Felicity McMahon


I always wanted to go to the Bar … the grounding I had at Kent gave me the skills and confidence to see it through.

What attracted you to Kent and to this particular programme?

I studied LLB English and Spanish Law, and Kent was one of the few universities to offer this programme. In addition to being a qualifying law degree, it gave me the opportunity to spend a year in Spain studying Spanish law in Spanish. I was also attracted by the fact that Kent is a critical law school.

How were your studies at Kent?

I really enjoyed my studies. It was great to be encouraged to think critically about the law and how it works. I also really enjoyed studying European and comparative law. My year abroad was a highlight; I had a wonderful time at the University of Deusto, Bilbao.

The teaching at Kent was excellent. Each lecturer brought their own expertise and all were inspiring in their own ways. The facilities at Kent were good when I was there, particularly the library, which was a treasure trove of interesting and useful books. But things have improved since my day. The new Wigoder Law Building will be a great asset to the University. I’ve been proud to be involved in fundraising for the building through the Kent Law Campaign Young Alumni Group.

How was life at Kent in general?

There are all sorts of social events whatever your interests. Students come from a variety of backgrounds and there’s always something going on at Kent. Having a campus really makes a difference, particularly when you are first getting to know people.

I know a number of Kent graduates who have gone on to have successful legal careers, many of whom I count as friends.

Did your course change you?

I gained a huge amount from the course, beyond simply a qualifying law degree. It undoubtedly changed me, broadening my horizons and giving me the confidence to go on to pursue what I wanted, both in my career and in other areas.

In what way has your degree helped you find work?

Having a qualifying law degree was essential for a career at the Bar. But beyond that, my degree, together with my LLM which I studied at King’s College London, helped shape the areas of law I’m interested in, and to know that a career in law really was for me.

I’m now a barrister at 5RB, a set of Chambers in London specialising in media law (www.5rb.com). I love my job, as I always wanted to go to the Bar, and while it took me a few years to achieve that, the grounding I had at Kent gave me the skills and confidence to see it through.

Work is varied, depending on the cases that come in. I can be drafting pleadings, appearing in court, writing legal articles or books, or providing pre-publication/broadcast advice to newspapers, TV channels or book publishers.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to continue to build my media law practice for the foreseeable future. I’m also involved in my Inn of Court (Middle Temple), and mentor students from Kent.

What advice would you give to prospective students?

I would say, be prepared to work hard, but also to have fun and explore all the opportunities university life has to offer.

Work-wise, you will have to do research and find answers on your own in a way that can be quite different from school, but this develops your skills and is rewarding in itself. Be prepared for debate, and remember there is not always a right answer. And, if you have the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad – take it.

What would you recommend about studying at Kent?

I’d recommend the teaching, the critical thinking ethos and Kent campus life. You’ll also meet people who you’ll stay friends with. And once you graduate, you’ll be surprised how many Kent graduates you meet on your journey through life, who you’ll always have something in common with.