Alumni: Oliver Morriss Awarded the Neuberger Prize
Oliver Morriss (Deis, 2008-2015) has excelled in his LLB Law Degree at Reading University, having been awarded the coveted Neuberger Prize and accepted onto an LLM Law Masters at Cambridge. With the Masters course starting in just a few days, we spoke with Oliver about his achievements at university, moving to Cambridge, and his fondest memories of Bede's.
Tell us about life at university; have you enjoyed your time at Reading?
I have had a great three years, met some lifelong friends and learnt a lot of life skills. I’m actually a really good cook now! In my first year, I was very involved in the Mooting Society and also worked for the Citizens Advise Bureau (pro bono). In my third year, I was Master of Moot and on the Law Committee, so spent a fair bit of time organising the mooting competitions for the university along with Law social events.
My proudest achievements during my Degree were becoming the first ever first year student to win the mooting event at the Supreme Court; getting to the semi-finals of the Times 2TG mooting competition in London; and winning the Neuberger Prize.
Winning The Neuberger Prize is a fantastic achievement (this is awarded to up to only five Law students per year studying at Non-Russell Group universities throughout the UK. Winners receive membership to Lincoln's Inn, a mentor within the Inn during the winner's Bar Training course, and a £1000 cash prize). Congratulations - you must be thrilled!
I am immensely proud. I was asked by the university to enter as each university can only nominate one student. That in itself was a great feeling, but to actually win was on another level.
You must have faced fierce competition. What do you think made your application stand out?
The amount of mooting and public speaking I took part in, alongside getting a first in my second year. I went out of my way in my first year to do as much as I could, as I knew the third year would be more about studying for finals.
What will you spend the cash prize on?
The money will be spent helping to pay for the privilege of going on to do a Masters. It is a costly business.
Congratulations on being accepted to do a Masters at Cambridge! What made you pursue the study of Law at this level?
There are so many different aspects within studying Law; you can never get bored, and it encompasses our everyday lives. Studying for a Masters allows me to specialise and gain more knowledge in the subject. I will be specialising in International Commercial, Corporate Law, and will also do a Medical Law module as I very much enjoyed this topic last year, and gained a cash prize for the highest grade in the Law School.
The city is wonderful as well...
It is! I will be living with in Hughes Hall, Cambridge University, which is for graduates and mature students. The city is so beautiful with its mixture of amazing architecture, history and the river which runs through with its green banks and lovely parks.
How do you think your time at Bede's has influenced you and the career path you have chosen?
I have gained friends for life and the confidence to converse with anyone. In fact, my very first attempt at public speaking was for the tennis team, which progressed to speaking for the debating team. These early skills have given the grounding for a very successful mooting career whilst at university.
What are your fondest memories of Bede's?
My time spent in Deis House was very memorable, especially the camaraderie amongst my peers and Mr Driver. Tennis also played a big part of my time at Bede's, especially in the earlier years. Mr Frame was always a favourite teacher of mine, History being one of my huge interests, and the great debates had in Mr Gibbs' literature classes were always entertaining.
Are you still in touch with any friends from school?
Yes, I still see my closest friends when ever time permits and have spent holidays with a few of them. With today's technology we are all able to keep in touch regularly.
What are your plans for the future?
After I graduate from Cambridge I plan to start my BPTC course in London which will train me to become a Barrister. I have a lot of funds to raise and will try to get some sponsorships to assist, and will also apply for a pupilage within Chambers. This is a very competitive field, and I am under no illusion that it will be easy.