AWARDS ’09: ‘Sisters in Law’ Make Graduation One In A Thousand

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 AWARDS ’09: ‘Sisters in Law’ Make Graduation One In A Thousand

Date posted: 20 January 2009

Identical twins Emma and Kelly Shooter will be right beside each other when they graduate at the University of Derby Awards Ceremonies this Friday (January 23) – as they have been throughout their studies.

The 25-year-olds, from Derby, not only look alike but both:

  • left school at 16-years-old
  • became Legal Clerks based in the city
  • studied the same LL.B (Hons) law degree at the University, part-time whilst working
  • received a 2:1 grade for their degree.

They are also noteworthy for another reason – Emma will be the University’s 1,000thLL.B (Hons) law degree graduate and her sister Kelly the 1,001st

Emma said: “After we left school we both decided we wanted to do A-levels and then the University’s law degree.

“We were going to do it full time at first but at the last minute thought it would be better if we stayed in work and did it part time. That way we would still be gaining work experience, as we studied.”

Kelly said: “Our lectures were done after work, two nights a week, sometimes until 9.15pm. That could be hard, coming after a full day’s work, but we had some good tutors.”

Emma added: “We would do our studying and revise together. One of our lecturers said our written answers in exams were almost identical, but written in our own styles.”

The sisters said they were grateful for the help and support they had received from the Smith Partnership and CJH (incorporating Greenhill Cooper) solicitors’ firms in Derby, during their studies.

Their family will be watching when they pick up their law degrees on Friday morning, in the first ceremony of the University of Derby’s two days of Awards Ceremonies, at the Assembly Rooms in Derby city centre.

Tony O’ Neill, Assistant Head of the School of Law and Criminology at the University, said: “Emma and Kelly were a joy to teach. Throughout their four years at the University they demonstrated ability and exceptional commitment, and they really earned their degrees the hard way.

“It’s great that together they should mark the end of our first 1,000 LL.B graduates and the beginning of the next 1,000. We wish them every success for the future.”

Awards ’09: Background

Around 2,300 students will enjoy the celebration and colour of the University’s annual Awards Ceremonies in Derby on Friday and Saturday (January 23 and 24). Staff, families and friends can celebrate loved ones receiving their qualifications and hundreds will watch the ceremonies on the BBC Big Screen, just outside the Assembly Rooms.

Jasvinder Sanghera is one of this year’s six honorary award winners in Derby, receiving an Honorary Doctorate. She has been recognised nationally and internationally for raising awareness of forced marriages and honour related crimes, through her best selling novel Shame. She will receive her award on Saturday morning at 9.15am, at Ceremony Four.

Other honorary award winners are:

  • David Mannion – Honorary Doctor of Letters (HonDLitt): Editor in Chief of ITV News (award received Friday, 9.15am, Ceremony One);
  • John Tams – Honorary Doctor of Letters (HonDLitt): Five times BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner, and composer and performer of folk music (award received Friday, 12.30pm, Ceremony Two);
  • Peter Gould – Honorary Master of Music (HonMMus): Master of Music at Derby Cathedral (award received Friday, 3.20pm, Ceremony Three);
  • Professor Robert Howie – Honorary Doctor of Science (HonDSc): Research scientist, abstractor and author of the most widely known textbooks on mineralogy (award received Saturday, 12.30pm, Ceremony Five);
  • John Knollys Bather - Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv): Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire for 14 years (award received Saturday, 3.20pm, Ceremony Six).

There will be six ceremonies over two days. Graduating students wear mortar boards and robes, in the Derby colours of red and pale blue, to collect their certificates.

On both days there will be a procession to Derby Cathedral for a Thanksgiving Service. The Oriole Marching Jazz Band and the Heage Brass Band will perform en route, on Friday and Saturday respectively.

University Transport staff will work with local authorities to manage the University and city centre park and ride service.

Support staff at the University’s Kedleston Road site will ensure visitors are welcomed, fed and transported to the Assembly Rooms. Other staff and students will be on hand to help at the ceremonies, including the Buxton campus’s Catering and Hospitality students, who will cater for the VIP guests in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Council House.

The Graduation Ball, organised by University of Derby Students' Union, will be held at Kedleston Road on Saturday night. The entertainment will be headlined by top girl band The Saturdays.


For further media information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email:

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