Wadzanai Richardson (Part-time LLB, 2010)

While working as an administrator, I was persuaded to study law on a part-time basis and the University of Buckingham was the perfect choice for me. The course structure allowed me to continue to work full time and study at the same time.  As I continued to work, this meant that I was able to pay for my own university fees without getting into any debt.

Law is traditionally a demanding and highly challenging discipline which means that one has to make time for the required reading. The university provided us with comprehensive module materials, textbooks and all the relevant materials for further reading.

I found it a bit daunting at first, but quickly settled into the routine of reading in preparation for the seminars, which were held every Wednesday evening. The course was intense and challenging but the coursework was designed in such a way that it helped me grapple with the areas of law I was studying at any given semester. The seminars were also helpful in that they focused on problem solving skills and this helped me to progress well and prepare for examinations. The lecturers were of a high calibre and were always available and were very supportive.

On the whole, the course was challenging, meaningful, satisfying and fun. I met the most amazing people during this journey.  We were a small group and this allowed us to work together closely and support each other.

I graduated in 2010 and was fortunate enough to secure a training contract with a firm in London, where I had been working for on a part-time basis.  I was able to stand out and thanks to what I had achieved at the Buckingham, I was offered a training contract.

I qualified as a solicitor in 2014, after completing my training contract with the same firm based in London.  Once I qualified, I left London and joined a law firm in Newcastle in the North East of England. I was recruited to establish a mental health law and court of protection department within the firm.

After a few years, I joined my current firm and within two years I made partnership. I’m currently a partner at David Auld & Co Solicitors based in Morpeth, Northumberland which is in the North East of England but my journey started at Buckingham University and since then, my life has never been the same. The University of Buckingham University provided me with the foundation which I have built on over the years in my career.

I am currently specialising in Mental Health and Court of Protection Law. I am a Law Society Accredited Panel Member.  The accreditation means that I have been deemed as competent by the Law Society to act for those who are vulnerable in our society, a role I find challenging and fulfilling. I am regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor and I also act as a Professional Deputy in some cases.  I also practice civil litigation and I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Attending university means you have to stand on your own two feet. It puts you in unfamiliar surroundings and uncomfortable situations which then forces you to come up with the solutions to get yourself back on solid ground. You also build lasting relationships, as the people you meet during your time in academia can become a major part of your future.

For those who are thinking about joining Buckingham University, I would say, pursue your dream and while at it, enjoy it, build new relationships, attend events and get involved as much as you can. The experiences you have while at university can influence other big decisions you make, including where you take your first job, so enjoy the time you have as you never know where it’ll take you.

Someone once told me that in order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure and all progress takes place outside the comfort zone.

My career so far has been challenging but satisfying and I am proud that my foundation started at Buckingham University.  My experience at Buckingham has been life changing and I can testify that it is the best decision I have ever made.

Wadzanai Richardson

April 2021