A University of Wolverhampton law graduate is celebrating after clinching a top leadership award.

Sandra Wallace graduated in 1991 with a LLB Law degree from what was then Wolverhampton Polytechnic.

She is now Managing Partner of DLA Piper UK and recently won the Leadership Award at the Birmingham Law Society Awards. The award was sponsored by the University of Wolverhampton Law School.

Sandra, who qualified as a lawyer in 1994, said: “Winning anything always makes you reflect on what you have achieved and in my case how far I have come. I was so worried about going to University and if I would be able to make a legal career. Then I look back and think not only did I achieve that but I have been given so many opportunities at DLA Piper besides.

“I am not keen on the limelight and I recognise that little happens without support around you. Nevertheless this award is special because it was colleagues at DLA Piper pushing me to go for it and they submitted the commentary in support of the nomination.  So it feels like people appreciate what I do, even if I think it’s no big deal!”

She added: “The University of Wolverhampton (Polytechnic when I was there) was quite a revelation for me.  It was the first time I enjoyed my education. At college I was the odd one out being from the wrong part of town and generally it was not very diverse.  I didn’t attend the universities that I actually got accepted for because I felt I would be like a fish out of water.  Looking back that was probably because nowhere I visited had such a diverse population of students as Wolverhampton.

“The course was challenging but the teaching was good and fostered independent learning. It was not stuffy but it was no easy ride either. I am one of six children and sitting at number 5 I was the first person to go to University in my family. As you can see with my career I am glad I did.”

Head of the University of Wolverhampton Law School, Sukhninder Panesar, said: “It was great to see Sandra win the Leadership Award and it was fitting that the Award was presented by the University of Wolverhampton.  Every year we see professionals who have graduated from the University of Wolverhampton win awards at the Birmingham Law Society Awards Ceremony and this is testament to the strengths of the Law School in producing highly qualified lawyers.”

The Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards have been showcasing the best of the region’s legal talent since the inaugural event in 2002.

Now in their 17th year, the Awards celebrate the success and achievement of both individuals and firms over the last 12 months.

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