Mock Employment Tribunals

At the start of their course in their Legal Foundations module our Law and Business students are placed into law firms. Throughout the course of the year the students work in their firms to take cases through to mock legal hearings.

In December 2019 the students took part in a series of Employment Tribunals, with their firms acting as claimants and respondents in the case of Leslie Lamb versus the Thirsty House; dealing with harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Every student had a part to play be it as a barrister, solicitor or even a witness on the stand.

We were delighted to welcome Melanie Rowe from Murrells Associates, Matt Jackson from the King’s Bench Walk Chambers, Robert Zacal partner of GA Solicitors and Katy Ponsford from Battens Solicitors Limited to be our judges at the Employment Tribunals; we also welcomed some of our professional services staff to be the wing members at the trials. It was fantastic to see the sheer hard work, determination and effort that the students put into the activity. Furthermore, it was notable that every judge came to a different conclusion in their judgment, highlighting how the same case can be perceived differently by a variety of people.

The students demonstrated a clear aptitude for the law and all of the judges commented on how impressed they were with the students performances:

“I was delighted to be able to attend the mock employment tribunal as a judge. 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 was 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. I was very impressed by the students’ confidence and professionalism. The students are all first year students in the first term so to be able to present so well and speak so confidently is a testament to them but also to the University and the academic staff. I volunteered to be a judge as I believe it is crucial for the profession to engage and support students during their undergraduate studies. I was once in their position and felt that by volunteering to be a judge I may in some small way help the students with their studies and hopefully future careers in the profession.”

Robert Zacal, Partner at GA Solicitors

“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.   The students were very engaged and there were definitely a couple that displayed some impressive advocacy skills that certainly exceeded my expectations.  Besides from making an interesting afternoon out of the office, 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.”

Melanie Rowe, Senior Associate at Murrell Associates