OULS Elections 2016: Nominations

Below is the list of nominees for the 2016 OULS committee elections. Click a candidate’s name to read their election statement.

An email has been sent to all members with information about how to cast their vote. The deadline for voting is Tuesday 5th April at 6pm. The 2016 AGM will now take place on Friday 8th April.

CHAIR

  1. Lidia Dancu
  2. Peter Savory
  3. Priya Haria
  4. Pranali Tripathi (Pranali Pandit)

VICE CHAIR

  1. Sophia Sari
  2. Georgia Palmer
  3. Priya Haria
  4. Pranali Tripathi (Pranali Pandit)

SECRETARY

  1. Michael Adam
  2. Georgia Palmer
  3. James Hogan
  4. Priya Haria
  5. Peter Bell

TREASURER

  1. James Hogan
  2. Zaldy De Guzman Galuz
  3. Peter Bell

SYSTEMS MANAGER

  1. Sarah Couling
  2. Peter Bell

CAREERS COORDINATOR

  1. James Hogan
  2. Priya Haria
  3. Sophie Terrington
  4. Peter Bell

MOOTING COORDINATOR (TWO POSITIONS)

  1. Gwyn Hopkins
  2. Mark Baldwin

NEWS EDITOR

  1. Jamie Scott Wright
  2. Imran Darboe
  3. James Sudworth

NEWS REPORTER (TWO POSITIONS)

  1. Jamie Scott Wright
  2. Georgia Palmer
  3. Sarah Couling
  4. Imran Darboe
  5. Joe Beet
  6. James Sudworth
  7. Sophia Sari
  8. Peter Bell

OFFICER FOR SCOTLAND

  1. Lidia Dancu
  2. Max Zauner

 

CHAIR

LIDIA DANCU – CHAIR

My name is Lidia Dancu and I am an Edinburgh based graduate student on the OU LLB, taking W202 and W203 this year.  I plan to graduate in 2017.

I have had some legal work experience, having done a short traineeship in Glasgow in 2014.  My work involved dealing with clients and attending and assisting them in the Court of Sessions (the Scottish equivalent of the Supreme Court) in Edinburgh, liaising with other solicitors and with council (barristers) and dealing with the Home Office.

My previous work has been in industries as diverse as hotel and hospitality, IT, construction, management consulting and training and development.

I am the founder of the OULS – Scotland, a branch of the society which promotes the interests of OU law students in Scotland.

I am extremely passionate about issues of equality and accessibility in terms of opportunities for law students from the Open University.  I recognise that students at the Open University face a specific set of challenges and we often do not have the same opportunities to enter a legal career as those from other universities.  Often, legal professionals have difficulties recognising the particular skills, focus and maturity that we can bring to the profession.

As OU students, we lack the constant face to face contact with teaching staff and the access to building advocacy, debating and public speaking skills.  The Open University Law Society has done a wonderful job of helping students fill in those necessary developmental gaps.

If elected, my aim is to continue the leadership of the OULS and the existing programme of workshops, moot and essay competitions, all of which have already proved to be valuable learning experiences for the student members.  In addition I wish to continue promoting the social aspect of the OULS, which is another important element of our university experience and provides another facet to the support we can give one another.

In order to influence the creation of further opportunities, I plan to lobby with both the OU Law School and the legal profession for the provision of further opportunities for OU law students.  I wish to create strategic partnerships with the Law Society and law firms and barristers’ chambers in order to maximise legal exposure and to facilitate access to the profession.

An important part of my agenda as chair of the OULS would be the promotion of equal opportunities for student members (equal between OU students and those studying law at other universities and equal between mature students and younger students, etc.).  I also wish to explore the possibility of creating a Human Rights group and a Critical Lawyers group for those interested.

My varied work experience, cross-cultural life experience and various foreign languages provide me with excellent communication and adaptation skills, which I would like to put to use in the service of my fellow students.  I am passionate and committed and I believe that I can do an excellent job as Chair.

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PETER SAVORY – CHAIR

My name is Peter Savory and I seek your vote as Chair of the 2016/17 committee of the Open University Law Society.

I am a current OU law undergraduate, studying W300 this year and, hopefully, completing my degree next year with W301 and one other 30 point module. I hope to join the Bar, changing over from a 25-year career in the classical music business, something that only the Open University could make possible for me. I am fortunate to be studying for this amazing journey whilst living beside the sea at Rye on the south coast.

Although I have not been an officer of the OULS before, I have been a grateful recipient of the Society’s skill and wisdom from individual committee members past and present and, particularly, as a representative of the OULS in mooting competitions. Last year I made it to the final of the OUP/BPP competition and this year am still going strong in another. This, and other OULS activities, raise the profile of the Open University and its students and increase their employability.

If elected to the OULS I hope to use my year to focus on an increased membership drive, promoting our own or publicising events put on by others that are of benefit to OU law students and increasing the awareness in the law profession generally of OU students.

The Open University is unique in that its law students are studying for many different reasons. I believe that the OULS should support those who wish to join the ranks of solicitors or barristers and where possible make up for the difficulties of distance-learning – not meeting your peers every day and exchanging nuggets of information. I will seek to find opportunities that are unique to OULS members. But I also hope to encourage all OU law students to join the Society, and to find interesting news and events that will enhance their studies, be they as part of a law degree or a part of a wider study programme.

I also enter this election with a word of caution. The very geographical disparity of the OU and the OULS membership makes organising (and attending) events a real challenge. In spite of popular appeal to do otherwise, London remains a magnet (perhaps mirroring the law generally). I’m not going to pretend that the UK will suddenly be awash with OULS events, but I do believe we will have a small number of top quality events, one or two outside of London, and perhaps more in Scotland now the OULS has an officer for Scotland. I hope you will join me at as many as possible.

Lastly, the OULS is your Society. If elected I will be interested to hear from you what you want the Society to be doing, and how we can help your studies and your dreams.

Vote Savory for Chair!

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PRIYA HARIA – CHAIR

I am Priya; I previously worked in IT prior to changing careers to law. I am now a successful Paralegal for the past two years within a national law firm where I have been able to develop a high level of attention of detail. I am in my second year of the LLB and studying full time.

I have successful gained a vacation scheme. I have been through the challenging assessment centre process. I am also a member of Aspiring Solicitors; who are an organisation which is promoting diversity within the legal field. Through Aspiring Solicitors I have attended a number of open days and mock assessment centres; which would enable me to pass my experiences on to others and provide advice and tips on CV’s and assessment centre days.

From my current and previous roles, I have experience of organising heading up meetings, taking minutes and distributing minutes out to those involved. Whilst studying and working full time this has allowed me to hone in on my organisation skills.  I feel the skills what I have acquired are suitable for the positions.

I would like to stand for the position as I would like to help other students with progressing their legal career. As I have experience of working in a law firm and have gone through the assessment centre; I feel the skills I have obtained here will really help others wanting get into the legal world. I also feel sharing my experiences with others will also be beneficial to others.  I have made some key contacts in the legal industry which I really feel will help others who are wanting to pursue a career within a law firm. I have also organised a moot internally with the firm I work at; which was successful and positive feedback was received from Partners, solicitors and other legal professionals.

The OU law society is a powerful platform; and I would like to use this platform to positively encourage others wanting to enter the legal profession by providing advice and tips, informal mentoring. I would also use this platform to help organise events for those with similar ambitions and help the social aspect of OU.

Return to list

PRANALI TRIPATHI (PRANALI PANDIT) – CHAIR

I would like to nominate myself for the position of Chair of the OU Law Society, as I possess the knowledge and skills, essentially required to fulfill this role.

In my current profession as a Specialist Palliative Care Physiotherapist, I have developed strong leadership skills number of skills to support employment in a legal environment.  I have developed the ability to work both independently and within a team, the skill to deal with difficult/stressful situations gracefully, resolve conflicts and manage both verbal and physical aggression. I have efficient research skills and have been involved in developing protocols and policies for my team in line with the government legislation and guidelines.

Highly intellectual, I am articulate in both written and spoken English and communicate effectively with a broad range of people.  I have regularly advocated for and represented vulnerable people to ensure they obtain the housing, equipment, and benefits they require to maximise their independence.  I can be extremely persuasive when required to ensure that patient safety is treated with the utmost of importance and all intervention and treatment is carried out as per the healthcare safety regulations. I am regularly involved in ensuring compliance with the latest regulations at work.

My motivation and passion for the legal career is clearly reflected in the grades of first with distinction, which I have acquired through all my previous modules.  Attaining a degree through The Open University requires both self-directed learning and self-discipline, as well as determination and commitment, which I believe are essential for this position.

I have always been enthusiastic in using my skills and expertise towards causes that could benefit from them. I participated in the UK swine flu (2009 outbreak) medication provision programme held at my NHS trust, which involved working nights and weekends for months to ensure that everyone who had symptoms was issued with the medication. I was also part of a massive rehabilitation programme in India to assess, rehabilitate and provide prosthetic limbs to over 3,000 disabled children for which I was awarded a certificate by the then president of India. I have undertaken regular charity treks to raise funds for Skandavale hospice in Wales and I also support Macmillan for the care they provide to terminal patients.

I have gained tremendous confidence in public speaking and I am also involved in mentoring and training junior staff, which involves providing regular presentations, clinical teaching and clinical supervision sessions.

I believe that being a strong communicator involves a demonstration of intellectual rigour under extremely pressurised situations and this is clearly a strength, which will enable me to succeed in this role. Members should therefore vote for me as I have immense experience at dealing with important and sensitive issues with complete integrity, I have excellent leadership and persuasion skills, which are can be highly influential during negotiations with different agencies. Along with this I bring with me the ability to bring about a positive change in the right direction when required and keeping the team motivated and together in every endeavour that the society embarks upon.

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VICE CHAIR

SOPHIA SARI – VICE CHAIR

I would like to nominate myself for the role of Vice Chair. I am currently mid-way through the W101 and W102 modules of the Open University LLB – I am thoroughly enjoying my studies and try to throw myself into every extracurricular activity available! I work in Winchester as a Taxation Officer, a fairly new role for me that I started in December. Prior to that, I worked in Portsmouth as a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. I also do freelance work as a consultant for law firms, specialising in secretarial restructuring, although I wouldn’t have time to study if I pursued that full time. I decided to begin studying with the Open University as I thought it was about time I got a qualification and applied myself to something worthwhile. I can wholeheartedly say it was the best decision I have ever made. I joined the Open University Law Society (OULS) when I enrolled on my course, which has also proved to be a valuable choice – it has opened up a number of opportunities for me that I would not have otherwise had.

I believe I will be able to fulfil the requirements of the role as I have the ability to influence, remaining authoritative whilst not being abrasive. I am highly organised, displaying aptitude for both understanding and reasoning. I am able to engage others in debate easily, which couples well with my capacity to challenge. I work easily with others and believe I will be able to bring a lot of positive attributes to the OULS through this role.

Although I am studying two modules, I will be able to fully commit to the OULS by prioritising all my work to ensure I am able to complete all tasks to a very high standard.

I applaud the work of the OULS and its current committee; my experience so far has been nothing short of extremely positive and I am very eager to join. I will embrace this position completely and I look forward to working with fellow committee members to raise the awareness and profile of the OULS. I will strive to be as enthusiastic and passionate as the current committee, and will vigorously encourage further participation from Open University law students.

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GEORGIA PALMER – VICE CHAIR

The last time I took part in elected leadership was during my secondary school years, when I was a prefect and took part in Youth Parliament on the county youth panel. Since then, I’ve had a few years to grow, develop and reflect on the different qualities necessary for successful leadership and teamwork.

I’ve been a student with the Open University since 2013, at first part-time, and now full-time since last October, currently studying W200, W221 and W224. Really choosing to engage this past year, I have attended a number of Open University law society events which has given me the chance to meet a number of wonderful people and have new experiences.

What this has taught me is just how important the law society is for providing guidance, direction and that little extra push of encouragement to take the necessary steps for maximising a career in law. The skills taught at mooting workshops, and even at socials, have been very useful for such tasks as networking and sourcing mini-pupillages. In this way, I would relish the opportunity to give back and help fuel the society for the future, as vice chair, secretary or news reporter.

In all three of the roles, I would be able to bring passion and dedication. As a team news reporter, I would enjoy relating the tales of events, opportunities and the progress of mooting competitions. In the role of secretary, I would bring my enthusiasm and attention to detail to the table. I believe that I could offer effective support as vice chair, helping the committee to maintain the strong presence that the society has built in the lives of Open University law students, as well as introducing new ideas, events and relationships with law firms and organisations.

In all, I would seek to boost the law society to the best of my ability in any role, and I hope that you consider my nomination.

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PRIYA HARIA – VICE CHAIR

My name is Priya Haria and I would like nominate myself for the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, secretary and careers coordinator.

I previously worked in IT prior to changing careers to law. I am now a successful Paralegal for the past two years within a national law firm where I have been able to develop a high level of attention of detail. I am in my second year of the LLB and studying full time.

I have successful gained a vacation scheme. I have been through the challenging assessment centre process. I am also a member of Aspiring Solicitors; who are an organisation which is promoting diversity within the legal field. Through Aspiring Solicitors I have attended a number of open days and mock assessment centres; which would enable me to pass my experiences on to others and provide advice and tips on CV’s and assessment centre days.

From my current and previous roles, I have experience of organising heading up meetings, taking minutes and distributing minutes out to those involved. Whilst studying and working full time this has allowed me to hone in on my organisation skills.  I feel the skills what I have acquired are suitable for the positions.

I would like to stand for the position as I would like to help other students with progressing their legal career. As I have experience of working in a law firm and have gone through the assessment centre; I feel the skills I have obtained here will really help others wanting get into the legal world. I also feel sharing my experiences with others will also be beneficial to others.  I have made some key contacts in the legal industry which I really feel will help others who are wanting to pursue a career within a law firm. I have also organised a moot internally with the firm I work at; which was successful and positive feedback was received from Partners, solicitors and other legal professionals.

The OU law society is a powerful platform; and I would like to use this platform to positively encourage others wanting to enter the legal profession by providing advice and tips, informal mentoring. I would also use this platform to help organise events for those with similar ambitions and help the social aspect of OU.

Return to list

PRANALI TRIPATHI (PRANALI PANDIT) – VICE CHAIR

I would like to nominate myself for the position of the Vice-Chair of the OU Law Society, as I possess the knowledge and skills, essentially required to fulfill this role.

In my current profession as a Specialist Palliative Care Physiotherapist, I have developed strong leadership skills number of skills to support employment in a legal environment.  I have developed the ability to work both independently and within a team, the skill to deal with difficult/stressful situations gracefully, resolve conflicts and manage both verbal and physical aggression. I have efficient research skills and have been involved in developing protocols and policies for my team in line with the government legislation and guidelines.

Highly intellectual, I am articulate in both written and spoken English and communicate effectively with a broad range of people.  I have regularly advocated for and represented vulnerable people to ensure they obtain the housing, equipment, and benefits they require to maximise their independence.  I can be extremely persuasive when required to ensure that patient safety is treated with the utmost of importance and all intervention and treatment is carried out as per the healthcare safety regulations. I am regularly involved in ensuring compliance with the latest regulations at work.

My motivation and passion for the legal career is clearly reflected in the grades of first with distinction, which I have acquired through all my previous modules.  Attaining a degree through The Open University requires both self-directed learning and self-discipline, as well as determination and commitment, which I believe are essential for this position.

I have always been enthusiastic in using my skills and expertise towards causes that could benefit from them. I participated in the UK swine flu (2009 outbreak) medication provision programme held at my NHS trust, which involved working nights and weekends for months to ensure that everyone who had symptoms was issued with the medication. I was also part of a massive rehabilitation programme in India to assess, rehabilitate and provide prosthetic limbs to over 3,000 disabled children for which I was awarded a certificate by the then president of India. I have undertaken regular charity treks to raise funds for Skandavale hospice in Wales and I also support Macmillan for the care they provide to terminal patients.

I have gained tremendous confidence in public speaking and I am also involved in mentoring and training junior staff, which involves providing regular presentations, clinical teaching and clinical supervision sessions.

I believe that being a strong communicator involves a demonstration of intellectual rigour under extremely pressurised situations and this is clearly a strength, which will enable me to succeed in this role. Members should therefore vote for me as I have immense experience at dealing with important and sensitive issues with complete integrity, I have excellent leadership and persuasion skills, which are can be highly influential during negotiations with different agencies. Along with this I bring with me the ability to bring about a positive change in the right direction when required and keeping the team motivated and together in every endeavour that the society embarks upon.

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SECRETARY

MICHAEL ADAMS – SECRETARY

Hello my fellow students my name is Michael Adam. I am currently studying the W300 and W221 courses with the OU. I would like to stand for the position because I really admire what the Open University Law Society stands for and trying to be a voice for law students in the OU as well as providing the opportunity for mooting, and more importantly of meeting other students. I would like to think I bring enthusiasm to the role, as I think it is vital for the the OULS to grow as an organisation, and I am passionate in wanting it to prosper in the future. I would hope members will vote for me because I do believe passionately in the existence of the OULS and I hope I can help take it to the next level in terms of popularity.

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GEORGIA PALMER – SECRETARY

The last time I took part in elected leadership was during my secondary school years, when I was a prefect and took part in Youth Parliament on the county youth panel. Since then, I’ve had a few years to grow, develop and reflect on the different qualities necessary for successful leadership and teamwork.

I’ve been a student with the Open University since 2013, at first part-time, and now full-time since last October, currently studying W200, W221 and W224. Really choosing to engage this past year, I have attended a number of Open University law society events which has given me the chance to meet a number of wonderful people and have new experiences.

What this has taught me is just how important the law society is for providing guidance, direction and that little extra push of encouragement to take the necessary steps for maximising a career in law. The skills taught at mooting workshops, and even at socials, have been very useful for such tasks as networking and sourcing mini-pupillages. In this way, I would relish the opportunity to give back and help fuel the society for the future, as vice chair, secretary or news reporter.

In all three of the roles, I would be able to bring passion and dedication. As a team news reporter, I would enjoy relating the tales of events, opportunities and the progress of mooting competitions. In the role of secretary, I would bring my enthusiasm and attention to detail to the table. I believe that I could offer effective support as vice chair, helping the committee to maintain the strong presence that the society has built in the lives of Open University law students, as well as introducing new ideas, events and relationships with law firms and organisations.

In all, I would seek to boost the law society to the best of my ability in any role, and I hope that you consider my nomination.

Return to list

JAMES HOGAN – SECRETARY

My name is James Hogan and I’m 24 years old. I currently work on Britain’s railways making sure everything runs smoothly (debatable I know!) and I hope to do the same for the OU Law Society.

I am in my first year of study doing both W101 and W102 modules with a view to completing my degree in three years. My dream is to become a solicitor and through the OULS I would like to help other people achieve their dreams in whatever form they take. For this reason I am standing for the roles of Secretary, Treasurer and Careers Coordinator.

I am someone with an almost obsessive attention to detail who can juggle many responsibilities at once. Working for the Citizens Advice Bureau and maintaining multiple administrative roles previously, I understand what is needed of a secretary. To bolster my knowledge I also recently completed a level 3 CPD course in secretarial skills which was very informative and helped consolidate everything.

As many of my friends will attest, I am good at budgeting (although the word ‘tight’ was mentioned when they described it). In my current job I am required to keep records of company activity and regularly create spreadsheets for personal use to track the stock market. I have also recently started helping a close friend in opening up a hardware store in Sheffield. My main activity in this venture is ‘crunching the numbers’ and to put it bluntly, making sure there is enough money. As he is yet to go bankrupt I am marking it down as a success!

Careers wise I have ideas which may be able to help students wishing to get employment in the legal sector. Work experience is just as important as good academics and believe me when I say I have explored many different avenues of obtaining relevant experience. I also have a good relationship with many people in the South Yorkshire Police service (they always drive me home at least) and may be able to develop something from it if enough people are interested in that particular area of work.

I’ll always try and help those that need it to the best of my ability and will always go that extra mile. The two things I love outside law are grappling and skydiving so I will always be trying to organise charitable events involving these (not at the same time however!). I can’t promise I’ll know everything or that I won’t make mistakes but one thing you will get from me, aside from the bad jokes, is passion. I’m willing to give 100% to any endeavour and see it through to the end.

Return to list

PRIYA HARIA – SECRETARY

My name is Priya Haria and I would like nominate myself for the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, secretary and careers coordinator.

I previously worked in IT prior to changing careers to law. I am now a successful Paralegal for the past two years within a national law firm where I have been able to develop a high level of attention of detail. I am in my second year of the LLB and studying full time.

I have successful gained a vacation scheme. I have been through the challenging assessment centre process. I am also a member of Aspiring Solicitors; who are an organisation which is promoting diversity within the legal field. Through Aspiring Solicitors I have attended a number of open days and mock assessment centres; which would enable me to pass my experiences on to others and provide advice and tips on CV’s and assessment centre days.

From my current and previous roles, I have experience of organising heading up meetings, taking minutes and distributing minutes out to those involved. Whilst studying and working full time this has allowed me to hone in on my organisation skills.  I feel the skills what I have acquired are suitable for the positions.

I would like to stand for the position as I would like to help other students with progressing their legal career. As I have experience of working in a law firm and have gone through the assessment centre; I feel the skills I have obtained here will really help others wanting get into the legal world. I also feel sharing my experiences with others will also be beneficial to others.  I have made some key contacts in the legal industry which I really feel will help others who are wanting to pursue a career within a law firm. I have also organised a moot internally with the firm I work at; which was successful and positive feedback was received from Partners, solicitors and other legal professionals.

The OU law society is a powerful platform; and I would like to use this platform to positively encourage others wanting to enter the legal profession by providing advice and tips, informal mentoring. I would also use this platform to help organise events for those with similar ambitions and help the social aspect of OU.

Return to list

PETER BELL – SECRETARY

I have a lot of personal experience of the law and the Courts and Tribunal system. I have appeared several times as LIP (litigant in person) at Property Tribunal, Employment Tribunal, County Court, Family law proceedings, High Court (Bankruptcy) (in attendance). I also pursued several small claims actions through the online bulk centre.

I would like to use some of the experience I have built up over the years in business to encourage other students to get the most that they can out of their time with the OU. Also to provide help, support and guidance to those students through working together to improve the learning experience.

I believe that study can be fun and very rewarding but also quite tough at times. Particularly distance learning where self-discipline and motivation are essential but difficult to maintain. Learning together, challenging each other’s ideas and thoughts in a supportive environment can really help clarify thinking and this is one of the roles of the OULS – to provide a means for law students to interact and learn from each other.

The “mooting” competitions are also an excellent, relatively risk-free training ground for the real thing and I enjoy them immensely and want to help the OULS to enable others to benefit from this experience.

I could bring enthusiasm and commitment to the role. A real passion for the law and studying law and then applying it. Organisational skills. Leadership. A can do attitude. A real empathy for students who struggle with their learning and who feel they are alone.

I have demonstrated commitment to the OULS during the current year:

  • Attended the mootings (in London and Leicester) to support the OULS entrants.
  • Took photographs and videos for the website.
  • Attended the social event in London.
  • Promote the OULS at all the tutorials that I attend and through the Tutor Group forums and LLB common room forum.

I am committed to widening the appeal of the OULS to all OU students studying any of the law courses (as part of an LLB or as part of other courses) and to actively recruiting students in to the OULS.

If I am the sort of person you would like on the OULS committee then please vote for me (or indeed, stand for any of the posts yourself).

Whether elected on to the OULS committee or not, I will always work actively to support the work of the OULS and the committee.

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TREASURER

JAMES HOGAN – TREASURER

My name is James Hogan and I’m 24 years old. I currently work on Britain’s railways making sure everything runs smoothly (debatable I know!) and I hope to do the same for the OU Law Society.

I am in my first year of study doing both W101 and W102 modules with a view to completing my degree in three years. My dream is to become a solicitor and through the OULS I would like to help other people achieve their dreams in whatever form they take. For this reason I am standing for the roles of Secretary, Treasurer and Careers Coordinator.

I am someone with an almost obsessive attention to detail who can juggle many responsibilities at once. Working for the Citizens Advice Bureau and maintaining multiple administrative roles previously, I understand what is needed of a secretary. To bolster my knowledge I also recently completed a level 3 CPD course in secretarial skills which was very informative and helped consolidate everything.

As many of my friends will attest, I am good at budgeting (although the word ‘tight’ was mentioned when they described it). In my current job I am required to keep records of company activity and regularly create spreadsheets for personal use to track the stock market. I have also recently started helping a close friend in opening up a hardware store in Sheffield. My main activity in this venture is ‘crunching the numbers’ and to put it bluntly, making sure there is enough money. As he is yet to go bankrupt I am marking it down as a success!

Careers wise I have ideas which may be able to help students wishing to get employment in the legal sector. Work experience is just as important as good academics and believe me when I say I have explored many different avenues of obtaining relevant experience. I also have a good relationship with many people in the South Yorkshire Police service (they always drive me home at least) and may be able to develop something from it if enough people are interested in that particular area of work.

I’ll always try and help those that need it to the best of my ability and will always go that extra mile. The two things I love outside law are grappling and skydiving so I will always be trying to organise charitable events involving these (not at the same time however!). I can’t promise I’ll know everything or that I won’t make mistakes but one thing you will get from me, aside from the bad jokes, is passion. I’m willing to give 100% to any endeavour and see it through to the end.

Return to list

ZALDY DE GUZMAN GALUZ – TREASURER

My name is Zaldy De Guzman Galuz .I am presently enrolled at the Open University taking up my studies in Criminology and Law.

Prior to my coming here in the United Kingdom, I have had lots of work experiences and membership from various social and civic organizations in the Philippines where I came from. I finished a degree in Business Administration at the University of Cordilleras located in the North of Manila Philippines city called Baguio. After my graduation I again enrolled a pre law studies but unfortunately I was not able to finished this law degree because I was given an opportunity to work with a big insurance firm in the city. During my employment I was also given the opportunity to get involved in serving humanity by being a member of the world acclaimed Rotary Club International. I was a Charter member of the Rotary Club of Metro Baguio and was appointed as the Club Treasurer for 5 years. BECAUSE of my dedication, I was a recipient of a Presidential Award .

I also had the opportunity to be elected as President of the Association of Ilocano Writers Baguio Benguet Chapter (Philippines ). Most of our members are from the print and broadcasting industry.

If given the chance to be elected as Treasurer, I pledge to served the organization the best I can and protect the resources of the club .I will see to it that the financial and assets of the organization is well taken care of.

Presently I am working in a garage in Fife, after having work from various companies engaged in property management, in the hotel and restaurant industry.

Despite of the differences in cultures traditions and belief, I am very happy to say that I enjoyed working with people from all over the world.

Thank you.

Return to list

PETER BELL – TREASURER

I have a lot of personal experience of the law and the Courts and Tribunal system. I have appeared several times as LIP (litigant in person) at Property Tribunal, Employment Tribunal, County Court, Family law proceedings, High Court (Bankruptcy) (in attendance). I also pursued several small claims actions through the online bulk centre.

I would like to use some of the experience I have built up over the years in business to encourage other students to get the most that they can out of their time with the OU. Also to provide help, support and guidance to those students through working together to improve the learning experience.

I believe that study can be fun and very rewarding but also quite tough at times. Particularly distance learning where self-discipline and motivation are essential but difficult to maintain. Learning together, challenging each other’s ideas and thoughts in a supportive environment can really help clarify thinking and this is one of the roles of the OULS – to provide a means for law students to interact and learn from each other.

The “mooting” competitions are also an excellent, relatively risk-free training ground for the real thing and I enjoy them immensely and want to help the OULS to enable others to benefit from this experience.

I could bring enthusiasm and commitment to the role. A real passion for the law and studying law and then applying it. Organisational skills. Leadership. A can do attitude. A real empathy for students who struggle with their learning and who feel they are alone.

I have demonstrated commitment to the OULS during the current year:

  • Attended the mootings (in London and Leicester) to support the OULS entrants.
  • Took photographs and videos for the website.
  • Attended the social event in London.
  • Promote the OULS at all the tutorials that I attend and through the Tutor Group forums and LLB common room forum.

I am committed to widening the appeal of the OULS to all OU students studying any of the law courses (as part of an LLB or as part of other courses) and to actively recruiting students in to the OULS.

If I am the sort of person you would like on the OULS committee then please vote for me (or indeed, stand for any of the posts yourself).

Whether elected on to the OULS committee or not, I will always work actively to support the work of the OULS and the committee.

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SYSTEMS MANAGER

SARAH COULING – SYSTEMS MANAGER

My Name is Sarah Couling, I am a mother of two, a full time law student and network marketing professional. I left nursing school in the US and moved to England in 2008 to start a family. After spending 6 years being a full time mum I decided to change my career path. I joined the Open University in 2013 and I am currently studying full time in my second year of my LLB.

I would like to nominate myself for the role of systems manager for the Open University Law Society. I have served as a committee member on my children’s PTA for 4 years and have been a vice chair for their after school club committee for 3 years. I am also currently the secretary for my Amateur Dramatic Society Committee. Having served on multiple committees I am aware of the importance of the work that a committee does.

Having been a member of OULS for the duration of my LLB as well as attending events throughout the year, I have met some wonderful people through the OULS and cannot wait to help expand relations over the coming year. I believe that the OULS is a fantastic forum for OULS members to become more socially interactive with others in similar situations during their studies and I would love to have the honor of getting more involved in the committee. Having the freedom to work from home has given me more time to focus on my degree and allows me more time to dedicate to the OULS.

I have been a keen Blogger for many years and have also taken 3 years of web design classes. I have good working knowledge of Google apps, WordPress as well as html and css. I have three websites that I maintain and run, including hosting and domain management, as well as having created websites for other committees I am involved with. I enjoy graphic design and as a budding photographer in my free time I have a keen eye for detail.

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PETER BELL – SYSTEMS MANAGER

I have a lot of personal experience of the law and the Courts and Tribunal system. I have appeared several times as LIP (litigant in person) at Property Tribunal, Employment Tribunal, County Court, Family law proceedings, High Court (Bankruptcy) (in attendance). I also pursued several small claims actions through the online bulk centre.

I would like to use some of the experience I have built up over the years in business to encourage other students to get the most that they can out of their time with the OU. Also to provide help, support and guidance to those students through working together to improve the learning experience.

I believe that study can be fun and very rewarding but also quite tough at times. Particularly distance learning where self-discipline and motivation are essential but difficult to maintain. Learning together, challenging each other’s ideas and thoughts in a supportive environment can really help clarify thinking and this is one of the roles of the OULS – to provide a means for law students to interact and learn from each other.

The “mooting” competitions are also an excellent, relatively risk-free training ground for the real thing and I enjoy them immensely and want to help the OULS to enable others to benefit from this experience.

I could bring enthusiasm and commitment to the role. A real passion for the law and studying law and then applying it. Organisational skills. Leadership. A can do attitude. A real empathy for students who struggle with their learning and who feel they are alone.

I have demonstrated commitment to the OULS during the current year:

  • Attended the mootings (in London and Leicester) to support the OULS entrants.
  • Took photographs and videos for the website.
  • Attended the social event in London.
  • Promote the OULS at all the tutorials that I attend and through the Tutor Group forums and LLB common room forum.

I am committed to widening the appeal of the OULS to all OU students studying any of the law courses (as part of an LLB or as part of other courses) and to actively recruiting students in to the OULS.

If I am the sort of person you would like on the OULS committee then please vote for me (or indeed, stand for any of the posts yourself).

Whether elected on to the OULS committee or not, I will always work actively to support the work of the OULS and the committee.

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CAREERS COORDINATOR

JAMES HOGAN – CAREERS COORDINATOR

My name is James Hogan and I’m 24 years old. I currently work on Britain’s railways making sure everything runs smoothly (debatable I know!) and I hope to do the same for the OU Law Society.

I am in my first year of study doing both W101 and W102 modules with a view to completing my degree in three years. My dream is to become a solicitor and through the OULS I would like to help other people achieve their dreams in whatever form they take. For this reason I am standing for the roles of Secretary, Treasurer and Careers Coordinator.

I am someone with an almost obsessive attention to detail who can juggle many responsibilities at once. Working for the Citizens Advice Bureau and maintaining multiple administrative roles previously, I understand what is needed of a secretary. To bolster my knowledge I also recently completed a level 3 CPD course in secretarial skills which was very informative and helped consolidate everything.

As many of my friends will attest, I am good at budgeting (although the word ‘tight’ was mentioned when they described it). In my current job I am required to keep records of company activity and regularly create spreadsheets for personal use to track the stock market. I have also recently started helping a close friend in opening up a hardware store in Sheffield. My main activity in this venture is ‘crunching the numbers’ and to put it bluntly, making sure there is enough money. As he is yet to go bankrupt I am marking it down as a success!

Careers wise I have ideas which may be able to help students wishing to get employment in the legal sector. Work experience is just as important as good academics and believe me when I say I have explored many different avenues of obtaining relevant experience. I also have a good relationship with many people in the South Yorkshire Police service (they always drive me home at least) and may be able to develop something from it if enough people are interested in that particular area of work.

I’ll always try and help those that need it to the best of my ability and will always go that extra mile. The two things I love outside law are grappling and skydiving so I will always be trying to organise charitable events involving these (not at the same time however!). I can’t promise I’ll know everything or that I won’t make mistakes but one thing you will get from me, aside from the bad jokes, is passion. I’m willing to give 100% to any endeavour and see it through to the end.

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PRIYA HARIA – CAREERS COORDINATOR

My name is Priya Haria and I would like nominate myself for the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, secretary and careers coordinator.

I previously worked in IT prior to changing careers to law. I am now a successful Paralegal for the past two years within a national law firm where I have been able to develop a high level of attention of detail. I am in my second year of the LLB and studying full time.

I have successful gained a vacation scheme. I have been through the challenging assessment centre process. I am also a member of Aspiring Solicitors; who are an organisation which is promoting diversity within the legal field. Through Aspiring Solicitors I have attended a number of open days and mock assessment centres; which would enable me to pass my experiences on to others and provide advice and tips on CV’s and assessment centre days.

From my current and previous roles, I have experience of organising heading up meetings, taking minutes and distributing minutes out to those involved. Whilst studying and working full time this has allowed me to hone in on my organisation skills.  I feel the skills what I have acquired are suitable for the positions.

I would like to stand for the position as I would like to help other students with progressing their legal career. As I have experience of working in a law firm and have gone through the assessment centre; I feel the skills I have obtained here will really help others wanting get into the legal world. I also feel sharing my experiences with others will also be beneficial to others.  I have made some key contacts in the legal industry which I really feel will help others who are wanting to pursue a career within a law firm. I have also organised a moot internally with the firm I work at; which was successful and positive feedback was received from Partners, solicitors and other legal professionals.

The OU law society is a powerful platform; and I would like to use this platform to positively encourage others wanting to enter the legal profession by providing advice and tips, informal mentoring. I would also use this platform to help organise events for those with similar ambitions and help the social aspect of OU.

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SOPHIE TERRINGTON – CAREERS COORDINATOR

My name is Sophie Terrington and I am the current Careers Coordinator for the Open University Law Society. I was fortunate enough to be elected last year and hope to be voted in again this year and continue to help students and members into gaining practical experience within the legal field, polishing their CVs and helping them on their legal journey from study to work placement.

I am currently half way through my degree, in my second year at the OU studying full time. Before recently moving to London I had spent the last year working at a Barristers Chambers in Leeds where I had been fortunate enough to be exposed to the legal industry and surrounded by inspirational individuals who have once been in my position as a student. I am fully aware that most students who are in the position we are at the OU do not necessarily get the opportunities to be encouraged to go to Law Firms, Chambers or Solicitors and ask for work experience- there is somewhat a lack of guidance and students sometimes need a little bit of help and a push to go out and find that practical experience, get contacts and bulk up their CV with not only their grades but also by putting your legal skills into practice.

I am a big believer in the OU and think there is nothing more impressive than studying and working- whether it is in the field of your studies or elsewhere and any legal professional I speak with highly commend students from the Open University. I want to take these experiences and share them with fellow members in order to help them with their applications for practical work experience. The advice I have been given from people I deal with ranging from Pupils, Junior Counsel, Solicitors, Partners and QCs is invaluable in finding out what future employees are out there looking for, from what they expect from a student to what they expect to see on a CV or application.

After helping a handful of students last year my hopes for this year if I were to be re-elected are to engage more with the new letters to add career based articles and advice and to run more CV clinics and careers events alongside making the role more well-known so that people know that our society are here to help and they can utilise the skills we offer.

Please vote for me to be re-elected into the Open University Law Society as Careers Coordinator so that I can help those who need advice and guidance in order to achieve their goals.

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PETER BELL – CAREERS COORDINATOR

I have a lot of personal experience of the law and the Courts and Tribunal system. I have appeared several times as LIP (litigant in person) at Property Tribunal, Employment Tribunal, County Court, Family law proceedings, High Court (Bankruptcy) (in attendance). I also pursued several small claims actions through the online bulk centre.

I would like to use some of the experience I have built up over the years in business to encourage other students to get the most that they can out of their time with the OU. Also to provide help, support and guidance to those students through working together to improve the learning experience.

I believe that study can be fun and very rewarding but also quite tough at times. Particularly distance learning where self-discipline and motivation are essential but difficult to maintain. Learning together, challenging each other’s ideas and thoughts in a supportive environment can really help clarify thinking and this is one of the roles of the OULS – to provide a means for law students to interact and learn from each other.

The “mooting” competitions are also an excellent, relatively risk-free training ground for the real thing and I enjoy them immensely and want to help the OULS to enable others to benefit from this experience.

I could bring enthusiasm and commitment to the role. A real passion for the law and studying law and then applying it. Organisational skills. Leadership. A can do attitude. A real empathy for students who struggle with their learning and who feel they are alone.

I have demonstrated commitment to the OULS during the current year:

  • Attended the mootings (in London and Leicester) to support the OULS entrants.
  • Took photographs and videos for the website.
  • Attended the social event in London.
  • Promote the OULS at all the tutorials that I attend and through the Tutor Group forums and LLB common room forum.

I am committed to widening the appeal of the OULS to all OU students studying any of the law courses (as part of an LLB or as part of other courses) and to actively recruiting students in to the OULS.

If I am the sort of person you would like on the OULS committee then please vote for me (or indeed, stand for any of the posts yourself).

Whether elected on to the OULS committee or not, I will always work actively to support the work of the OULS and the committee.

Return to list

 

MOOTING COORDINATOR (TWO POSITIONS)

GWYN HOPKINS – MOOTING COORDINATOR

My name is Gwyn Hopkins, I graduated from the Open University with a law degree in 2012 and I am currently finishing of the Bar Professional Training Course, hoping to be called to the Bar in the Summer of 2016. During the day I work as a major incident manager in the financial industry and also sit on the board of directors for a property management company in North London. I am also an accredited mediator.

Since taking on the role of mooting coordinator in 2011 I have seen the reputation of the Open University as a tour de force in mooting grow from strength to strength. I am proud to have played my part in coaching students and seeing the reward they get from the experience – not just in terms of winning titles, of which we have certainly enjoyed our fair share over the years, but in the extra confidence they gain and opportunities that open up, such as mini pupillages to which they would not have necessarily had access had they not become involved in mooting.

The role of mooting coordinator requires a mixture of coaching skills, legal research – it is often necessary to familiarize oneself with the authorities surrounding a particular moot problem before one can be of any assistance when fielding questions from the competitors – and considerable organization skills, when it comes to arranging moots, securing a venue and finding someone willing to act as moot judge. Over the years I have had to deal with many challenging issues, meeting the needs of both our own team and the other side in what sometimes appears to be insurmountable differences. This has not only tested but also developed my skills in diplomacy and conflict resolution. Along this journey I have managed to forge many relationships of trust and respect with other universities on whom we can call for help and support when we are in need.

Whilst we enjoyed many mooting successes last year, we still have further mountains to climb and I am ready and willing to build on my experience and further our ascension to new heights in the coming year. I have worked closely with the Chair of the OULS to help secure a budget from the Open University in order to support mooting activities. This will allow us to continue to provide further mooting workshops, not just in London but in at least one regional location each year. It also means that we can support students with the cost of travel when competing in external competitions which makes the activity more accessible to all and helps to break down the geographic barriers that can exist in a distance learning environment.

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MARK BALDWIN – MOOTING COORDINATOR

I have been involved with OULS mooting since the first internal mooting competition in 2013. Since then I’ve gone on to success in inter-varsity competitions with the support of OULS, including winning the 2015 Bristol Intervarsity competition and reaching the last four teams in the 2016 Times 2TG competition. I was also one of the judges for the OULS internal mooting competition in 2015. I would like to nominate myself for the role of mooting co-ordinator in order to give something back to OULS, and to share the benefits of my experiences with other students.

I am currently studying W301 having completed W100, W200, W201 and W300. I work part-time as a freelance speech audio producer and musician. I am currently based in Oxford and am keen to help OULS in supporting students in mooting outside of London and the South East as much as I can. I am thorough, organised and reliable, and look forward to the opportunity to get more involved in meeting with and supporting other mooters.

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NEWS EDITOR

JAMIE SCOTT WRIGHT – NEWS EDITOR

I’m Jamie Scott Wright.  You can call me anything within reason: Jamie, Scott, Wright, Jam, Jay, Scotty, Mr Wright, and so on, and so forth.  This is an election statement and so here we’ll abandon my potential monikers and focus on election-y stuff.

I am currently in my fifth year of study with the Open University and I’m studying W300 and W224 simultaneously.  That means contracts, torts and family law are collectively my (supposed) raison d’être for the next couple of months.  I will graduate in 2017.

I would like to stand for two positions: News Editor and News Team Reporter.  Although I have no direct experience of editing newsletters and reporting on interesting legal news, I do have great zeal for getting stuck-in to new and exciting opportunities.  As part of the News Team I would spend many (hopefully!) happy hours searching for the most interesting and relevant material for use in the many outlets for OULS news (social media, the OULS website etc.).

I’m a northern boy through and through; though, my accent does tend to confuse people from time to time as I sound strangely ‘from the South’.  Elect me to a position on the News Team and you won’t need to worry about my strange non-northern-slightly-southern accent.  The written word will be my disguise.  I work very well with others and I’m sure I’ll be an asset to the committee.

I believe I possess the relevant and necessary skills to be a useful member of the News Team.  I suppose it goes without saying that I am interested in legal affairs; however, just in case: I’m interested in legal affairs.  I am also very interested in current affairs and naturally curious about what is going on in the world.  Always keen to learn more, and eager to include others in my drive for knowledge, I will strive to bring to you the most topical and interesting political and legal news in a pleasing format.

I only re-joined the OULS recently and so please give this outsider a chance.  Sometimes outsiders surprise in a good way.

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IMRAN DARBOE – NEWS EDITOR

My name is Imran Darboe, I am 34 and currently reside in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, Scotland. I started The Open University LlB (Hons) full-time in 2014 and I am currently in my second year doing W202 and W203. Besides study I work part-time and also volunteer in a minority communities support organisation in Birmingham (GRAB). I help manage the organisation’s website content, created and manage their monthly newsletter and help maintain and update the organisation’s social media platforms. I am also an artist, (albeit a very uninspired one) and design logos, event flyers and business cards. My aspiration is to pursue a career in the law profession after I finish my studies.

My primary reason for standing for the role of News Editor and News Reporter is to contribute to the invaluable efforts of OULS in providing support services which help improve the learning experience for OU students. Since starting my studies I have had the opportunity to attend a mooting workshop and take part in the internal moot thanks to the work of the OULS. Both events have been eye-opening experiences, helping me appreciate studying the law and improving my understanding of it. Meeting and interacting with other students and learning about their motivations and aspirations about law and the law profession was a great experience too. The brilliant success of the OULS mooting teams has no doubt generated respect for the OU law school and for these reasons I feel obligated to contribute to this development effort. The regular correspondences ranging from career tips, updates of current issues and information from the newsletters have added more substance to my learning experience too. I therefore wish to see these indispensable efforts continue and improve so that other OU law students can benefit as I have.

I have a love for writing and I have some experience in writing blogs, newsletter articles and helping design a regular newsletter (even embarked on a novel writing project, now on hold due to the demands of the LlB). My experiences have included collaborating with team members, doing research on various topics and writing for different audiences. These and my desire to learn more about the law and law profession puts me in a good position to contribute to the forward progress of the OULS.

Having experienced the benefits of the OULS during the first two years of my study, I wish to benefit from it for the remainder of my studies too, I therefore have a vested interest in seeing OULS’s work continue just as much as my fellow law students. For this reason I feel I am obligated to do my part and if elected I will do my best and dedicate my energies to ensuring the work on the OULS continues and benefits us all.

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JAMES SUDWORTH – NEWS EDITOR

My name is James Sudworth and I am a second year student studying a Bachelor of Laws degree with the OU. I decided to become a lawyer after quitting a high paid stressful job, in order to work in a high paid stressful career, go figure…

In 2014 I started my Bachelor of Laws Degree and left my 8 year career as a professional poker player behind, in order to focus on my future. I have been the OULS News Editor and Reporter for the past year, as well as adopting the role of social co-coordinator, however I will be the first to admit that I could have arranged far more social events (which I plan on hosting many more of this year). I partook in work experience at a local law firm and have helped solidify links between the OULS and OUSA by attending many events.

In the past year, I joined a maritime security company (putting ex-marines on boats to protect from pirates) in order to fluff my CV, however it entailed a 2 hour commute and unpaid overtime, which impacted my full time studies. I left the company just a couple of weeks ago to concentrate on my remaining degree and the OULS, with the intention of passing the New York State Bar exam in 2017.

I am articulate, literate and have had years of practical experience writing feature articles for national magazines as well as newsletters and articles for the OULS this year. I am currently writing an auto-biography, and have considerable experience in social networking/marketing as Brand Ambassador and Team Pro for PKR.com worldwide. I have been in an Asian Feature Film, been the Executive Producer on a short film, lived all over the world, and all accomplished at the young (yes young) age of 29! I have hosted social meet-ups and the OULS’s first Halloween party this year, however I really plan on stepping up my game by creating more frequent and detailed articles, as well as hosting more social events for OULS members.

You should vote for me because I am driven, ambitious, and dedicated to helping improve/expand the society, and services on offer to its members. I am a great writer, and with the increased spare time I have created for myself this year, I plan on making a big impact on the OULS. .Besides, I always buy the rounds after events!

Return to list

 

NEWS REPORTER (TWO POSITIONS)

JAMIE SCOTT WRIGHT – NEWS REPORTER

I’m Jamie Scott Wright.  You can call me anything within reason: Jamie, Scott, Wright, Jam, Jay, Scotty, Mr Wright, and so on, and so forth.  This is an election statement and so here we’ll abandon my potential monikers and focus on election-y stuff.

I am currently in my fifth year of study with the Open University and I’m studying W300 and W224 simultaneously.  That means contracts, torts and family law are collectively my (supposed) raison d’être for the next couple of months.  I will graduate in 2017.

I would like to stand for two positions: News Editor and News Team Reporter.  Although I have no direct experience of editing newsletters and reporting on interesting legal news, I do have great zeal for getting stuck-in to new and exciting opportunities.  As part of the News Team I would spend many (hopefully!) happy hours searching for the most interesting and relevant material for use in the many outlets for OULS news (social media, the OULS website etc.).

I’m a northern boy through and through; though, my accent does tend to confuse people from time to time as I sound strangely ‘from the South’.  Elect me to a position on the News Team and you won’t need to worry about my strange non-northern-slightly-southern accent.  The written word will be my disguise.  I work very well with others and I’m sure I’ll be an asset to the committee.

I believe I possess the relevant and necessary skills to be a useful member of the News Team.  I suppose it goes without saying that I am interested in legal affairs; however, just in case: I’m interested in legal affairs.  I am also very interested in current affairs and naturally curious about what is going on in the world.  Always keen to learn more, and eager to include others in my drive for knowledge, I will strive to bring to you the most topical and interesting political and legal news in a pleasing format.

I only re-joined the OULS recently and so please give this outsider a chance.  Sometimes outsiders surprise in a good way.

Return to list

IMRAN DARBOE – NEWS REPORTER

My name is Imran Darboe, I am 34 and currently reside in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, Scotland. I started The Open University LlB (Hons) full-time in 2014 and I am currently in my second year doing W202 and W203. Besides study I work part-time and also volunteer in a minority communities support organisation in Birmingham (GRAB). I help manage the organisation’s website content, created and manage their monthly newsletter and help maintain and update the organisation’s social media platforms. I am also an artist, (albeit a very uninspired one) and design logos, event flyers and business cards. My aspiration is to pursue a career in the law profession after I finish my studies.

My primary reason for standing for the role of News Editor and News Reporter is to contribute to the invaluable efforts of OULS in providing support services which help improve the learning experience for OU students. Since starting my studies I have had the opportunity to attend a mooting workshop and take part in the internal moot thanks to the work of the OULS. Both events have been eye-opening experiences, helping me appreciate studying the law and improving my understanding of it. Meeting and interacting with other students and learning about their motivations and aspirations about law and the law profession was a great experience too. The brilliant success of the OULS mooting teams has no doubt generated respect for the OU law school and for these reasons I feel obligated to contribute to this development effort. The regular correspondences ranging from career tips, updates of current issues and information from the newsletters have added more substance to my learning experience too. I therefore wish to see these indispensable efforts continue and improve so that other OU law students can benefit as I have.

I have a love for writing and I have some experience in writing blogs, newsletter articles and helping design a regular newsletter (even embarked on a novel writing project, now on hold due to the demands of the LlB). My experiences have included collaborating with team members, doing research on various topics and writing for different audiences. These and my desire to learn more about the law and law profession puts me in a good position to contribute to the forward progress of the OULS.

Having experienced the benefits of the OULS during the first two years of my study, I wish to benefit from it for the remainder of my studies too, I therefore have a vested interest in seeing OULS’s work continue just as much as my fellow law students. For this reason I feel I am obligated to do my part and if elected I will do my best and dedicate my energies to ensuring the work on the OULS continues and benefits us all.

Return to list

JAMES SUDWORTH – NEWS REPORTER

My name is James Sudworth and I am a second year student studying a Bachelor of Laws degree with the OU. I decided to become a lawyer after quitting a high paid stressful job, in order to work in a high paid stressful career, go figure…

In 2014 I started my Bachelor of Laws Degree and left my 8 year career as a professional poker player behind, in order to focus on my future. I have been the OULS News Editor and Reporter for the past year, as well as adopting the role of social co-coordinator, however I will be the first to admit that I could have arranged far more social events (which I plan on hosting many more of this year). I partook in work experience at a local law firm and have helped solidify links between the OULS and OUSA by attending many events.

In the past year, I joined a maritime security company (putting ex-marines on boats to protect from pirates) in order to fluff my CV, however it entailed a 2 hour commute and unpaid overtime, which impacted my full time studies. I left the company just a couple of weeks ago to concentrate on my remaining degree and the OULS, with the intention of passing the New York State Bar exam in 2017.

I am articulate, literate and have had years of practical experience writing feature articles for national magazines as well as newsletters and articles for the OULS this year. I am currently writing an auto-biography, and have considerable experience in social networking/marketing as Brand Ambassador and Team Pro for PKR.com worldwide. I have been in an Asian Feature Film, been the Executive Producer on a short film, lived all over the world, and all accomplished at the young (yes young) age of 29! I have hosted social meet-ups and the OULS’s first Halloween party this year, however I really plan on stepping up my game by creating more frequent and detailed articles, as well as hosting more social events for OULS members.

You should vote for me because I am driven, ambitious, and dedicated to helping improve/expand the society, and services on offer to its members. I am a great writer, and with the increased spare time I have created for myself this year, I plan on making a big impact on the OULS. .Besides, I always buy the rounds after events!

Return to list

GEORGIA PALMER – NEWS REPORTER

The last time I took part in elected leadership was during my secondary school years, when I was a prefect and took part in Youth Parliament on the county youth panel. Since then, I’ve had a few years to grow, develop and reflect on the different qualities necessary for successful leadership and teamwork.

I’ve been a student with the Open University since 2013, at first part-time, and now full-time since last October, currently studying W200, W221 and W224. Really choosing to engage this past year, I have attended a number of Open University law society events which has given me the chance to meet a number of wonderful people and have new experiences.

What this has taught me is just how important the law society is for providing guidance, direction and that little extra push of encouragement to take the necessary steps for maximising a career in law. The skills taught at mooting workshops, and even at socials, have been very useful for such tasks as networking and sourcing mini-pupillages. In this way, I would relish the opportunity to give back and help fuel the society for the future, as vice chair, secretary or news reporter.

In all three of the roles, I would be able to bring passion and dedication. As a team news reporter, I would enjoy relating the tales of events, opportunities and the progress of mooting competitions. In the role of secretary, I would bring my enthusiasm and attention to detail to the table. I believe that I could offer effective support as vice chair, helping the committee to maintain the strong presence that the society has built in the lives of Open University law students, as well as introducing new ideas, events and relationships with law firms and organisations.

In all, I would seek to boost the law society to the best of my ability in any role, and I hope that you consider my nomination.

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SARAH COULING – NEWS REPORTER

My Name is Sarah Couling, I am a mother of two, a full time law student and network marketing professional. I left nursing school in the US and moved to England in 2008 to start a family. After spending 6 years being a full time mum I decided to change my career path. I joined the Open University in 2013 and I am currently studying full time in my second year of my LLB.

I would like to nominate myself for the role of news reporter and/or systems manager for the Open University Law Society. I have served as a committee member on my children’s PTA for 4 years and have been a vice chair for their after school club committee for 3 years. I am also currently the secretary for my Amateur Dramatic Society Committee. Having served on multiple committees I am aware of the importance of the work that a committee does.

Having been a member of OULS for the duration of my LLB as well as attending events throughout the year, I have met some wonderful people through the OULS and cannot wait to help expand relations over the coming year. I believe that the OULS is a fantastic forum for OULS members to become more socially interactive with others in similar situations during their studies and I would love to have the honor of getting more involved in the committee. Having the freedom to work from home has given me more time to focus on my degree and allows me more time to dedicate to the OULS.

I spend far more time paying attention to the news and legal situations unraveling in the world than my partner is keen on, therefore I am extremely up to date with information that fellow law students may find interesting, making me perfect for a role as a news reporter. I am also articulate and have attained extremely good grades in TMA’s and EMA’s proving that my writing skills are more than adequate for the position. I am fun, bubbly and love learning new things as well as presenting ways in which others can learn from my own experiences.

You should vote for me because I am keen to help improve and grow the society. I am excited and passionate about the society and look forward to the future and my role in it.

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JOE BEET – NEWS REPORTER

My name is Joseph Beet and I wish to stand for the role of News Reporter for the Open University Law Society. I am currently nearing the end of the second year of my law degree. I study part time and I am enjoying the course immensely.

I actively follow current events in law and politics and would relish the chance to take a part in researching and reporting changes in the law. I would love to help bring important news and developments in law to the forefront of my fellow students’ minds. We have already seen this year how suddenly changes can affect our courses with decisions such as Vidal-Hall v Google Inc [2015] creating a tort of misuse of information; and the more recent R v Jogee and Ruddock v R [2016] which abolished ‘joint enterprise’.

In addition, this opportunity would also be an incredible chance to add to my personal knowledge and understanding of the law that I am already developing through my degree. The chance to engage more with the OULS and take advantage of all it has to offer is an incredible opportunity.

As someone who has extensive experience working in law, I am used to the pressure that comes with strict deadlines necessary in the role. I am able to effectively manage my time and ensure that deadlines are not missed and work is never rushed. I have aided trainees and solicitors in legal research and would bring that same level of professionalism to my work as a news reporter. As part of the OULS team, I could help bring the news to everyone.

By voting for me you would be voting for a candidate who enjoys reaching out to people and discovering more about them. Someone who is passionate about current events in the law, and strives to continually develop his knowledge.  A candidate who is reliable and professional, maintains high standards of work, and always enthusiastic.

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SOPHIA SARI – NEWS REPORTER

I would like to nominate myself for the role of News Team Reporter. I am currently mid-way through the W101 and W102 modules of the Open University LLB – I am thoroughly enjoying my studies and try to throw myself into every extracurricular activity available! I work in Winchester as a Taxation Officer, a fairly new role for me that I started in December. Prior to that, I worked in Portsmouth as a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. I also do freelance work as a consultant for law firms, specialising in secretarial restructuring, although I wouldn’t have time to study if I pursued that full time. I decided to begin studying with the Open University as I thought it was about time I got a qualification and applied myself to something worthwhile. I can wholeheartedly say it was the best decision I have ever made. I joined the Open University Law Society (OULS) when I enrolled on my course, which has also proved to be a valuable choice – it has opened up a number of opportunities for me that I would not have otherwise had.

I believe I will be able to fulfil the requirements of the role as I can produce quality written articles very quickly, as demonstrated when Abi Scott (OULS Chair) asked me to provide a short article on my mooting experience – I returned the first (and final) draft within an hour of her email. I am dedicated to working to deadlines and would ensure that all articles are produced in a timely manner. I am fully able to work within a team, remaining amiable at all times and respecting the views of others. I remain professional, courteous and friendly when communicating with anyone, no matter who they are. I maintain an excellent knowledge of current affairs through my subscriptions to major news providers such as The Times, The Guardian, the BBC and specialist legal news providers such as The Law Society Gazette. I also have an avid interest in the affairs of organisations such as Amnesty International and Unite the Union. Although I am studying two modules, I will be able to fully commit to the OULS by prioritising all my work to ensure I am able to complete all tasks to a very high standard.

I applaud the work of the OULS and its current committee; my experience so far has been nothing short of extremely positive and I am very eager to join. I will embrace this position completely and I look forward to working with fellow committee members to raise the awareness and profile of the OULS. I will strive to be as enthusiastic and passionate as the current committee, and will vigorously encourage further participation from Open University law students.

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PETER BELL – NEWS REPORTER

I have a lot of personal experience of the law and the Courts and Tribunal system. I have appeared several times as LIP (litigant in person) at Property Tribunal, Employment Tribunal, County Court, Family law proceedings, High Court (Bankruptcy) (in attendance). I also pursued several small claims actions through the online bulk centre.

I would like to use some of the experience I have built up over the years in business to encourage other students to get the most that they can out of their time with the OU. Also to provide help, support and guidance to those students through working together to improve the learning experience.

I believe that study can be fun and very rewarding but also quite tough at times. Particularly distance learning where self-discipline and motivation are essential but difficult to maintain. Learning together, challenging each other’s ideas and thoughts in a supportive environment can really help clarify thinking and this is one of the roles of the OULS – to provide a means for law students to interact and learn from each other.

The “mooting” competitions are also an excellent, relatively risk-free training ground for the real thing and I enjoy them immensely and want to help the OULS to enable others to benefit from this experience.

I could bring enthusiasm and commitment to the role. A real passion for the law and studying law and then applying it. Organisational skills. Leadership. A can do attitude. A real empathy for students who struggle with their learning and who feel they are alone.

I have demonstrated commitment to the OULS during the current year:

  • Attended the mootings (in London and Leicester) to support the OULS entrants.
  • Took photographs and videos for the website.
  • Attended the social event in London.
  • Promote the OULS at all the tutorials that I attend and through the Tutor Group forums and LLB common room forum.

I am committed to widening the appeal of the OULS to all OU students studying any of the law courses (as part of an LLB or as part of other courses) and to actively recruiting students in to the OULS.

If I am the sort of person you would like on the OULS committee then please vote for me (or indeed, stand for any of the posts yourself).

Whether elected on to the OULS committee or not, I will always work actively to support the work of the OULS and the committee.

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OFFICER FOR SCOTLAND

LIDIA DANCU – OFFICER FOR SCOTLAND

My name is Lidia Dancu and I am an Edinburgh based graduate student on the OU LLB, taking W202 and W203 this year.  I plan to graduate in 2017.

I have already had some legal experience, having done a short traineeship in Glasgow in 2014.  My work involved dealing with clients and attending and assisting them in the Court of Sessions in Edinburgh, liaising with other solicitors and with council (barristers) and dealing with the Home Office.  My previous work has been in industries as diverse as hotel and hospitality, IT, construction, management consulting and training and development.

I am the founder of the OULS – Scotland and have been co-opted into the OU Law Society committee in order to create a branch of the society which promotes the interests of and supports OU law students in Scotland.  I recognise that students in Scotland face some unique challenges and the objectives for our Scotland branch are born from a wish to meet these.  My aims are:

  1. To identify specific challenges which students studying English and Welsh law in Scotland face and to form a detailed understanding of their needs;
  2. To provide tools, services and opportunities in order to meet those needs and support the education of student members;
  3. To identify opportunities for learning, training and work experience in Scotland and England (but to concentrate on those in Scotland) and to provide student members with the opportunity to access these;
  4. To influence the creation of such opportunities by lobbying with the OU for their provision, and by creating strategic partnerships with the Law Society and the Law Society of Scotland, law firms, barristers chambers and advocates stables and the courts;
  5. To promote equal opportunities for student members (equal between OU students and those studying law at other universities and equal between mature students and younger students, etc.);
  6. To maximise legal exposure;
  7. To facilitate access to the legal profession;
  8. To create a human rights group and a critical lawyers group; and
  9. To provide social opportunities for student members.

In order to meet these objectives, I am currently working on organising a number of events, including workshops (mooting, advocacy, presentation), moots, lectures and seminars.

I believe that having had the opportunity to initiate and make a start on developing a Scotland branch of the OU Law Society, I am in a unique position to take my work forward and bring our plans to fruition.

Further, having had experience in a number of industries, having lived long term in three countries across two continents and speaking a number of foreign languages provides me with excellent communication and adaptation skills, which I would like to put to use in the service of my fellow students.  I am passionate and committed and I believe that I can do an excellent job as Officer for Scotland.

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MAX ZAUNER – OFFICER FOR SCOTLAND

My name is Max Zauner. I live in Glasgow, where I study at the OU, work at Tesco, and volunteer at Barlinnie prison. I am in my first year of the BA (Honours) in Criminology and Law, and am very much enjoying the challenge. I want to stand for the role of Officer for Scotland because I believe that Scotland has a lot to offer to OULS and OULS has a lot to offer Scotland. By organising events and extracurricular activities, I believe that the OU and the Law Society will come to play an even larger role and benefit more students in Scotland. My belief is that I would be excellently suited for this role, as I am passionate about ensuring exceptional education for students, representing Scotland, ad well as practising law. My position of Independent Prison Monitor (part of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland (HMIPS)) has taught me an array of skills which I believe will benefit this role. My social and organisational skills are regularly practised when attending meetings throughout the country, assuring me that I am a capable and a reliable candidate for this role. Furthermore, my recent promotion in this field, (to member of the Advisory Committee Group,) has taught me the skills necessary to function and thrive in a committee-style setting. My vast network of professional connections in the Scottish Government and Scottish Prison Service will allow me to make the most of Scottish talent and exploit this for the benefit of the OULS and employability potential for its students.  I am an involved individual who has a keen interest in helping others voice their opinions and achieve aspirations. If I am successful in applying for the role of Officer for Scotland, I will ensure that the needs of all involved parties are met, and that Scotland will be represented with pride and dignity, so that the good work of the OULS can continue to enhance the learning development of those studying law at the OU.

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