Mock trial experiences
About our mock legal hearings
From the first year of their degree, all our LLB and BBL students take part in mock legal proceedings such as employment tribunal hearings or civil trials. Working as part of a small team (a 'firm') to represent claimants or defendants, they cross-examine witnesses and present their case before judges. Key roles (witnesses, barristers, solicitors) are played by students themselves, while we always look to bring in members of the profession to hear the cases; so far, this has included an employment tribunal judge, deputy district judges, and barristers and solicitors from local and regional firms - not all of whom have always come to the same conclusions! The trials provide an important opportunity for students to put 'book-knowledge' into practice, but also highlight an important lesson for any aspiring legal professional: that the outcome of court cases is not just about rules; it is also about presentation, persuasiveness, and the people involved.
How mock trials benefit our students
Mock trials give students the opportunity to:
- experience practical aspects of the law from the very first term of their studies;
- meet and gain feedback from legal professionals;
- develop cohesiveness in their student firms as they work collectively on a case;
- learn skills of oral argument.
What our professional partners say
Robert Zacal, Partner at GA Solicitors
"I had the unenviable role of having to judge the case following the excellent advocacy of the students. The facts of the case and the relevant law were complicated and therefore I was really impressed by the students’ knowledge of the law and their critical analysis of the facts. It took myself and my wing member an hour to deliberate on the case which I believe demonstrates the strength of the respective cases put forward... To be able to present so well and speak so confidently is a testament to them (the students) but also to the University and the academic staff.”
Melanie Row, Senior Associate at Murrell Associates
“It was a real pleasure to be involved with the mock employment tribunals. It is so refreshing to see a law school giving its undergraduate students a real-life, practical insight into what a career in the law is really like right from the get go... It was a great opportunity to pass on some insight to the next generation of lawyers and hopefully play a small part in stoking their enthusiasm for a future career in the legal profession.”