Maurice Lister, trainee barrister

Maurice Lister had to balance the demands of the LLB with his family commitments and existing work as an education consultant.

It's all the more remarkable then that he graduated with First Class Honours and has now won a prestigious scholarship for the Bar Professional Training Course.

Training to be a barrister

After graduating from Derby, Maurice secured a place on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and won a major scholarship to help him through this training: "I was fortunate to be awarded one of the Middle Temple Major Awards, The Sir Robert Micklethwaite Award. This scholarship is based on four categories of merit, many of which were nurtured on the LLB at Derby, for example motivation to succeed at the Bar and potential as an advocate."

He's completing the BPTC at the University of Law in Birmingham, again as a part-time student, and has noticed how studying at Derby has given him a head start: "The BPTC is very demanding but the knowledge and skills learned on the LLB have made this possible and enjoyable. Indeed, I initially noticed that the invaluable tools I learned as part of the skills modules were a unique experience at that stage."  

A lifelong interest in law

Maurice explains why he decided to go back to university: "I have been interested in law since school, and then completed an A-level in the subject. I initially thought of a legal career until other family business interests arose. Nevertheless, law remained a constant interest and is now part of my work; my role includes investigation and compliance so I felt a law degree would be beneficial.

"After undertaking voluntary work in law, I was inspired to go along to an open day at Derby and then applied to start the LLB. I chose the LLB because it provided comprehensive coverage of law and is a qualifying law degree, which gave me options to explore that long held dream of a legal career." 

Studying at Derby: a "life changing" experience

"My time at Derby on the LLB was truly life changing. My degree has helped me to secure new opportunities in my existing work and in 2016, my long held dream of a legal career will become a reality when I am called to the Bar as a barrister.

"In my view Derby University is a place where dreams can come true if you work hard and grasp every opportunity. I will always be grateful for having the opportunity to do so."

In his current role as an education consultant, Maurice often needs to travel around the UK and abroad so the pattern of lectures, workload and flexibility offered by the part-time LLB at Derby was, he says, "ideal" for him. But many other factors attracted him to this University:

"The staff and resources at Derby were amazing from the start and clearly showed that Derby was not just about an academic approach, which was important to me as I wanted to put the law into practice. Being able to practice advocacy skills in Derby Law School's realistic full-size courtrooms was a great introduction to life in court.

"This practical approach was present in every module but especially in legal skills modules, which were demanding but very realistic and interesting. I particularly enjoyed these modules and it was through these that I discovered my passion and aptitude for advocacy.

"I was most impressed by the staff who, from that open day until now, have always been available whenever needed. They have all encouraged, motivated and persuaded me along the way. Indeed, it is they who have nurtured my success in the LLB and subsequent journey towards the Bar and I will always be grateful to them for this opportunity and support".

A high-achiever

Maurice excelled in his studies at Derby: "The tools learned in the skills modules were used by myself and another part-time student, Sarah Pyle, to win the 2012 UH/Blackstone’s National Criminal Advocacy Competition."  

As well as coming out with a First Class Honours degree, Maurice also picked up several awards and accolades during his time at Derby, including:

  • gaining the highest overall marks on the LLB and being one of five students invited to the High Sheriff's Legal Service
  • the Smith Partnership Prize for the Best Part-time Student
  • the University of Derby Michael Gilmartin Memorial Award for Enthusiasm and Engagement with the LLB programme in 2012 and again in 2014.
LLB graduate, Maurice Lister, at graduation "My time at Derby was truly life changing. My degree has helped me to secure new opportunities in my existing work and in 2016, my long held dream of a legal career will become a reality when I am called to the Bar as a Barrister."

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