College’s aspiring legal eagle soars high after winning academy place


An ambitious Gateshead College Sixth Form student has taken the first steps towards a legal career after securing a place on a law firm’s prestigious development programme. 

Eighteen-year-old Beth Quinn, from Blakelaw, is among 16 youngsters from across the UK joining Eversheds’ Unlocked Academy, a four-year long scheme designed by the international law firm to support aspiring law students.  

This latest success for Beth, who aims to complete her English, maths and politics A Levels this summer before going on to study law at Newcastle University, follows on from her attendance on a work experience scheme at Eversheds’ office in Central Square South, Newcastle. 

This provided the chance for her to build on her college studies, seeing at first hand the work of a commercial law firm and reaffirming her legal ambitions.

Now, she’s looking forward to working further with her mentor Shirley Wright, Partner and Head of the Eversheds Newcastle Human Resources team, as she prepares to complete her A Levels at Gateshead College Sixth Form.

Gateshead College Sixth Form, part of Gateshead College, has a 99% success rate (4% above the national average), offers high quality teaching supported by a unique partnership with Cardinal Hume Catholic School and supports students to gain places at some of the top universities in the country including the University of Cambridge and Durham University. 

Beth has accompanied Shirley to her first business networking event and is already working on the qualities and traits needed to become a successful lawyer.

The development programme will also see her benefit from additional work experience as well as face-to-face training and online learning as part of her mentoring support.

Beth said: “I really want to be a business lawyer, so this is a great chance for me to realise that ambition.” 

“Gaining work experience during my A Levels has been extremely beneficial. I have been able to see the work of a top law firm at first hand, while letting them see my capabilities as a potential future employee.

“Achieving a place on the development programme undoubtedly gets me a step-ahead of other students hoping to gain work in the legal profession, which is highly competitive.

“I’m also looking forward to receiving Shirley’s input, which will be a huge help as I work towards completing my studies over the coming years.”

Gateshead College’s principal and chief executive Judith Doyle said: “Our Sixth Form offers a distinct edge over those at local schools because the whole ethos is to give our students a broader set of skills and experiences which enables them to be a step ahead when securing a university place or a job.

“We draw on our vast network of industry partners to offer inspirational work placements and I’m thrilled Beth’s talents have been recognised and she’s secured a place on the academy. Work experience is vital for anyone starting out; it offers a chance to showcase skills to an employer, develop confidence and gain much needed practical experience for a CV.”

Shirley Wright at Eversheds added: “Beth is a very impressive student, brimming with confidence and enthusiasm.  

“She is determined to succeed in her goal of qualifying as a lawyer and I’m confident that she has the qualities needed to do so. She is very bright and hardworking and I’m very much looking forward to working with her more closely and seeing her blossom into a lawyer in due course.”