From newspaper competition winner to barrister

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A criminal barrister, who now works in Chambers in Birmingham, has thanked a regional daily newspaper after it helped set her on the path to achieving her ambition of starting a career in the legal profession.


Jeanette Stevenson (pictured) won a £9,500 scholarship to study for a three-year degree at the University of Derby through a Derby Telegraph competition 2008.

Jeanette’s application to the Telegraph “stood out” because she was fostered from the age of nine due to the death of both of her parents and, at 16, left to find her own accommodation and full-time employment in place of further education.

The 34-year-old subsequently graduated with a degree in law and criminology in 2011, but was unable to pursue her preferred career due to “complications in her personal life, including the breakdown of her marriage”. Now she started work at Cornwall Street Chambers, in Birmingham.

Jeanette said: “I cannot thank the Derby Telegraph and the University of Derby enough for giving me the start to my career.”

Telegraph editor Steve Hall said: “When we interviewed Jeanette, she came across as someone who would do extremely well if she was given the chance to undertake a degree. I think the judging panel was unanimous in selecting her for one of the scholarships and I am delighted that the newspaper was able to give her the opportunity to fulfill her ambition. We wish her well for the future.”