Hedges announces winners of its 2023 local schools’ essay competition


Left to right - Her Honour Judge Joanna Vincent, Megan Cameron-Webb, Polina Kim, Michelle Rodrigues and Nicola Poole
Left to right – Her Honour Judge Joanna Vincent (guest speaker), Megan Cameron-Webb, Polina Kim, Michelle Rodrigues (winners of the 2023 essay competition) and Nicola Poole (Managing Director of Hedges)

Hedges, one of Oxfordshire’s longest-serving law firms, has announced the three winners of its 2023 annual schools’ essay competition. The prize-giving took place at a special closed-doors event held at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, last week.

Now in its 9th year, this year’s competition was the first time Hedges has been able to hold the competition since the start of the pandemic.

The employee-owned law firm invited female students, in years 11 and 12, from around 80 schools across Oxfordshire to take part, with the three eventual winners being selected to win a week-long internship at the law firm over the summer.

The three winners included Megan Cameron-Webb, a student at Henley College, Polina Kim, who studies at Oxford International College (OIC) and Michelle Rodrigues, from Bartholomew School.

Her Honour Judge Joanna Vincent was the guest speaker of the evening and shared her own career experiences, including her journey to being appointed a Circuit Judge.

Nicola Poole, the firm’s Managing Director, was on hand to present the winners with their certificates and share her own professional journey that led her to heading Hedges Law.

Nicola Poole, commenting on this year’s competition, said: “Our schools’ essay competition has been hugely popular over the years, and the team and I have been overwhelmed by the level and quality of the entries we have received.”

She added: “The competition presents a great opportunity for students with an interest in law to experience a week working in a firm, to learn some of the ropes and the different roles, and to speak to those already paving a career in law, people that may have been in similar positions as themselves.

“A huge well done must go to Megan, Polina and Michelle and to all of those who took part. We’re looking forward to welcoming the winners to the firm over the summer and to launching our next competition this autumn.”

Unlike previous years, this year’s competition was open to female students only. The firm’s Managing Director, Nicola, is an ambassador for the Women Supporting Women initiative, which aims to support and inspire young women with their career ambitions. She has committed to raising £15,000 for the charity over the next few years.

Hedges has been offering clients ‘Advice for Life’ for over two centuries, supporting clients across all aspects of their lives, including family and property law advice and dispute resolution, as well as advising on wills, probate and inheritance planning.

The Employee Ownership Trust-led law firm has offices in Summertown in Oxford and Wallingford, with other locations in the Cotswolds and London.

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