Shannen Trout: discovering my passion for environmental and maritime law

This is Shannen's story

After graduating from LLB (Hons) Law from Plymouth in 2017, Shannen Trout is now studying for her LLM Maritime Law masters, before going on to complete a training contract with the International commercial lawyers Floyd Zadkovich, based in New York.

Discover why Shannen chose to study at Plymouth and find out how her lecturers helped inspire her to find a passion for maritime law.

Choosing Plymouth

One of the reasons why I chose Plymouth was because my brother had previously studied at the University and came out with fantastic results, and had been in a good job for a while, when I applied. 

Alongside this, the sense of community I felt on open days and during visits certainly made me want to attend. In hindsight, I was right in how I felt during those visits – Plymouth has the strongest student community I have seen at any university I have since visited or studied at.

It made my time there feel safe and fun, enabling me to excel in my studies. Plymouth really does have a strong student community that makes you want to work, that makes you want to do your best and this is something I will now take into work with me everyday.

My lecturers really inspired me. The law school offers so many skilled, interesting and fun lecturers, something that is of great value when you’re studying what can be at times a very dry subject. They helped me discover my passion for environmental and maritime law, which pushed me to study my LLM and get my job with Floyd Zadkovich.


The benefits of University support

Without the support from all staff at the University, from the ladies that make coffee in the SU, to my lecturers who were on hand at all hours for support, I would not be where I am today. The confidence in my own abilities in my subject area, my passion for the subject and my work ethic all grew under the supervision and guidance of my lecturers. 

The support systems in place at Plymouth are amazing. Between lecturers, personal tutors, and all other staff on campus, the help I received during hardship and times when I needed assistance academically was so good, something I have not experienced in other institutions. 

I used library services to request books during my dissertation, which was very helpful and efficient. This dissertation is now published and without the help from the library staff and the vast amount of resources in the University library I very much doubt that would have happened. 

Careers and employability helped me with my CV at one point, and advice on studying abroad. I also had help from outside organisations such as Westlaw and Lexis who carried out skills lectures which have also enhanced my CV. Things like this are invaluable when studying for an undergraduate degree and I am very lucky to have had this experience.

Studying is often quite hard and tedious, and as much as I enjoyed getting my degree it was made a lot more enjoyable by the social activities and events put on by the UPSU. If I was to start University again, I think possibly joining a society would be something I’d do differently – I was super nervous in my first year to get into anything and think I missed out a bit because of that. But from open-mic night to the amazing Summer Balls, as well as all of the events in the day such as the vintage market, I have made so many amazing memories. Too many to only give you one! 

I would therefore recommend Plymouth 100,000 per cent – it is somewhere I would, and do, recommend on a daily basis to students. 

I have and will always have so many amazing memories, a fantastic degree and lots of friends which I would not have had if it were not for studying here. 

I really believe that this isn’t something that you experience to such a high level at all institutions. The support from staff and the amount of activities on offer are amazing, and Plymouth is also great for a city/beachside balance, with lots to do around the area.


To America and beyond


Since completing my studies at Plymouth I spent some time travelling during the summer before I had the pleasure to begin my postgraduate studies at the University of Southampton. I am due to complete my LLM in Maritime Law in the summer of 2018. 

If I could have the chance to get some more travelling in after graduating, then that would be something I would change; fortunately though, I am going to have a bit of time in between training over the next few years to do some exploring. 

After graduating from Southampton I am going on to study my LPC and complete a training contract with Floyd Zadkovich.

I am set to spend a month over the summer doing paralegal work there, and then complete my training contract in New York. This opportunity to practise and train in the US is a really great experience, something that people normally only dream of doing, so its super exciting stuff.


Follow in Shannen's footsteps

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