A University of Cumbria law student has been awarded a prestigious national prize.
Elizabeth Park, 35, is one of only five students in the country to receive the Neuberger Prize from The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, one of the four Inns of Court in London and a leading centre for the training and development of student and qualified barristers in the UK.
The prize is awarded in recognition of her outstanding work during her studies on the LLB (hons) law course at the university.
Universities nominate students for the prize, which includes £1,000 and student membership of Lincoln’s Inn.
Joining an Inn is one of the first steps an aspiring barrister must take in their career.
Elizabeth, known as Liz, received an award for academic excellence from the university earlier this year for being the highest achieving student on the law programme during 2018-19.
Having previously worked for the Department of Work and Pensions investigating fraud, it was during routine visits to Carlisle Crown Court that Liz was inspired by a female criminal barrister.
Suffering a riding accident three years ago led Liz to rethink her future plans.
With the support of her husband and two children, Liz made the leap into criminal law advocacy and enrolled on the law programme in September 2018.
Liz said: “I’m very honoured that the law programme leaders at University of Cumbria nominated me for this award. I visited Lincoln’s Inn during my first year as part of a university open afternoon and dinner that they were offering and I knew from that moment it was the Inn which I wanted to join, long before I knew about the Neuberger Prize.
“When I got the email saying that I’d won the award I just could not believe it, I had to read it several times to make sure.”
“The leaders of my law programme leaders have been phenomenally supportive, both academically and when needed on a more personal level.
“My personal tutor Fiona Boyle has been instrumental in helping me to keep focused and keep going when it’s been tough, understanding how difficult it is to manage studies and a family and homelife.”
Liz’s personal tutor Fiona is joint LLB programme leader at University of Cumbria.
Fiona said: “We are really delighted that Liz’s hard work and potential as a member of the legal profession has been recognised in this way.
“It is so important that the Bar is representative of society more generally and this kind of help with funding is key to achieving that.”
Liz will attend a future formal occasion at Lincoln’s Inn when coronavirus guidance allows.