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From beautician to barrister: DIY law woman gets a first

By Katherine Sellgren
BBC News education reporter

image captionGeorgina Blackwell is now planning further study to become a barrister

A beautician who won a scholarship to study at a London law school after representing her mother in court has been awarded a first in her degree.

Georgina Blackwell, 27, completed the two-year bachelor of law course at the private BPP University College.

Miss Blackwell was offered the scholarship in 2009, after defeating property developers Bellway Homes in the High Court over access to land.

She described the experience, having had no legal training, as "terrifying".

Miss Blackwell forced Bellway Homes to honour an agreement to pay £75,000 for access through her family's garden in Halstead, Essex, while it built houses nearby.

Had her mother lost the case, she might have been faced with a six-figure legal bill, as well as costs and damages from an earlier hearing.

Barrister dream

BPP University College was so impressed by Miss Blackwell's performance, it offered her a £10,000 scholarship to study with it.

Its faith was rewarded when Miss Blackwell, who had rejected a place at law school as a teenager, graduated with a first-class degree.

She said: "I am delighted with my result, and I would like to thank BPP for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime chance to fulfil my dream of becoming a barrister.

"I did apply to study law at university when I was younger but gave up my place to help my mother, Sandra, to run the family business when she broke her wrist.

"My message to anybody thinking about a legal career is that it is never too late. It is hard work, but very rewarding!"

Miss Blackwell now plans to undertake a further course of study to become a barrister.

More on this story

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