Following our graduation celebrations last week we caught up with recent graduate Emily Rigler Gillingham, winner of the prize for best final year research project as well as the Debbie Phillips Prize for best student in the third year of the LLB single honours programme.

What made you decide to study Law at the University of Bristol?

I was very open minded at the start of the UCAS application process; I visited about 15 universities around the country and considered a whole range of subjects, including Politics, Economics and Geography – so I certainly wasn’t set on law school from the beginning! My decision was ultimately made at an open day: the university and city had such a great atmosphere and I could really see myself fitting into Bristol life. The staff and students were the biggest factor in my decision, with the students offering practical and honest advice for Law School life, and staff showing real enthusiasm for their subjects. One of the lecturers I spoke to on that day ended up being my personal tutor when I joined the School just over a year later.

Congratulations on winning ‘Best LLB student in the third year’ and ‘Best final year research project’! How do you feel about winning these awards?

Thank you – it feels amazing to end my time in Bristol with these awards! The academic staff across all my units this year have been outstanding, both in terms of teaching and support, so their efforts are definitely reflected in these awards too.

It’s a huge honour to win the Debbie Phillips Prize for Best LLB student in third year. What I have learnt from this award is the importance of perspective during stressful times like exam seasons. Even though one of my exams did not go to plan this year, and that unit ended up ten marks below any of the others, it did not undermine my efforts in other units or the degree as a whole, and I am delighted to win this award.

Likewise, I was hugely excited to win the prize for the best FYRP […]

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