Victoria Williams Shortlisted for Bristol Law Awards' Law Student of the Year

Weston College is proud to announce that Victoria Williams, a remarkable learner with a unique journey, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Law Student of the Year category at the prestigious Bristol Law Awards. The awards ceremony will take place in November, and Victoria's remarkable story of determination and resilience has captured the attention and admiration of the legal community and beyond.

Victoria's journey to this achievement is nothing short of inspiring. As a survivor of sexual assault, Victoria's first encounter with the justice system fuelled her determination to understand and work within the legal field.

After completing her GCSEs with excellent grades, she chose to work as a waitress in Bath to support her family, particularly her mother, who had been a single working parent to Victoria and her brothers.

Victoria's career in law began when she applied for a role as a conveyancing office junior in Bath. She quickly rose through the ranks and discovered her passion for the conveyancing process. This experience led her to embark on a journey to become a Legal Executive through the CILEx (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) qualification. She attended evening classes at a college in Bristol while balancing her responsibilities as a working parent.

Recognising the importance of supporting her own mental health, Victoria sought therapy to work through the emotional toll of her past experiences. She knew that she had a challenging journey ahead but found the strength to persevere with the support of her family.

In 2021, shortly after completing her Level 3 studies, Victoria was appointed Head of a Residential Property Department at her law firm. She took the opportunity to provide training and mentoring to junior conveyancers, demonstrating her passion for sharing legal knowledge and offering support to emerging legal professionals.

Victoria's journey continued as she enrolled in Level 6 studies at Weston College. Motivated by the 'Me Too' movement, she bravely contacted the police to re-open her historical assault case. In early 2023, charges were brought against her assailant.

Recognising the potential impact on her studies, Victoria made the ambitious decision to bring forward her final exams from January 2024 to June 2023 and passed both exams successfully, with just two weeks between the plea hearing and the exams.

Victoria's dedication and determination have resulted in her being shortlisted as a finalist for the Bristol Law Society Law Student of the Year Award. She has courageously waived her right to anonymity to inspire other survivors and demonstrate that academic success is achievable in the face of adversity.

In her own words, Victoria expresses her gratitude: "I am delighted to have been shortlisted as a finalist for the Bristol Law Society Law Student of the Year Award. As a survivor of sexual assault, I have overcome a great deal in my journey to become a qualified lawyer. Juggling study while also working full-time in legal practice is certainly not for the faint-hearted! I am truly grateful to Weston College not only for the nomination but for the fantastic teaching, support, and encouragement they have generously given during my studies. To have my achievements recognised in this way is humbling indeed and motivates me to continue to share my story with the aim of helping other survivors. This last year has been particularly challenging, but with the support of the team at Weston College and my family, colleagues, and mentors, I am proud to have now achieved my Level 6 Diploma in Law and Practice and be in the final stages of becoming a Chartered Legal Executive."

Weston College is proud to celebrate Victoria Williams' remarkable journey and her well-deserved recognition as a finalist in the Law Student of the Year category at the Bristol Law Awards. Her story is an inspiration to all who face challenges and adversity in their pursuit of academic and professional success.

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