PGC Law Day
On Tuesday 3rd July, a group of next-generation lawyers from UC5 and SFC, alongside students from Pate’s Grammar School, Bournside School and Cheltenham College, put their advocacy and legal skills into practice during workshops and an intellectually stimulating mock trial with Harrison Clark Rickerbys.
During the morning sessions, staff from the firm taught us about various areas of law, including litigation, wills and probate, property, employment and family law. However, the highlight of the day was undeniably the mock trial, transforming CLC’s Council Room into a High Court.
The goal of the mock trial was to educate us about the basis of the English and Welsh legal system and the mechanics of litigation. The fictitious case involved a faulty cooker and an incensed consumer wanting compensation for breach of contract. This unique opportunity immersed students in all aspects of a civil trial as we each took on the role of barrister. This encouraged the development of essential skills such as clear communication, logical thinking and teamwork, by cross-examining witnesses and providing persuasive opening and closing speeches.
Mr Waddington, a partner specialising in Children’s Law at Harrison Clark Rickerbys, acted as the judge for the day. He likened mock trials to a drama production, with the lawyers performing in the same manner as actors, working on the set of a courtroom. This seems ever more accurate considering the quirks and traditions still employed by lawyers today.
I took on the role of the barrister who performs the opening and closing speeches for the defence, applying the relevant statutes and case law to attack the claimant’s argument.
While the claimant’s case was dismissed (in an exciting win for my team), every participant should be congratulated for their excellent performances.
Every student thoroughly enjoyed this experience, which provided a comprehensive first insight into the legal world and, for me personally, it reaffirmed my belief that a career in law is the path I wish to pursue.
Laura, President of the Law Society (SFC1)