Every year the Events and Activities Officers organise a Mock Trial, a competition in which members stimulate a real trial.
This competition immerses those who participate in all aspects of either a criminal or civil trial as you take on the key role of a magistrate, senior advocate, junior advocate or witness. This opportunity provides you with the knowledge of the judicial system, legal process and courtroom procedures. As always, your hard work and preparation will be noted as the Officers elect winners and runners up for each role.
Like all competitions, there is often a vast amount of interest in wanting to take part. In previous years the competition has always been a success, receiving positive feedback. The Officers work extremely hard to ensure that the day is as realistic and enjoyable as possible for all of those involved. It is without a doubt a fantastic addition to anyone's CV that will make you stand out.
Best Magistrate 2019/2020 - Lauren West
Best Junior Advocate 2019/2020 - Katherine Murphy
Best Senior Advocate 2019/2020 - Debbie Kumar-Benjamin
Best Witness 2019/2020 - Ayesha Faraj
Skills you will develop :
“As I entered my second year, my degree offered me the chance to practice the Law I was studying. I embarked on modules such as Dispute Resolution Skills which required me to perform and develop my practical skills. I soon realised I needed to expand my skill set so I decided to apply for the Mock Trial. The application was easy and I knew if at any point I needed guidance I could rely on my group who were all students from across the Law school. The Committee provided us with court bundles, which are documents relating to the case. I then used the skills I had developed in DRS and built my questioning and statements around the information we had been given. Working as a team helped me develop my role with confidence and allowed me to form new friendships with students I had not met before. The UPLS offered participants the chance to tour the Magistrates Court and meet the team of organisers before the competition. This was a fantastic idea and allowed me to prepare fully for the upcoming trial. Competing in the Magistrates Court allowed me to experience the role of an advocate in a real life setting. Roleplaying in classrooms can often allow you to hide behind the student that you are but competing in a real court allowed me to fully embrace the prosecutor within. Winning best junior advocate gave me great pride in myself and boosted my love for Law. Turning doubt into confidence and gaining recognition is a wonderful way to develop the person you are becoming. You do not get this kind of experience from books, movies or classrooms so I would highly recommend any student of any level to embrace their inner lawyer and give it a go, practical experience is invaluable.” - Katherine Murphy, 2nd Year LLB Law Student.
The UPLS Mock Trial is an invaluable experience to have on your CV – irrespective of if you want to be a barrister or solicitor. Both routes will involve thinking on your feet, courtroom work and presentation skills. The UPLS Mock Trial tests you on all of these levels. I was an advocate for the defence of a man charged with homophobically-aggravated ABH. What’s brilliant is that you will be advocating in a real Magistrate courtroom, where real crimes are tried, in front of at least one trained Magistrate. It’s incredibly thrilling to be cross-examining witnesses (as I was), trying to throw the other side’s story into dispute. There is something about being in a real courtroom that captures the atmosphere perfectly. If you are thinking of going down the Bar route, I cannot recommend it enough for improving your advocacy skills. For me, winning 'Runner Up Senior Advocate' was a major talking point during my scholarship interview with Inner Temple this year as it shows that you’re putting yourself out there in what may seem like quite a daunting environment. But trust me, it’s well worth the nerves (we all have them) and it’s also a great bit of fun to watch your peers stand up with, or against you(!) - Thomas Swain, Graduate Diploma in Law Student.
To view the 'UPLS Mock Trial' Facebook page, click here.