economics and many other subject areas.

I hope that by learning a new degree subject that is being offered overseas, I might encourage other students to further their education and do the same for the benefit of their own personal growth as well as the future development of the Island.”

St Helena Government Press Office

Telephone: 22470
Email: kimberley.peters@sainthelena.gov.sh