Student societies and partnerships
Kick-start your career
Supported by the Law School, our student societies are award winning and will help you prepare for the world of legal practice, seeing you work alongside peers to hone your legal skills outside of the classroom.
A range of opportunities
Getting involved means opportunities to gain work experience, developing your advocacy skills with mooting and debating, visits to Chambers and courts, attending networking events, law and non-law careers advice and much more.
Find out more about the Presidents running our award-winning societies, their personal aspirations and the goals they have set for the forthcoming year.
The University of Bristol Law Club
Founded in 1937, the University of Bristol Law Club (UBLC) is the largest official law society at the University of Bristol and one of the premier student law societies in the UK. The UBLC has provided an avenue for students with legal career aspirations to engage with professionals and fellow peers. The UBLC was awarded ‘Best Law Society Overall’ at the 2020 LawCareers.Net Student Law Society Awards, and ‘Best Society for First-Year Students’ at these awards in 2021. In recent years, the UBLC has also been awarded ‘Most Committed to Increasing Diversity’ jointly with the University of Bristol Bar Society.
Open to students of all disciplines, the UBLC provides an invaluable exposure for both law and non-law students pursuing a career in law, maintaining strong relationships with leading global and City law firms. Their sponsored events enable students to engage with employers through career presentations, employability workshops and social networking events. The annual organisation of internal competitions also provides students with the opportunity to hone their legal skills in advocacy, negotiation and debate. For those seeking to enter the legal profession, the UBLC is a platform that provides students with the opportunities and network to support their legal aspirations.
The University of Bristol Bar Society
The Bar Society works to support students who aspire to be barristers, and to broaden interest in the Bar. They have played an active role in helping to increase diversity at the bar. They have done this through introducing the BAME and Women mentorship scheme, and are hoping to reintroduce the LGBTQ+ mentorship scheme. Additionally, they have raised money for the Black Solicitors Network through their charity moot and have introduced the ‘No Bar to the Bar’ talk series. They offer first-hand information on life as a barrister: the society regularly hosts practitioners from every area of law to speak to students about their experiences. They have also hosted talks and workshops from BPTC and BCAT providers. Alongside all of this, they are a social society. They run networking events with Bristol chambers, and visits to the Inns of Court. Their annual Networking Dinner is the largest Bar social event outside London! They want to widen Bristol students’ interest in advocacy and the Bar, and make sure that those who choose to be barristers get the very best support.
The University of Bristol Pro Bono Society
The University of Bristol’s Pro Bono Society aims to offer a wide range of opportunities for members who are interested in the charitable aspect of legal work and promoting access to justice across the country. Through summer placements, workshops, networking events and fundraising, their members have a variety of options to accumulate practical experience and see the concrete impact of their work.
The University of Bristol Medical Law Society
The UoB Medical Law Society is aimed at students from all disciplines who are interested in medical law and ethics. For UBMLS’ fifth year, they will build on prior success by cultivating Bristol as a hub for medico-legal debate and academic discussion between universities, developing a careers advice service and acting as a resource on the latest news in the medico-legal field. Members will have the opportunity to engage in the Annual Medical Law debate and various other competitions; participate in academic discussions on contentious issues within medical law; and regularly attend a range of talks by healthcare professionals and academics. Members will be encouraged to engage in discussions about recent articles, topical cases, and policy changes. Being a medical ethics-focussed society, they also have a strong focus on the physical and mental wellbeing of their members and the student body as a whole, and also host fundraisers for local healthcare charities.
University of Bristol Women in Law Society
The University of Bristol Women in Law Society was founded in 2017 with the aim to provide a platform for women in the law, both as citizens and members of the legal profession. Their membership is not limited to female law students and compromises of a variety of degree subjects and genders, all with the common interest in promoting women in law. The society organises panel discussions and talks that address the issues of gender in the legal sector, for example tackling female attrition rates at senior levels. The society also puts on events that raise awareness about the complex ways in which the law can discriminate against as well as protect and promote women in the UK and around the world.
The University of Bristol Commercial Awareness Society
The Commercial Awareness Society is a FREE introduction for students interested in business, law and finance. We promote meaningful engagement with commercial affairs to equip members with the skills and knowledge necessary to apply and demonstrate their understanding of dynamic business environments, thereby enhancing their employability.
Commercial Awareness is a highly regarded skill by graduate recruitment of companies across a multitude of industries. We offer enriching opportunities for members to hone their commercial awareness through application and employability workshops, commercial affairs competitions, publishing opportunities and commercial affairs workshops.
Unity and Diversity in Law Society
The Unity and Diversity in Law Society (”UDL”) was founded in 2019, in a bid to embrace and champion diversity whilst creating a unified environment where members thrive. UDL is the first and only law society at the University of Bristol to focus on diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. They are doing their part to improve accessibility to the legal sector and increase representation.
By offering insightful events, including workshops, networking events and competitions, UDL aims to nurture the confidence of its members and increase social mobility in an attempt to level the playing field. This is epitomised by the Grassroots Series, which allows members to learn the basics through commercial awareness and interview training. This year, the society will be focusing on improving the bond throughout its membership by implementing a mentorship programme where second and third year mentors will share details of various schemes and tips on studying law, work experience, and university life to help first-year students make the most of their early career.
Lawyers Without Borders, University of Bristol Student Division
The University of Bristol Lawyers Without Borders Society is a student division of the global, not-for-profit Lawyers Without Borders (LWOB) organisation. LWOB manages volunteering lawyers from around the world who donate pro bono service to rule of law projects, capacity building and access to justice initiatives. The Bristol student division aids LWOB in their mission by completing research projects for them and taking part in their annual Rule of Law competition. The society also offers Bristol students the opportunity to take part in their human rights debating competition and the chance to find out more about the importance of protecting and promoting the rule of law globally. This society allows for Bristol law and non-law students to get involved with a legal based society focussed primarily on promoting the rule of law, access to justice and the protection of human rights.
The Environmental and Energy Law Society
The Environmental and Energy Law Society (EELS) was established on 18 April 2019, making it one of the newest law societies at the University of Bristol. The EELS is passionate about all things environmental, focusing on the intersection of law and the environment. We aim to provide members with various opportunities to network with employers, connect with other sustainably conscious individuals and discuss prevalent environmental topics. By hosting various events, ranging from engaging speakers and career presentations to debates and socials, the EELS strives to encourage careers in the environmental and energy law areas. We hope that those who join our society will not only benefit from our efforts but will also be able to contribute to the continued growth of the EELS and have a lasting impact on the world in which we all live.
The University of Bristol's Research for Change (RfC)
The University of Bristol’s Research for Change (RfC) offers a comfortable space for students from all disciplines to explore a career in academia and hone their research skills. We aim to provide opportunities for our members to stimulate academic discussions through online and physical platforms on current world and legal trends and consequently their impact on societies. In partnership with the University of Bristol Law School, the student committee works closely with undergraduate, postgraduate researchers and legal experts to organise forums, publish commentaries on the RFC blog, keep up with the global news through our social media news bites, discuss current issues on our podcast and establish relations with organisations campaigning for reform. All these activities encourage our members to explore changes and trends in the legal sector, as well as possible solutions and ways to move forward.
European Law Students’ Association (Bristol) ELSA
The European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) is an international, independent, non-political, non-profit making organisation run by and for students and recent graduates, who are interested in achieving academic and personal excellence in addition to their legal or law-related studies at university. Consisting of over 55,000 members across Europe, ELSA is the largest independent law students’ association in the world offering work experience, specialist study and diplomatic exposure amongst other unique opportunities. It is aimed at students from all disciplines and all nationalities interested in expanding their network and creating international relations.
ELSA aims at providing its members a platform to develop their existing skills and acquire new ones, to interact with fellow students and experienced practitioners from different states and legal systems around Europe, and to be equipped for a professional life in an international environment, through mutual understanding, intercultural cooperation and the large variety of activities and projects the Association offers.
Founded in 2017, and unanimously voted a full member in 2018, ELSA Bristol is a thriving member of the ELSA network. Membership to this Society provides students with exceptional opportunities for foreign paid legal work experience prospects, entry to local, national, and global academic competitions, access to seminars and conferences with honoured professors and access to an international network of like-minded, passionate individuals from different backgrounds. This year, ELSA Bristol will continue offering such opportunities in a safe and diverse background and will confidently resume in person events for all interested students.
University of Bristol Criminal Justice Society
The University of Bristol Criminal Justice Society is a community newly established in early 2021. The society welcomes discussions of the criminal justice system from different perspectives and disciplines. As highlighted by the pandemic, we recognise that getting the ball rolling on these discussions are more vital than ever, especially when engaging with non-law students and the wider community.
Furthermore, the Criminal Justice Society aims to develop our member’s interests and connections for a career within the criminal justice system. To achieve this, we aim to host a plethora of events covering the many branches of the criminal justice system. We strive to ensure that events are accessible for both law and non-law students.
Our events consist of panel events, informal discussions, a range of advocacy and public speaking opportunities. We also have a Blog, where members can be actively involved with discussions, latest developments, and summaries of our events. Further, we aim to connect students within our community and with our committee through socials and by maintaining an interactive online presence.