AN ASPIRING young lawyer from Barnton has scooped her university law school’s top award for academic excellence. 

Beth Edwards is the first student ever to receive Manchester Metropolitan University’s (MMU) Ben Peters Memorial Prize, which was founded last year in memory of a former student and promising young trainee solicitor whose life was tragically cut short.

The prize, which includes a cheque for £2,000, will be awarded each year to the student on MMU’s legal practice master’s course who graduates with top marks in their cohort.

Beth was presented with the award at a moving ceremony at MMU on Monday, January 22, attended by Ben Peters’ parents, Anne and Stephen Peters; representatives from Pluck Andrew Solicitors, the firm where Ben worked; university dignitaries; and Beth’s dad, Nicholas Edwards.

Northwich Guardian: Beth (fourth from right) with representitives of MMU Law School, Pluck Andrew Solicitors, and Ben Peters' family Beth (fourth from right) with representitives of MMU Law School, Pluck Andrew Solicitors, and Ben Peters' family (Image: Nicholas Edwards)

Former Weaverham and Sir John Deane’s student Beth has always been a bit of an academic high-flyer.

Not only did she graduate top of her master’s class, but also managed to bag an elusive first in her bachelor’s degree in law at the University of Liverpool, while helping fund her studies by working part time at Tesco.

Legal eagle Beth is hoping for a career in civil and family law, and has already taken her first steps on the professional ladder by landing a job as a paralegal with Northwich-based firm, Principia Law.

She said: “I was so honoured and delighted when I found out I’d won the prize.

“The university told me about it by email, so it was a bit out of a shock, but a very nice one.

“I’ve always been a hard worker – that just the way I am. But it still feels pretty good when others notice, and you get a bit of recognition for it.

“In terms of law, I’ve always enjoyed the civil side most.

“I know it’s a bit of a weird one, but when I was studying, I really enjoyed modules on wills and estate planning.”

Beth’s dad, Nicholas, said: “We’re very proud indeed.

“We see all the hard work Beth puts into her studies and work, but I think others probably don’t realise. An award like this is much-deserved recognition of it.   

“She’s known what she’s wanted to do since sixth form, and she’s stuck with it. A parent can’t really ask for more than that.

“It’s been a pleasure to watch her develop over the last six years, from when she started taking law at Sir John Deane’s, right up to now.

“Law’s one of those degrees where you really have to know you stuff. It’s all about the detail, and you’ve got to know it inside out.

“The award ceremony was brilliant. It’s the first time the prize has been awarded, and Ben Peters’ parent were there, so we got to meet them.

“They were really nice people, and very genuine. It was a wonderful day"