Portsmouth College student Naima makes history by winning prestigious scholarship with global law firm

Portsmouth College student Naima Ali has made college history by winning a prestigious scholarship with global law firm CMS.

Promoted by Portsmouth College
Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 1:32 pm
Naima Ali with Portsmouth College Principal Simon Barrable
Naima Ali with Portsmouth College Principal Simon Barrable

Naima has taken a big step towards her goal of becoming a qualified solicitor in a corporate law firm by winning £2,500 for each year of her undergraduate degree, including work experience and an opportunity to be mentored at one of the top 10 law firms in the UK.

Having won the Linklaters LLP national challenge earlier this year, where the aspiring solicitor won an impressive £12,000, Naima is clearly focused on her career in law.

She said of her latest competition entry: ‘As part of the entry I had to write a 1,000-word essay discussing whether ‘all students at all secondary schools should be searched regularly. I argued that there were various risks facing secondary schools in the UK, including radicalisation, gang violence and prohibited items being brought into schools.

‘An increasing international problem is also gun violence but this raises the question of whether visitors should be searched rather than students since most perpetrators are not directly related to the school. I also discussed the issues with allowing searches, such as the individual freedom of students, a basic human right, as well as the increasingly creative methods individuals use to smuggle items into prohibited places.’

Only 12 entrants were invited for an interview at the London office of CMS on September 17. On the assessment day, Naima faced a half-hour interview with Partner Alison McHaffie and Senior Associate Chris Bradshaw. Naima also took part in a group negotiation task, developing real-life lawyer skills whilst also meeting associates and trainees at the law firm.

Naima, who formerly studied at Portsmouth Academy, has big plans for her future and explained: ‘I am hoping to study an undergraduate Law degree at a Russell Group university, then complete the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) and hopefully a Masters. I then hope to obtain a training contract at a corporate law firm, which will enable me to become a qualified solicitor.’

A delighted Simon Barrable, Portsmouth College Principal, said: 'Naima is a truly remarkable Portsmouth College student! To win not one but two national competitions run by leading law firms is incredible. She clearly has a very bright future ahead of her and we are very proud to call her one of our own.’