Day five of graduations will see students from Edge Hill’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Faculty of Education, pick up their degree awards.

Students from Criminology, Law, Policing, Early Years Education (PGCE), Further Education (PGCE), Primary Education (PGCE), Professional Learning (Postgraduate) and Secondary Education (PGCE) will receive their qualifications over three ceremonies today.

An Honorary Award will be given to the first female President of the UK Supreme Court, Lady Brenda Hale.

You can follow Edge Hill graduations on Instagram @edgehilluniversity, at facebook.com/edgehilluniversity, on snapchat at ehusnap or through @EdgeHill or by following the #EHUgrad on Twitter.

Watch ceremonies live here: edgehill.ac.uk/graduation/live/

Legal blogger gets surprise award at graduation

A law graduate who uses social media to help other trainee lawyers has been acknowledged with a £2,000 scholarship from Edge Hill University.

Ellis Kindred, who graduated with an LLB (Hons) Law degree with First Class Honours, received a University Scholarship for her outstanding work representing the ethos of the institution.

Her blog El’s legal Life: blogging my journey to a Law career gives her personal insights into the demanding and exciting world of a law student preparing to enter the profession.

She is also a student vlogger for LawCareers.Net, one of the main careers sites used by law students across the country.

In addition to her online activities Ellis is very active on campus, making a significant contribution to student life as Vice President of the Student Law Society, organising events and linking with employers.

During her time as a student Ellis volunteered with the Citizens Advice Bureau one day per week, supporting vulnerable and often emotional clients with sensitive issues such as debt, housing disputes, family issues, immigration and other consumer issues.

Edge Hill Careers Adviser Emma Bonati, who nominated Ellis for the award, said:

“Ellis has worked tirelessly throughout her degree to make a significant contribution to her fellow LLB students. Arranging events such as Question Time evenings required her to build networks and communicate with a range of solicitors, barristers and other legal professionals.

“Her professional manner has engaged employers not previously associated with the University, who have since taken part in subsequent student-facing activities, including representatives from the Inner Temple in London and a Manchester based barrister.”

After her degree ceremony Ellis met one of her heroes, Lady Hale, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, who received an Honorary Doctorate that day.

Speaking after the graduation ceremony Ellis said:

“I’m so shocked, I couldn’t believe it when I got the scholarship. I’ll put it towards the £14,000 Bar examination fees. To have Lady Brenda Hale at the ceremony was amazing. She’s my hero and not just for the fact she’s a woman in law but because she’s so inspirational to me for all the firsts she’s had in her career.

“I’ve absolutely loved my time at Edge Hill, every single minute of it. The staff in the department have been so supportive, it’s been like a little family and I’ll really miss that.”

Ellis will now take a year out to work as a paralegal in a law firm before taking the Bar on her career path to becoming a Barrister specialising in Family Law.

The Edge Hill University Scholarship celebrates students who help to raise the profile of Edge Hill in a positive way through their exceptional contribution to the University.

To find out more about studying Law click here.

First female President of the UK Supreme Court receives Edge Hill honour

Lady Hale wearing her honorary hat and gownThe first female President of the UK Supreme Court, who was also the first woman and the youngest person to be appointed to the Law Commission, has received the award Honorary Doctor of Laws from Edge Hill University.

Brenda Hale, the Baroness Hale of Richmond, grew up in North Yorkshire, studied at a small grammar school in Richmond and was the first from there to go to Cambridge University and to read Law.

“In 1963 it was only one year since the first woman was appointed as a full-time judge in the ordinary courts, so the height of my ambition when I went to Cambridge was to become the first woman articled clerk in our local firm of solicitors in Richmond. I sometimes think a harder achievement than to become the first woman Law Lord,” joked Lady Hale.

Her career began as an academic at the University of Manchester as a junior lecturer. She qualified and practised as a barrister while continuing to teach, then devoted herself to academia, publishing on Family Law, Mental Health Law and Women and the Law.

In 1994 she was appointed a High Court Judge, the first to have made her career as an academic and public servant rather than a practising barrister. She went on to become the second woman ever to be appointed to the Court of Appeal and then the first and only female Law Lord, before the Law Lords were translated into Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in 2009.

Lady Hale after receiving her honorary doctorate at Edge Hill University's graduation ceremonyShe was appointed as President of the Supreme court in 2017 and sometimes her actions were seen as controversial in the corridors of justice. On occasions she has been critical of judiciary which has been mainly male and overwhelmingly white, as well as largely the product of a limited range of educational institutions and social backgrounds.

Lady Hale has been described as a beacon and an icon with a ‘well-deserved rock star status’ in the legal world. She appeared on Masterchef as part of the 2018 celebrations of 100 years of suffrage, featuring in ‘The Vogue 25’ – an international list of 25 women shaping 2018 and earlier this year, a double page spread in the February edition of Vogue.

In her speech, she offered advice to Edge Hill’s most recent graduates. “We must be flexible and determined, we must be ready to grasp the exciting opportunities that come our way no matter how daunting they may seem, we must not be downhearted when things go wrong but try, try and try again.

“The great thing about a university education is that it gives us the tools to do this, it gives us the habits of curiosity, of thinking for ourselves of fair-minded evaluation of the evidence, of respect for the truth and of making ourselves work hard, at least when we need to do so.

“But it gives us much more than that. It gives us the opportunity of meeting interesting people from many different places, races and cultures the values of understanding, of tolerance for other people’s points of view, of respect for the diversity of humanity but I hope you’ve all had a lot of fun too. It might be your last opportunity, you never know!”, she said.

Beyond the nationally and internationally recognised events, Lady Hale can often be found visiting universities and other organisations, talking about her journey, offering an outstanding example to the next generation of children and young people thinking about their future and job prospects.

She added: “I am proud to be graduating along with all of you from such a new university but one with a long history which has such as a proud history of teaching excellence, of looking after its students, in its student accommodation and safety and this glorious campus on which you’ve been able to have the fun I was talking about after doing all the hard work . And even I can reconcile myself to having robes which echo the suffragette colours of purple, green and white, very appropriate indeed.”

Lady Hale’s extraordinary career chimes with the vision and history of Edge Hill University, where a belief in access and achievement for all are core to its values and mission.

Due to her open and frank dialogue around women, many doors have been opened to other women in her wake and through her actions and words she has changed the face of the legal profession – a legacy which will last forever.