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Attorney General champions government legal career at Open University

Diverse routes into law and how the work of government lawyers impacts all aspects of public life were themes discussed by the Attorney General as she spoke to The Open University’s Law students.

Attorney General, Victoria Prentis KC MP, visited The Open University campus in Milton Keynes on Thursday July 13, part of the 25 years of teaching Law at the OU celebrations.

She spoke to more than 260 people – online and in-person – about her role as the top legal advisor to the government, her professional background, and championing government legal careers.

Watch the recording

The Attorney General said:

“From judicial reviews and trade deals to drafting legislation, government lawyers work on some of the most extraordinary cases that impact every aspect of public life.

“The Open University’s strength is that it offers flexible learning and open doors for its students to explore new opportunities. The Government Legal Department is similar in its approach offering diverse routes into the profession, flexible working, inclusive workplaces and continual learning opportunities.

“This is why I am a champion of the government legal profession and would recommend that everyone interested in a career in law considers the Government Legal Department.”

The Attorney General was a government lawyer for 17 years.

The Attorney General was joined on the panel by Malcolm Sweeting, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of The Open University’s Council, who hosted the event, Chief of Staff to the Vice-Chancellor, Jhumar Johnson, Government Legal Department’s Head of Paralegal, Hugh Finnegan, and Head of The Open University Law School Hugh McFaul.

Students had the opportunity to ask the panel questions, which ranged from the emergence of Artificial Intelligence to how long legal papers should be archived.

Malcolm Sweeting, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of The Open University's Council, said:

“We were honoured to host the Attorney General, The Rt Hon Victoria Prentis, MP, KC, at the OU as part of Law's 25th anniversary celebrations. The Attorney General spoke to over 260 OU students about her career, and the opportunities that exist working for the Government Legal Department.

“She offered fascinating insights into the work carried out by government lawyers which ranged from drafting legislation to advising on trade deals. Many of our law undergraduates will I am sure be attracted by the opportunity of a career in public service on work of national importance. A stimulating and thought-provoking session enjoyed by all.”

Some of the OU students present at the event also gave their views.

Rebekah Zammett from Banbury is an OU Law student who is the recipient of an OU Carers Scholarship. The Attorney General is Rebekah’s local MP. She said:

“It was helpful to find out more about the different ways to qualify as a lawyer which will enable more students to secure a place at the Bar as it’s a challenging and incredibly competitive process. The OU is one of the beacons and champions of diversity and inclusion.”

OU Law graduate (2022) Gareth Jones is a married dad of two from Barry in South Wales who is Deputy President of the Open University Students’ Association. He left school without any A-levels and was unemployed due to mental health issues before he started his degree. He said:

“It was really interesting and inspiring to get the perspective of the Attorney General on the different pathways involved. It’s great that the Government Legal Department (GLD) will be appealing to a wide range of circumstances, which is the case for so many current OU students and our alumni.”

This news story was originally posted here.