Students’ courtroom takeover

Students experiencing a courtroom environment Print news article

13/04/2014

(Bottom row) Students Lee Rushby and Abigail Alexander with Chris Hall from 11 South Square

Students from Notre Dame Sixth Form College in Leeds became lawyers and barristers for the day when they participated in a mock trial run by Walker Morris and 11 South Square.

The mock trial was part of a week’s work experience programme designed to offer the students a realistic insight into careers in law.  The 10 students spent 5 days at Walker Morris as part of the work that the law firm is running with PRIME, an organisation committed to providing work experience in the legal profession to students from less privileged backgrounds.

The week culminated with the mock trial, which was run in conjunction with 11 South Square.  The students were given just over a day to study the evidence and prepare for the trial, based on a legal scenario of an intellectual property claim relating to ‘copy cat branding’ involving complex passing off and commercial issues. The trial was kept as true to life as possible complete with wigs, gowns and witnesses. Students had to present their legal arguments to barrister Chris Hall from 11 South Square who was presiding over the case as the trial Judge.

The students were assisted by a team of Intellectual Property lawyers and trademark attorneys from Walker Morris including Alan Harper and Helen Thomas-Peter.

Chris Hall from 11 South Square said:

“The students had to get to grips with some very tricky points of intellectual property law, and in a very short time.  In tandem, they had to learn how to present a case in court.  It was an extremely challenging task, and the students were under immense pressure.  They rose to the challenge, presented their cases with clarity and enthusiasm, and carried out some skilful (and at times fierce!) cross-examination.  They did a fantastic job, and the day was a tremendous success.  I’m not sure whether the students or the judge enjoyed it more!”

Terry Coen, Principal of Notre Dame Sixth Form College added:

“Law is one of the most popular career choices for our students and events such as this are of tremendous benefit in giving students a realistic understanding of what a career in law involves. The strong links we have firms such as Walker Morris help us to ensure that our students not only gain top academic qualifications, but are also well prepared for the world of work.”

“It was an amazing experience of which every aspiring lawyer should try to be a part of.”  Qamar Usman, student, Notre Dame Sixth Form College.

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