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Academic journey takes Andrew Scott from the operating theatre to the law courts

16 June 2010 @TeesUniNews


Teesside graduate Andrew Scott has fulfilled a teenage ambition by qualifying and working as a Barrister.

His legal career is a sharp contrast to his previous 14-year career in nursing. Andrew’s dramatic career change was launched by his First Class Law degree from Teesside University, achieved after five years of part-time study.

He is now based at Park Lane Plowden Chambers in Leeds and is also the Attorney General’s Junior Counsel and a Door Tenant at the Chambers of the high-profile barrister Michael Mansfield QC. Father-of-two Andrew, 41, said: ‘When I was 13 I’d thought about being a barrister, but didn’t think I was clever enough.’

After disappointing A-level results Andrew trained as a nurse at Middlesbrough General Hospital, with his last post at the University Hospital of North Tees, as an anesthetics nurse. He later resat his A-levels as a mature student.

Tribunal leads to Law degree Andrew’s legal career began in 1996 when he represented himself in a tribunal against a trade union.

He said: ‘I couldn’t afford to pay for a solicitor or barrister so went to Teesside University’s library and read through the appropriate legal texts. While there I sat alongside Law students and listened to their debates with interest.’

The tribunal’s outcome was successful for Andrew, and the opposing Barrister approached him afterwards, asking if he had ever considered a legal career.

Andrew enrolled on the LLB degree, combining nursing shifts with part-time study over five years. He said: ‘I can still remember the first lecture, I was absolutely mesmerised, the lecturers were so interesting and enthusiastic.’

Universities UK WeekAfter achieving consistently high marks, Andrew successfully applied for a Master Bedingfield Scholarship from Gray’s Inn, London, gaining an interview place alongside Oxford and Cambridge graduates. This enabled Andrew to fund a one-year Bar Vocational Course in Newcastle, setting him onto his new career as a Barrister. His 12 month pupillage (a legal apprenticeship) was at Doughty Street Chambers in London.

A fantastic journey Andrew added: ‘Without a shadow of a doubt going to Teesside University changed my life. It’s been a fantastic journey qualifying as a barrister but now I have a job that’s intensely interesting and rewarding, you can help people who are sometimes in dire circumstances.

‘My advice is, one go to University, two, do a law degree. It’s interesting, practical and stimulating. Whether you’re young or more mature, it doesn’t matter what age, education is for life.’