Committee Elections for 2021/22
Michelle CPC - Chair
Hi! I am Michelle, a 2nd year LLB Law student and currently serving as your Events Officer. I am the publicity rep for the UoB GB Legal Brigades, I served on the Pro Bono Group and I’m on the Holdsworth Women’s Netball Team. Balancing these commitments has given me the experience, organization and leadership that I believe is necessary to become your next chair
If elected, I promise to fulfil the society’s potential to offer more in terms of career advice, academic support, diversity and well-being. As Chair, my goals will be to provide guidance in advancing your career, support throughout academics, and to further encourage diversity and ensure the well-being of our members. I plan to fulfil these goals by:
1. Increasing the frequency and variety of careers-based events with more support and information around vacation schemes/pupillages.
2. Implement more memorable social events, similar to law ball
3. Continue developing the Family Mentoring Scheme that I founded to foster a stronger community amongst members.
Throughout this past year, we have collectively gone through several challenges and great change. I know the club can go much further and so I hope you can trust me to take us there.
Elizabeth Baillie - Vice Chair
Hi everyone! I’m Elizabeth, and I will be running for Vice-Chair. Many of you may know me as your current secretary or from Pro Bono. I’ve gained in-depth knowledge of the Club’s operations, making myself well-equipped; from securing sponsorship, the website, budgets and pricing, and PR.
I proudly represented the Club at the LCN National Awards this year. This first-hand experience helped identify some key areas to better Holdsworth.
I would love to host a number of social events to make up for the lack of events this year, including sports socials, pub crawls, day trips, sports day, puppy therapy day!
Welfare is incredibly important to me and due to Covid, the need for better access to welfare support is fundamental, which I want to advance either through University or with external advisors.
I would love to introduce a dedicated space for BAME students during Careers Month, to hear from BAME lawyers discussing their journeys, and introduce events celebrating diversity and different cultural festivals.
I intend to broaden speakers and workshops to include in-house lawyers, human rights and criminal lawyers, not just our commercial and corporate firms and introduce regular commercial awareness workshops; key for vac-schemes!
Elena Mihaylova - Vice Chair
I am Elena and I stand here today in my role as a candidate for the next Vice – Chair of the Holdsworth club. I do believe time is a precious resource, so I will not waste yours not today nor, if elected, in the future.
I am a first-year International Law student and have always been driven by my need to be of help to society. This might sound like a cliché, however, my previous positions are proof of it.
One of my most recent positions was as President of the Youth Parliament which is the biggest volunteering organization in my region. Other relevant positions are as Chair of the Student Council in my Highschool and as President of the Debate society there. In all of the positions, I started as a member/ volunteer, learnt and improved, and applied for them only after making sure I was going to be able to give my best, which is what I will do now.
What I am planning to do:
Ensure smooth working process and environment
Conduct surveys to always be sure we are working according your needs and wants
Secure a wider web of employers, companies and work on more our cooperation with other clubs
Nicholas Auriana - Treasurer
My name is Nicholas Auriana and I am running to be the next Treasurer of the Holdsworth Club. I am a second year LLB student from California and have been a Holdsworth member since my first year.
Before starting my LLB, I created a startup company based in San Francisco. I gained experience securing angel and seed investors. Further, I understood how vital it is effectively manage finances and run a team. As a candidate I bring a balance of working in the business world coupled with my student experience.
In my first year, I opted for the elective of Accounting and Finance and have worked in a committee for two years in ELSA Birmingham and ELSA United Kingdom. As President of ELSA Birmingham, I spearheaded opportunities for our members such as networking with big city firms, insight evenings, application workshops, and competitions between red brick universities. Beyond ensuring responsible financial management, I will reach out and collaborate with members to meet their expectations. I will implement an effective strategy to sustain and continue opportunities.
Thank you for your time and if elected you have my commitment to delivering an effective management of finances and new partnerships next year!
Jessica Gleeson - Secretary
I am an organised, passionate and motivated individual who is well adapted to independently and team working situations which would help me to deliver the best service as secretary of the club. I am active on social media and a wide range of communication methods making me easily approachable and contactable both to students but also external communications. I am well adverse in the running of a committee as I was treasurer of my sixth form committee. This will help me in the role as I am aware of the size of the task and can organise my time accordingly to ensure that the club and committee can run efficiently. Playing sport with adults from a young age has improved my communication skills both in a professional setting and a more social setting. This would help the role as I would be confident in both communicating with external firms but also would be confident in instigating the communication. As secretary, I will aim to work within the committee to keep all lines of communications flowing both within the team but also with the whole club as all members are important to the continuing success of the club.
Raahat Islam - Secretary
I am Raahat Islam, a first year law undergraduate seeking to maximise my potential. I aim to make an impact by acting as the first point of contact. I believe that I am best for this position as I am able to contribute in organising freshers events such as dining experiences as well as socialising opportunities.
I understand the importance of this position and would like to apply my experience from firms. I have a high standard of English and grammar which will be applicable to mailing, managing the website as well as spreadsheets. I also know the role includes creating agendas to provide opportunities to socialise and allow for great experiences.
I have recognised the support available, through networking or socials to maintain the work-life balance. Awarded ‘Best Networker’ by Holdsworth demonstrated my strong communication skills and ability to engage with people. My confidence would help with dealing with law firms and securing sponsorships.
I am organised, have a strong sense of self-discipline and time management as well as friendly and approachable. Law is fundamental to representing society. For effective representation you need to understand society. This ensures committee members and myself continue to focus on our studies and be the best we can.
Joel Bleich - Careers Officer
My name is Joel Fritz Bleich, and I am from Germany. My father is German, and my mother is Mexican. I grew up learning German and Spanish and appreciating both cultures, which helped me develop a friendly character as I had to change schools very often.
I was the Vice-president of the Student Council and the President of the Debating Club, which helped me become organized with my time. Furthermore, was I the Master of Ceremony, which helped me develop public-speaking skills. I was Manager for student-organized events, which taught me to perform under pressure. I currently am a Student Rep for first-years and a member of the Debating Society.
If I were chosen as Careers Officer, I would attempt to identify niche practice areas of interest to club members through questionnaires and invite graduated members currently working within that field to hold presentations of what that practice area involves. After all, many law students still seek guidance regarding what area of law they would like to practice in, and this could be a very flexible and educational method of offering t
Sefe Kingsly - Barrister Representative
Why are you standing? I feel passionately about knocking down barriers that are too often stopping students achieving their aspirations. I personally dealt with several different hurdles, from extenuating circumstances to lack of resources but I was lucky enough to have exceptional advice and guidance throughout, however, I know this is not the case for all students, who are frequently let down. I will work and ensure all students have constant support and direction about the Bar.
Priority 1:Organise more Bar events
I care deeply about our education and for this reason I will organise many more events targeted at aspiring barristers.
Priority 2:Start a hotline for two weekends a month
After speaking to many students, I gathered there is a need to create a hotline for any queries about the Bar.
Priority 3:Increase support for international students
Education isn’t about Home students vs international students or Maths vs Arts, it is about creating a united student body, that I will be dedicated to working in partnership with.
This is YOUR FUTURE. Elect me and you will see your education and your voice at the very centre of everything I do; because students are names not numbers.
Felicity Wood - Barrister Representative
I am committed to a career at the Bar and I wish to utilise the position of Barrister Representative to help Holdsworth members achieve their ambitions at the Bar. I am experienced in organising events and enjoy holding positions of responsibility, shown by my work with the Pro Bono Group, as a campus representative for the University of Law and as secretary for the Action Against Homelessness Society. I consider myself professional with a strong ability to engage with people, which will be useful when building connections between Holdsworth and various chambers. Also, my personable nature will encourage members who like me, are interested in the Bar.
I hope to build on the work of the current Barrister Representative. I plan to:
Ensure that members can optimise their connections with the Bar by hosting application workshops and talks with local chambers.
Connect with chambers to provide members with accessible and plentiful opportunities.
Create a Bar newsletter, to inform students of work experience opportunities and events.
To encourage diversity at the Bar, I plan to collaborate with the diversity and welfare officers to motivate people from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue a career at the Bar.
Kate Woodhouse - Academic Officer
Hi, my name’s Kate and I am campaigning to be your next Academic Officer!
GDL, LPC, BPTC, WTF is the SQE?! Never mind all that, let’s start with LLB! If you vote for me, I will action the following points:
1. Exam technique workshops:
Including, but not limited to; essay/problem question structures, OSCOLA referencing masterclass. Plus, you will have the chance to partner up with a fellow study buddy!
2. This is one for exam season….How to deal with mind blanks, revision blues, and the infamous all-nighters:
Workshops on the everyday stresses of being a law student; skills-based live chat rooms focused on coping & relaxation techniques.
3. Live Q&A sessions answering all your questions on final-year modules:
Including opportunities to quiz third year students and module leaders on all your worries/concerns!
4. Public speaking workshops:
Let’s unmute your microphones, turn your cameras on and reboot your confidence!
5. Info evenings with post-grads:
Gain insight into studies after University, informal discussions with trainees/future trainees, guest speakers from the University of Law and much, much more…
Law for one and ALL for law!
Vote Kate Woodhouse for Academic Officer 2021!
Emily Beardsley - Academic Officer
Hello! My name is Emily Beardsley. I have loved every second of law school so far and I would love to be selected as Academic Officer. After being a Holdsworth Academic Tutor during second year, I feel I have a great understanding of the tutoring programme. My ambition is to enhance the programme, engaging law students and promoting its value.
I want to be an active part of the society and give back to the law community! After attending many excellent events by the Holdsworth Society in the past 2 years, I understand the value of the society and its meaning to law students.
I propose introducing sessions on referencing, researching and writing essays, this would be valuable for each year group. Dedicated exam technique sessions could achieve high engagement. Due to the lack of formative assessments and exams this year, this could benefit those transitioning into second year. Creating a sense of community within the tutoring programme would be fun, informative and educational!
During my role as Latham & Watkins brand ambassador, I gave employability presentations and gained excellent connections within the law school and beyond! I am organised, enthusiastic and would be dedicated to this role. Thank you!
Dominic Meakin - Academic Officer
Who am I?
Hi, my name is Dom and I am a first year LLB law for Grads student from Shropshire. I am applying for the role of Academic Officer.
What is my experience?
At my previous university I was manager of the university’s Radio station. This means I have plenty of experience with student groups and working on a committee. Also, as a graduate student, I am able to offer the perspective of someone who has already been through three years at university and lived to tell the tale.
My promise to you
I endeavour to…
1. Build upon the fantastic work that has been done with the Holdsworth Tutoring Scheme - improving accessibility and awareness of the scheme.
2. Promote all things relating to academics, including workshops and seminars that are relevant to your studies.
…If you’ve any other suggestions, I will always be happy to hear from you.
So if you want someone who is experienced, reliable, hard-working and always willing to listen, vote Dom!
Also, please feel free to get in touch on Facebook if you have any questions.
Jason Yeo - Academic Officer
I'm Jason, a first-year LLB student running for Academic Officer.
I’ve been to a lot of Holdsworth academic sessions, and I feel that they have been very helpful, but sadly under-used. Thus, I think I would be an ideal candidate to improve the quality and attendance of the sessions.
If elected, I would aim to:
1) Increase advertising for academic sessions
Only 2 out of the last 18 Holdsworth weekly newsletters contained information about the academic sessions. I will prioritise increasing the advertising, to ensure that students who need help know where to go.
2) Ensure that academic sessions correctly align with the lectures
Since the syllabus changes frequently, it is important to ensure that the sessions cover the correct material - as to not waste the tutor's and tutee's time. I will prioritise providing the tutors with correct information
3) Help first years settle in
First year can be confusing. I will aim to add some introductory academic sessions in the first semester to help students to get a better understand of the upcoming year.
I think these aims will have a positive impact on the law students, allowing everyone to make the most out of the club.
Alyssia Antonen - Diversity & Welfare
Hi! I'm running for welfare&diversity because I think my experience makes me a good fit for the role.
I'm currently one of the 13 student mentors who works for the Guild, and our job involves providing support and advice to students on a variety of topics including stress, mental health, and guiding students where to turn for more help. We receive regular training on GDPR and understanding disabilities so that we can give extra support! This means I have practical experience helping students with welfare issues through many mediums (email, zoom,call, in person), can sign post and explain to students university services (extensions, RAPs, etc) and know the confidentiality this all requires.
If I'm elected, I'd be looking to be a very friendly face with an open approach to welfare - this means knowing when I can help (sometimes even a chat can help things!) or if I should help you to find further support. I'd love to hold a time every week when anybody can pop by for a coffee!
I think the support that is available should be super easy to find and understand, especially during exam season, as it can be hidden on canvas.
Sophie Davy - Diversity & Welfare
My name is Sophie Davy, I am a second-year law student applying for the position of a Diversity and Welfare officer. When I heard about this role, I knew it would suit me perfectly. My experience as a mentor showcases my friendly nature and enthusiasm to aid students – I am more than willing to assist wherever I can as I understand how daunting university can be. I joined university through the A2B Scheme so initially, I felt alienated and unprepared. However, since joining the Holdsworth Club, my perspective has shifted, having opened a door to endless opportunities. This has given me the confidence to take on positions of responsibility alongside my degree such as the ProBono project and the CoachBright tutoring programme proving that I am responsible, flexible, and well-organised. Therefore, I know that I can successfully meet the high expectations of this role. Furthermore, as a woman with a diverse ethnic background, I recognise the importance of a supportive and inclusive environment that promotes equality in which all students can thrive and reach their full potential. I know that I have the passion and determination to make a difference and, hopefully, better the lives of my peers through this role.
Elin Short - Diversity & Welfare
I strongly believe that the diversity and welfare of the students at Birmingham Law School is vital. Throughout my degree, I have taken part in numerous projects that champion diversity and educate others on issues facing minorities and women. These include my work with the pro bono project ‘Race and Rights’ and my advocation for women’s rights in law – having recently written an article on women’s rights in prenups for the Law School’s pro bono blog. I would introduce numerous talks on diversity in the legal workplace from key solicitors who have championed diversity at their law firms.
The welfare of every law student is important to me and after working as a ‘Parent’ in the Law School’s Family Scheme, I am aware of the stresses that a large workload (especially in a pandemic) can have on a student’s mental health. I will increase the awareness of mental health in the legal profession through a new and improved Welfare & Diversity social media account and work closely with the wellbeing team to remove any stigma around asking for help with mental health. Finally, I would improve the wellbeing information currently on canvas and make it more accessible to students.
Jasmin Chambers - Diversity & Welfare
Hi, I’m Jasmin, a first-year LLB student. I’m kind, committed and ambitious. As a member of the Black and Ethnic Minorities Association and Women in Law, I have a particular interest in diversifying the legal field. I am eager to make sure the under-represented are represented in the Holdsworth Club. I strive to be humble and educate myself about cultural topics and hope to increase more awareness for current issues to members of the club. You can be assured that with your vote I will be dedicated to the club’s progressive nature and ensuring you feel included in the safe inviting atmosphere of the club. I’m ready to be your point of call whether you need help or just want a chat. I previously ran an anti-bullying group and organised events to embrace differences including a pledge signing event to discourage being a bystander. The role involved liaising with a lot of personnel to organise events shaping me into a communicative and confident yet patient person. By voting for me, I hope to do more within the club to focus on mental health including organising a Welfare week and having time available if you wish to talk.
Lauryn Vickerman - Diversity & Welfare
Hi, I’m Lauryn! I’m a second year LLB Law with Business Studies student, running for Diversity & Welfare Officer.
With up to 49% of lawyers in firms now female, I feel we’re edging closer to the equality mark in terms of sex. However, more needs to be done to support the increase of minorities into the legal sector. As a student from a low socio-economic background, and the first in my family to attend University, I want to ensure students in similar situations are supported and represented.
Previous volunteering experience for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, and supporting the ELIPS Clinic through the Pro Bono Group this year has further developed my communication skills. I’m often told that I’m a good listener and I’m always up for a chat with anyone who is struggling.
I’d love to be able to offer events that help freshers, but also 2nd and 3rd years, meet new friends they may not have encountered before. For example, through regular coffee morning sessions to chat and support one another. In addition, I’d like there to be chilled out socials during exam season to help with stress, as we all know how taxing a law degree can be!
Joy Yan Leung - Diversity & Welfare
I am Joy Leung, currently a Year 1 LLB student.
Born and raised in Hong Kong,I never felt that there is the need for inclusion as I am the majority. When I first arrived in the UK, I introduced myself as “Joy”,yet,many still identify me with the name “the Asian Girl”. I felt welcomed because I was being identified by my race instead of being an individual. Despite being well-intentioned and kind, it’s still hurtful. Misidentification makes me feel invisible. I can’t help wonder, “Do they even know who I am?”
Diversity and inclusion is pivotal in the Law School. By identifying EVERYONE as a unique individual, it can help us achieve our full potential. It is important not to make anyone feel neglected in their legal studies/career. As an overseas BAME student, I am a good listener and advocate of diversity and inclusion. If I am elected to the committee board,I will make sure that each event includes everyone of different needs.
Everyone has the right to their individuality in the law school setting, with that comfort, WE AS A ONE can grow and blossom.
Please vote for me--I am JOY LEUNG.Thank you.
Delphine Avraam - Diversity & Welfare
My name is Delphine Avraam, and I am running for the position of Diversity and Welfare Officer at the Holdsworth Society for the year 2021/22. One of reasons I want to run for this role as it is clear that the pandemic has impacted students’ mental health which is why if I get this position I would like to create wellbeing cafes every two weeks to provide a space for students to not only meet each other but also to talk about collective issues troubling them. In addition to this I would like to promote the introduction of talks centring around the topic of minorities in law, in addition to working with CEPLAR to introduce more mentorship opportunities with the targeting minority groups within the cohort. My experience working as a diversity officer in the Students’ Union at my pervious University has given me a framework for how to work within student groups to promote and protect the interest of students within the Holdsworth society. If I am elected into the position I hope to leave a lasting and positive impact on the law students and the society as whole.
Emily Harpham-Wells - Fresher's Representative
My name is Emily Harpham-Wells and I’m running to be the Freshers Representative next year, when I will be in my second year of studying International Law and Globalisation. I want to be elected for this role because I know first-hand the difficulties of being a fresher during COVID and, although most restrictions should be removed by September, I want to help others through their transition to both Holdsworth and the wider university. My year’s representative has been really helpful and I want to continue this for future freshers so they can feel as welcomed as we did. I have many years of experience taking a leadership role, most recently as an Officer Cadet in the University Royal Naval Unit, where I hope to progress to becoming an Officer in the Royal Naval Reserves. Through this and my job in customer care, I have developed many transferrable skills that are key to this role, for example communication and connecting with people from many different backgrounds. I will stay active and up to date with the group chats to ensure I’m aware of any issues freshers may be experiencing, and look forward to assisting bringing back in person events like LAWD.
Yaren Oguz - Fresher's Representative
Hi everyone! My name is Yaren, and I am a second-year LLB Law student running for Freshers Representative. As an international student, I had difficulties adjusting to a new environment in such a short time. Having gone through this, I believe my experiences will further allow me to make freshers feel more at home and welcomed.
Having previously been the event coordinator for my high school’s welcome committee, I have relevant experience that makes me suited for this role. This year, I was involved with the Holdsworth Family Scheme which allowed me to support first-years with any issues they had. Given the numerous COVID restrictions, it was challenging to arrange meetups, so instead we opted for virtual coffee chats which still allowed us to bond!
My goals would include organising activities ranging from picnics to sporting events to facilitate opportunities to meet others and to encourage membership growth. Moreover, I believe having weekly talks will help us to connect further.
It is well-known that a law degree can be daunting; however, the social aspect of university is one of the most valuable experiences that should not be wasted, and I am here to make it as memorable as I can!
Farah Hafazalla - Publicity Officer
My name is Farah Hafazalla, I am an LLB for Graduates student and am writing to apply for the position of Publicity Officer.
Having immersed myself in the various events that the Club has offered this year, I can confidently speak about their value and the skills that I have developed from participation and engagement with each event.
Before pursuing my law degree, I earned a BSc in Psychology from McGill University whilst assuming the roles of Captain and Communications Ambassador of the Varsity Swimming Team. These roles have instilled in me the vital importance of teamwork and collaboration to achieve a common goal. If elected, I will commit to working alongside the Committee to seamlessly bring the best opportunities to Holdsworth Club members while promoting the Club’s focus on inclusion, teamwork, development and results. I will work to ensure that members are continually aware of the comprehensive events available which seek to support them in becoming intellectually well-rounded and progressive students. I plan to encourage greater Club membership by renovating the Club’s social media platforms to introduce a more vibrant, engaging look and increasing interaction with the student population.
Thank you for your consideration; I hope that I will get the chance to further demonstrate my enthusiasm and commitment to the Holdsworth Club through the Publicity Officer position.
Rose Malekzadeh - Sports Officer
I’m Rose, a second year Law student. I’ve been involved in several sports teams at school and I represented my county in netball. I am running for the position of Holdsworth’s Sports Representative as I want to help deliver the passions I have for sport.
I aim to encourage more students to participate in Holdsworth’s, to enjoy the successes and see the vast benefits from being engaged in sports. I would strive to ensure that the committee is encouraging people to get involved in the clubs.
I have been part of the Holdsworth netball team since first year and it was one of the best decisions I made since starting University. It has allowed me to meet and socialise with others. I would like to promote more social events for the sports teams such as joint sports nights and even mixed team matches!
I would like to arrange weekly meetings with the Captains from Holdsworth’s sports teams to discuss any issues or suggestions to help benefit their club.
I want members of Holdsworth to get a chance to be part of the clubs and get the most out of it by contributing to the running of the committee.
Sophie Ellis - Events Officer
Given the previous year of restrictions and now things are opening up again, it is so important to have good social activity at Holdsworth! As a First Year who’s missed out on a lot of normal uni experiences, I fully appreciate the importance of social events, and if elected I will work hard to ensure that a range of social events are available to members, including non-alcoholic related events for non-drinkers, to ensure that everyone is involved. To give some examples, I stand for reinstating the “Lawyers v Medic” pub crawl which was unable to go ahead this year, as well as introducing quiz nights, as well as events to help people who feel they have struggled to mix due to pandemic to socialise with others. I will work hard to ensure that everyone’s needs are met socially at Holdsworth!
Sam Howells - Events Officer
I’m running to be an Events Officer this year to help bring some great speakers, firms and chambers to the university and hopefully put together some more social events as things move back to being in-person. I’d look to bring my experience on the BULS committee to the role as it’s already given me skills in planning and organising events. Obviously it’s been difficult to organise a huge number of events this year, but the success of online events has showed the potential for so many great things in the coming year!