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Oxfordshire law firm launches essay competition for school students

Hedges, one of Oxfordshire’s longest serving law firms, has announced the launch of its annual essay competition.

Now in its 9th year, this year’s competition launches during National Careers Week 2023, 6 – 11th March, and provides an opportunity for those interested in a career in law to win a week-long internship at the law firm this summer.

The employee-owned law firm is inviting female students, in years 11 and 12, from around 80 schools across Oxfordshire to take part, with three winners being chosen at a prize-giving event in Oxford on the evening of 11th May 2023.

The prize-giving event will also be fundraising for the Prince’s Trust’s Women Supporting Women initiative.

Hedges has a long-standing relationship with the Prince’s Trust, the firm’s Managing Director, Nicola Poole, is an ambassador for the Women Supporting Women initiative and has committed to raising £15,000 for the charity over the next few years.

Commenting on the competition, Nicola Poole said: “We are thrilled to support young women at a vital point in their academic education. This is an opportunity I would have loved to have had at school; I was a comprehensive student and the first in my family to attend university. It would never have occurred to me at the age of 16 that I could be a lawyer, let alone run my own firm. That is why we believe this competition and the internships will inspire more young women to enter the legal profession.”

While the proportion of women in the legal profession is higher than their male counterparts (61%), there is still evidence of a glass ceiling in the industry with only 35% of women in the top positions. Hedges hope that by giving students the opportunity to experience working in a law firm, headed up by Nicola, it will inspire them to firstly pursue a career in law and secondly break down the barriers to the top positions.

Hedges has been offering clients ‘Advice for Life’ for over two centuries, supporting its clients across all aspects of their lives, including family and property law advice, dispute resolution, as well as advising on wills, probate and inheritance planning. The Employee Ownership Trust led law firm, has offices in Summertown in Oxford and Wallingford, with further locations in the Cotswolds and London.

To take part in this years’ essay competition, students will need to submit a 1500 word essay by 5pm on 10th April 2023. Please contact Hedges Law if you would like to receive further information.

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Nicola Poole, Managing Director at Hedges, Oxfordshire

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