Future looking bright for Falkirk nurse-turned top law student Sarah

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A Falkirk nurse-turned law student has won two prestigious awards.

Sarah Fairley (31) received the Top Graduate LLB Student and Best Student in Commercial Law accolades from the University of Strathclyde.

The qualified staff nurse was presented with the academic excellence merits by one of Scotland’s top judges, Lord Clark at the Barony Hall in Glasgow. She also won praise for a commercial law assignment.

Sarah said she decided to make the switch from nursing to studying law after feeling like “something was missing” in her career.

She said: “I have always really wanted to help people and have been nursing for the past ten years which I have really enjoyed but there was just something missing.

“I had always been interested in law and even considered studying criminology at one point or joining the police but I decided to go down the nursing route.

Sarah went on to achieve a Diploma in Biological Science in 2007 and Bachelor of Science in Adult Nursing in 2010.

Although she enjoyed every aspect of her nursing career, Sarah always maintained a keen interest in law.

“While I was a senior nurse working in Lanarkshire I did my NEBOSH Health and Safety course and really enjoyed the law aspects of it.

“I then decided to apply to study the Accelerated LLB Law Degree at the University of Strathclyde where I was accepted for the 2017 intake and graduated in June this year.

“I enjoyed the course so much that I decided I wanted to continue my legal studies even further.

“My dream job would be to become a medical negligence solicitor for the NHS although I am also keeping an open mind about what the future may hold.”

Sarah is currently studying the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice with the University of Edinburgh and is also doing bank nursing shifts at Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department, where she used to work.

Over the summer Sarah also did some work in several legal offices which she said was “brilliant”.

Once her diploma is completed Sarah will take up a traineeship in September 2020 with leading solicitors Levy and McRae in Glasgow.

She said: “I was so honoured to receive the awards from the University of Strathclyde and it was a privilege meeting Lord Clark who was extremely down to earth. He was a commercial lawyer so it was really interesting speaking to him and he passed on a lot of words of wisdom.

“I would like to thank my dad Brian and my mum Valerie for all their support both emotionally and financially over the past few years as I couldn’t have achieved what I have without them - they have been amazing.”