Belfast Telegraph

Top of the class at Ulster University for Maeve Morrison as she wins legal prize

A young mum has proved to be a real legal eagle winning a prestigious prize as she graduated from Ulster University.

Maeve Morrison used to loved watching court room dramas like Ally McBeal on television and now she is well on her way to taking the lead in cases in real life, having won the Arthur Cox prize for first place overall in the Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Practice.

Arthur Cox is one of Ireland’s oldest, largest and most respected commercial law firms and sponsors a prize of £1,000 given to the trainee who achieves the highest overall marks throughout the Postgraduate course.

The 31-year-old who is married and has a young son Aidan, became a trainee solicitor with the Graduate School of Professional Legal Education at Ulster University and graduated with a distinction in her Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

Maeve said: “At the age of 30 the idea of returning to University was very daunting especially with a very young toddler to look after and bills to pay.

“If it wasn’t for the constant support and encouragement of my husband, family and work colleagues I’m not sure how I would have coped.

“My son used to cry every time he saw me settling down with the laptop and files and at exam time my husband basically became a single parent as I just didn’t get to spend any time with them.

“My husband would ease my guilt, reassuring me that it was only for a relatively short time and then I would reap the rewards for the rest of my life.”

Maeve treated her husband and son to a welcome family break after winning the prize and the money that went with it.

“As you get older it is easy to start convincing yourself you can’t do some things. Winning the prize and coming first overall in my class has proven to me that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to. It has given me confidence in my legal skills and abilities which I hope to carry forward into my future legal career," she said.

Maeve is currently working with legal firm Babington & Croasdaile and is excited about her future-  insisting that her positive experiences at Ulster University will help in years to come.

“I am proud I was brave enough to take that step and return to University. I would encourage anyone thinking about doing the same, to believe in yourself and go for it. It isn’t easy but it is definitely worth it. My course lecturers gave me so much support throughout my studies, I cannot thank them enough”, said Maeve, who earlier this year won the Northern Ireland round of the Brown Mosten International Client Consultation Competition relating to legal issues.

She represented the country at the International Client Consultation Competition, held at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln Nebraska in America in April.

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