Emma Cross

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Law
Job title: Barrister
Subject of study: Law / International Human Rights Law
Year of graduation: 2014
Type/Level of study: Postgraduate Taught, Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Magdalen Chambers

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

After graduating from my LLM, I obtained a scholarship for my BPTC at Bristol UWE. I finished the course with an Outstanding and started a mixed common law pupillage with a small Chambers in Devon. My practice initially focused on crime and family cases but gradually developed into a specialism in private and public law children cases. I moved Chambers last year to expand my family practice. Alongside my practice, I am a co-Chair of the Western Circuit Women’s Forum and run a school outreach programme for BarNone. Both are groups aimed at improving diversity and equality of opportunity at the Bar. I’m also a keen gig rower and will most often be found on the water after a long day in court.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I chose to become a barrister because I have always enjoyed crafting arguments and speaking up for those who would not otherwise have a voice. My time at Exeter helped to forge my interest in pursuing a career at the Bar. I most enjoy the variety of my work and the people I get to work with each day.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was part of a law society at the University which gave me lots of opportunities to network with professionals and develop my legal and advocacy skills. I was also part of the Change Ringing Society.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I loved my time at Exeter. The best part of my programmes were the practical and academic opportunities provided during my studies. During my LLM, I was lucky to go on two study trips abroad, one to the UN in Geneva and the other to the Nato Lodge in Oberammergau, Germany. Both experiences gave me good talking points in future interviews!

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I loved the on campus and community feel of Exeter. Whenever I go back for career events, I am immediately transported back to my amazing four years at Exeter.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I grew up in the South West and wanted to go to a top University for Law in the local area. Streatham Campus was amazing when I visited and full of very friendly students and lecturers so I knew it was the right place for me.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Building my written and spoken public speaking skills has been key. They are a major part of what I do as a barrister and it all started at Exeter! I am constantly learning and honing my craft but getting involved with activities like mooting, writing articles, work experience/mini pupillages were instrumental to my future career.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Don’t give up! The road ahead is tough but there are lots of people out there who want to help. Take advantage of every opportunity thrown your way, you’ll never know where it will lead you!

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve been really inspired by my my senior peers at the Bar and one day hope to become a judge. I would not have had the confidence to say that a few years ago but there are many more schemes and mentoring opportunities than there used to be and broader encouragement to think about the bench, especially for those from underrepresented backgrounds.

 

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Ken Chia

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