The school has given me the freedom to advocate for causes I'm passionate about

Eleonora Sutkalne-Akmene - LLB Law 2022
Eleonora Sutkalne-Akmene
Undergraduate student
Eleonora, one of our third year LLB Law students, discusses why she chose Sheffield and how she has got involved with our student societies.
Eleonora Sutkalne-Akmene - LLB Law 2022
Eleonora Sutkalne-Akmene (LLB Law)

Why did you decide to study this course?

From an early point in my education, I’ve had the desire to study Law, challenging myself to improve my skill set and my opinions of the legal system. I chose the School of Law at the University of Sheffield, as it had a sterling reputation for providing sufficient support to students. Students also rated the course highly when I was looking at rankings and league tables. I confirmed that studying Law at Sheffield would resonate with my interests and my strengths when I had the opportunity to visit an open day at the school.

I decided to study this course as it would allow me to explore my interest in Law which I developed throughout my A-Levels. The course offers a breadth of modules to choose from in my second and final year of university, and I had the opportunity to study abroad if I had wanted to. I was particularly interested in the layout of the course as the majority of my core modules were confined to my first year. This provided me with the foundations of legal knowledge that I needed, while allowing me to use the discretion of the rest of my course to direct my future legal career through a great variety of optional modules.

What skills have you gained whilst studying in Sheffield?

While studying in Sheffield, I have acquired and honed a range of skills. One notable area of personal growth has been the development of a growth mindset, resilience, and determination. I greatly appreciate how the challenges presented at Sheffield have contributed to my overall personal development, particularly in terms of effectively managing my part-time roles, society commitments, and my degree. Additionally, studying at Sheffield has exposed me to diverse commercial and industry contexts, thereby enhancing my commercial awareness and enabling me to apply this knowledge during interviews and in applications related to the legal field. Coming from a rural area with limited opportunities and resources, studying at Sheffield has fostered an open-minded and positive outlook for both my personal and career growth. The abundance of opportunities and captivating roles within the university has instilled in me a willingness to embrace new challenges and explore unfamiliar domains. The curiosity, ambition, and enhanced skill set demonstrated on my CV have helped me secure part-time positions and volunteering opportunities, which in turn have nurtured these qualities.

What is your favourite thing about studying your course at Sheffield?

I really enjoy the wide range of modules available in my course at Sheffield, as it allows me to shape my legal career after graduation. Compared to other universities, Sheffield offers more electives, giving me the opportunity to explore various areas of law and focus on my specific interests. I appreciate the flexibility in module selection, which enables me to undertake research projects and even engage in pro-bono work if I choose to do so. The diverse range of modules covers many legal areas, providing me with comprehensive exposure. 

Students sat outside School of Law building

Have you taken advantage of any opportunities that the Law School offers to students?

I have made the most of the opportunities provided by the Law School, including participating in an external pro-bono scheme at the Sheffield Foyer. Throughout my second year, I dedicated weekly time to support financially disadvantaged youths who faced challenging circumstances during their childhood. This pro-bono placement, offered by the School of Law, allowed me to contribute to my local community and gain a broader understanding of social issues at a national level, including the government's impact on this specific demographic.

Furthermore, I actively engaged in various employability talks and events. During my second year, I attended workshops where legal professionals shared their insights, personal journeys, and the challenges they encountered in their roles.

These experiences provided networking opportunities, allowing me to ask informed questions and make better decisions about my career path after graduation.

Eleonora Sutkalne-Akmene


One particularly enjoyable and beneficial networking event was the Coach Cafe. I have actively participated since its inception, establishing enduring relationships with legal professionals who generously shared their insights and advice. Through my proactive involvement in these events, I gained additional opportunities to engage in other activities and expand my connections with legal professionals from various firms.

Have you got involved with any School of Law societies? If so, what have you enjoyed the most about them?

I actively participated in multiple School of Law societies, including the Legal Hackers Society and the Edward Bramley Law Society. In my first year, I joined the Edward Bramley Law Society, which is the largest Law-related society on campus. It provides exceptional career opportunities and a strong sense of community through various initiatives. I enjoyed socialising, making new friends, and feeling a part of the community. In my final year, I had the honour of being elected as the Academic and Careers Secretary on the committee. This role allowed me to implement my ideas and raise awareness of social mobility by revitalising the society's annual Careers Dinner. The event attracted 160 attendees, including students from different academic levels, representatives from 14 outstanding firms, a chamber, and a legal organisation. Working on this significant project strengthened my relationships with the committee members and gave me the freedom to advocate for causes I'm passionate about.

During my second year, I served as the Operations Officer of the Legal Hackers Society. This experience helped me develop various soft skills such as time management, minute-taking, active listening, and organisation. It also allowed me to explore my interest in legal technology and its intersection with the legal field. This knowledge has proven valuable in interviews and conversations with individuals from diverse academic backgrounds. Engaging with external speakers and organising society events further enhanced my commercial awareness and understanding of these dynamic areas. It eliminated the need for constant individual research and staying updated with news.

Eleonora Sutkalne-Akmene - LLB Law 2023
Eleonora Sutkalne-Akmene (LLB Law student) with their School of Law Plea in Mitigation Competition (2021-22) winning certificate.

What are your career aspirations?

I am an aspiring solicitor, who is looking to specialise in Commercial and Employment Law in a full-service firm, initially in a regional area, such as Sheffield, Leeds or Nottingham, and hoping to eventually transfer to a London office. Being the ambitious individual I am, I aim to reach at least the title of Senior Associate role within my profession and really showcase my  skills and knowledge to high-profile clients.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about studying in the School of Law at Sheffield?

I would advise students to embrace all opportunities as these have really helped me obtain incredible and unique insights into the legal profession, and develop transferable skills. There are plenty of networking and employability events for students to participate in, and I have benefitted from these majorly when building my legal network and creating long-standing relationships with legal professionals that will be able to support me in questions for the future.

Eleonora Sutkalne-Akmene - LLB Law
Eleonora Sutkalne-Akmene (LLB Law)

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