News from the School of Law
Our School of Law is proud to be featured in notable press releases, which you can learn about below.
Summer Internship with Fenchurch Law Solicitors 2022
Over the recent years the School of Law has formed partnerships with a number of organisations to with a view to providing students with placement opportunities.
Fenchurch Law Solicitors, one of UK’s leading firm of specialist insurance dispute solicitors offers two first year and two second year students from University of Bradford an internship in the Leeds offices annually.
Students share their experience during the summer of 2022 below:
Grateful for the opportunity – Joseph Lancaster
I originally applied for the role so that I could gain work experience due to the benefits that it would have on my CV. Fenchurch wasn’t my first choice as I had already applied for multiple internships. However, I ended up picking the firm due to its location of the firm and the interest I had in learning about Insurance firms. The recruitment process was challenging because I hadn’t been interviewed in 2 years. I ended up preparing some notes for the interview to revise. The questions were mostly easy; however, I’ll admit that some questions threw me off which led me to make poor and rushed answers.
When I applied for the internship, I hoped to learn how a firm worked internally and hoped that I could get used to working in such an environment. I partially did get that as I, unfortunately, caught Covid after my first day at the office. I had to wait sometime and ended up losing a large portion of my time at the internship due to the virus. However, the staff at Fenchurch were very understanding of my situation and welcomed me back when I finally recovered.
The work I did mostly consisted of writing reports on cases, I spent some time researching the context of the cases so that I could fully understand the principle and how it related to the case in the document. It took me time to report because of the research and the frequent redrafts. Everyone at Fenchurch was polite toward me. Their help was also really appreciated when I came back after finally testing negative and needed to be re-familiarized with the office.
I would also like to thank Fenchurch for offering such an opportunity to me, I am incredibly grateful, and I appreciate the work that was put in to make the internship happen. I would also like to thank everyone who worked at the firm with me for their generosity and for being helpful.
From left to right: Ammara Haider (3rd year student, UoB, on placement), Michael Hayes (Business Development Manager, Fenchurch Law), Joseph Lancaster (2nd year student, UoB), Phil Taylor (Insurance Consultant, Fenchurch Law), Oluwajuwon George (2nd year student, UoB), Daniel Robinson (Associate Partner, Fenchurch Law) and Chloe Vine (Trainee Solicitor, Fenchurch Law)
From Internship to Placement – Ammara Haider
I am Ammara Haider and currently in the third year of my Law LLB degree. Throughout my university experience, I have had several opportunities to put my legal knowledge and skills into practice. I managed to grasp complex laws related to insurance during my internship at Fenchurch Law. I had the opportunity to undertake a 2-week internship with Fenchurch Law last year at the end of my 1st year of studies. I then went back to Fenchurch Law this summer for a further 2-week placement. This internship provided me with adequate training before my placement year, which also links with insurance.
Through the university, I managed to secure a full-year placement at DAC Beachcroft, an international commercial law firm. My time at Fenchurch Law raised my interest in insurance law and undoubtedly assisted me in being successful in my application for this placement. I am currently a claims handler at the firm, where I manage my own cases daily with high-quality training. I am fortunate enough to have worked on both sides of the spectrum, as I have worked on behalf of policyholders at Fenchurch, whilst my role at DAC consists of being instructed by the insurers. I can see a variation in the type of work different lawyers ought to undertake.
I am also the executive of the Henna Society at the University of Bradford, a student ambassador, run a private henna business, and undertook a paralegal role at a criminal law firm during year one and two. The legal field is competitive and standing out is essential in securing a top job. Grades matter, but experience matters too. The University of Bradford School of Law recognises the importance of legal skills as they have created partnerships with major firms such as DAC Beachcroft and Fenchurch Law.
Amazing Experience – Oluwajuwon George
I applied for the Fenchurch internship at the end of my first year at the University of Bradford. I saw the announcement on the school’s law undergraduate’s page. I decided to apply because I wanted to observe how what I learnt in lectures is applied in practice. We were told to apply with a cv, a cover letter and an essay, I struggled a bit with this stage because I had to do a lot of writing and research. I was then shortlisted for the interview I was anxious before it started but fortunately the interview was conducted by our lecturers, and they cleared the air made me feel comfortable. It felt more like a chat than an interview the formality was there but was also comfortable.
I was excited when I got the news that I was selected for the internship. I hoped to learn more about insurance law and how what I learnt can be put into practice. During internship, I learnt so much more than I expected. I learnt so much about insurance law and how broad it is. It was honestly amazing because I thought I would struggle with a lot of the concepts on insurance in general, because it was something I had not done before but I did not struggle with it.
I had a few expectations before I started the internship. I thought the law firm would not have time to focus on interns as they would be extremely busy, hence I planned to always be on my toes. Contrary to my expectation, they were very welcoming and despite their tight schedules, they always made out time to check on our progress. I was also comfortable enough to ask the staff questions. Everyone was nice and accommodating and it really made me feel welcome. I really enjoyed my time at Fenchurch and I look forward to next summer at Fenchurch.
Law training scheme was ‘first step on way to becoming a solicitor’ say students
In 2021, Walker Morris LLP, a commercial law firm based in Leeds, launched a mock vacation scheme open exclusively to students from the University of Bradford.
One student who attended the scheme, Yacoob Ahmed, said it was instrumental in him securing employment. Yacoob, who was the top performing student in his year, went on to secure a place on the Allianz’s graduate scheme.
In September 2022, 13 students attended the two-day ‘mini-vacation training scheme’ run by Walker Morris - and all found it insightful.
Here’s a round-up of some of their comments:-
Rhys Armstrong, a final year student said: “The work that's conducted makes it an extremely attractive career choice. Aspiring to work at Walker Morris is my number one priority. Staff were welcoming and well informed, and this enabled me to expand my connections through LinkedIn.”
Maleeha Hussain, a second-year student, said: “I learned about assessment centres in my group presentation. I also networked with paralegals and trainees within the firm about their journeys and got tips on applications for training contracts and work experience. They also gave us an office tour – I absolutely loved it.”
Maleeha went on to express her gratitude to the University’s School of Law and Careers and Employability Services, as well as Walker Morris.
Maleeha Hussain outside Walker Morris Office
Fiza Mohammed, a final year law student at the University of Bradford, said: “Towards the end of my summer break I applied to be part of the training scheme run by Walker Morris.
“The process of applying provided me with an insight into the significance of personalising applications. I know employers look for qualities such as adaptability, flexibility and legal experience from applicants during their candidate selection processes.
“It helped me understand what the next steps would be for me post graduation. It also provided me with the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and voice my perspective. Presenting our project was an unforgettable experience as it allowed us, as individuals, to show our research and communication skills to the audience.
“I now have an understanding of the challenges newly graduates may face when applying for legal positions and training contracts, it is vital that candidate application forms are unique, personal to their experiences and that it portrays a real image of who they are as an individual, as opposed to creating an almost ‘fake’ image of themselves.”
She added: “Applying for the vacation training scheme at Walker Morris was worthwhile as it has enable me to develop my skills, it has encouraged me to reach out to colleagues for support, and has opened the door to considering the firm as a potential area of work - this was the first stepping stone to my journey to becoming a solicitor.”
To find out more about Walker Morris LLP: https://graduates.walkermorris.co.uk/
Student Prizes 2022:
Students put in a lot of time and effort in relation to both their studies and extra-curricular activities with keen determination to perform exceedingly well.
The School of Law is grateful to its partners for providing various prizes to students in a wide range of categories.
To view the full article please click here: Student Prizes 2022 Article .
School of Law networking event draws praise from employers.
The University of Bradford’s School of Law has been praised by employers for its efforts in training future barristers and solicitors. To view the full article please click here.
To learn more about the School of Law, see the interview below with the Head of School, Prof Engobo Emeseh, which took place at the Law in the Community Event:
Summer Placements and Vacation Schemes 2021 – Students Share Their Experience
The School of Law is proud to have partnered with a number of organisations offering placements opportunities exclusively to students of the School of Law, University of Bradford.
Last summer saw a number of students take up these opportunities some of whom have shared their experience, to view please click here
University of Bradford law student wins mock trial competition... and a car University of Bradford final year law student Shaikhul Amin wins a smart car after winning a mock trial competition.
July 2021: Live-streamed mock trial competition and chance to win a car
Local law firm teams up with University of Bradford School of Law to run competition
Everyone loves a good courtroom drama and now University of Bradford students are preparing for a series of livestreamed mock trials in September 2021.
The mock trial competition is being launched in collaboration with local law firm Proctor & Hobbs Solicitors and will take place in the University’s Lady Hale Court, a state of the art mock court named after, and opened by the then President of the UK Supreme Court, Baroness Brenda Hale in January 2020. The event will see students compete to win a smart car sponsored by Proctor and Hobbs and will be live-streamed on Proctor and Hobbs official YouTube page and follow their instagram for live updates on this competition.
This latest offering is part of a concerted effort by the School of Law to work in collaboration with law firms and other organisations to provide a robust academic and practical learning experience to our students that ensures they have the knowledge and work-based skills necessary to enhance their employability.
Professor Engobo Emeseh, Head of School said:
“These are exciting times here at the School of Law and we are proud of the excellent learning experience and opportunities we are able to provide our students. In 2020, we completely revised our curriculum, embedding practical skills and careers training at all levels to ensure that our students gain a solid foundation in their academic legal knowledge as well as the essential skills they need to not only gain employment but excel in the workplace when they graduate. The School is committed to nurturing ambition and excellence in our students and we are excited to work with local firms and organisations to provide students with an all rounded experience.”
Aneesa Ehsan, who graduated in law from the University in 2014 and is a founding partner of Proctor & Hobbs, said the firm was keen to be giving something back to the community.
She said: “We’re really excited about this competition. We think it will give students the chance to experience what it is like to have to advocate on behalf of a client in a real setting, to have to do research and present arguments in court as an advocate. It will also boost their confidence and we hope it will also show people from around the country what Bradford has to offer.”
Now a busy mother-of-two, Aneesa, 28, has fond memories of her time at Bradford, adding: “I chose to study at Bradford because I live in Bradford and had family and work commitments. However, once I actually joined the School of Law, I found the calibre of teaching and the level of expertise available to students to be exceptional, and that it was the best decision I could have made for a place to study law”
Proctor & Hobbs specialises in criminal defence, civil and commercial litigation, personal injury, immigration and intellectual property and has offices in Pakistan and Dublin and one opening soon in London. It already offers placements for University of Bradford students, including one year long placement and one six-week placement.
Applications for the mock trials open on July 1 and run until July 31. Those wishing to enter should prepare a short video about themselves, why they want to be a lawyer and stating their favourite case. Entries will be shortlisted to just six, who will then go forward to the live mock trials. The competition, exclusive to students at the University of Bradford, is open to any undergraduate or post-graduate student who have an element of law in their degree. Mock trials will take place during the first week of September. The public will have an opportunity to vote for the best advocate with the public vote opening on Friday 10th September and remaining open for a week. The winner will be announced on September 20 2021 and presented with the smart car at an award ceremony at Proctor & Hobbs offices.
Tuiya Tembo, a Lecturer in the Law School, who is solicitor and one of the staff supporting the Law Clinic at the School said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to gain experience in a courtroom setting and it will also show the public the calibre of students we have here.”
Click here to find out more about the competition.
The clinic currently runs every Wednesday during University term time. Unlike some other agencies, Justice Bradford will not only advise on whether claims can be made but will also look at the merits of a case; if it cannot help, it will 'signpost' clients to relevant services.
The areas of law upon which the Clinic offers advice include:-
• Family law – all areas
• Contractual/consumer/general civil law disputes
• Property/ownership of land/home
The Clinic also aims to ensure that it only offers advice where there is no better or superior organisation who can offer the requisite advice. With this in mind, the Clinic is unable to offer advice in relation to welfare benefits, debt, taxation, immigration, and problems which are criminal or regulatory in nature.
Prof Engobo Emeseh, the Head of the School of Law, says: "We are excited to be expanding access to the Law Clinic for the benefit of both our community and the educational needs of our students. Our Law Clinic is the backbone of a unique and developmental programme of clinical legal education which starts with legal skill training in the first year and ends with students working as experienced advisors in their final year."
Legal aid has been continually cut back over the years with many people finding themselves in a situation in which they are in need of personal legal advice, but the cost is often prohibitive. Whilst there are agencies which provide legal advice, there is still a gap in respect of advice in relation to certain areas of law. Justice Bradford aims to plug these gaps left by offering free legal advice tailored to the needs of the local community.
To get in touch, please contact the clinic via email at email@example.com. The account will automatically reply to you with information about the services the Clinic can offer and together with information to help clients prepare for the meeting with us.
The Law Clinic was formed in 2016 and has been expanding its services over the years. The Clinic currently offers free legal advice to members of staff, students and their immediate families, together with referrals from local organizations such as the Bradford and Airedale CAB and Girlington Advice Centre. As part of its expansion, the Clinic is now extending its service to members of the public who access the service by emailing a dedicated email account.
Mel Nebhrajani: International Women’s Day 2021 Lecture
We are really pleased to have hosted Mel Nebhrajani CB - Director of Litigation, Litigation Group, UK Government Legal Department, as guest speaker for the School of Law, University of Bradford, International Women’s Day 2021 lecture. It was an inspiring evening, with Mel Nebhrajani CB delivering a lecture entitled: “Your Career Journey, Leadership, and Emotional Resilience”.
In addition to showcasing her outstanding career development in the lead up to and over 23 years of working as a lawyer in the public service, the lecture was an inspiration for participants from diverse backgrounds to: (a) challenge their potential; (b) be more ambitious, proactive, and sensitized about the opportunities available to them in the current environment; and (c) maximize these opportunities despite the challenges they may face from different quarters.
The lecture was an insightful personal story of the resilience of a BAME woman who has risen to the top of her profession through demonstrating courage to change those things which she cannot accept, or at least trying to make a change for better despite the odds! Five top tips for building emotional resilience, leadership skills and a successful career that resonated throughout the session were:
- love what you do and who you do it for;
- take risks;
- learn, learn, learn - there are good days and learning days;
- everyone needs support/role models and networks; and
- assist the people coming up behind you.
It was indeed a befitting lecture for celebrating the UN Women theme for the 2021 International Women’s Day: “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. You can catch-up with the recording of evening’s events available here:
Link to event recording: Passcode: uwq&V6^3
Joseph Corina reflects on AOTY competition
During the latter part of the first semester, I had the opportunity to take part in BPP’s annual Advocate of the Year competition (“AOTY”). Unlike most mooting competitions which focus primarily on submission advocacy, AOTY also offers students the opportunity to take part in a mock-trial. Each university is represented by two students, who take the role of Lead and Junior Counsel. I had the honour of being led by Katie Siobhan, current President of the UBU Law Society, for the prosecution. Katie conducted a conference with the victim of an assault, followed by conducting an examination-in-chief in court. I began with making submissions for a witness statement to be read out in court, followed by cross-examination of the defendant, who was accused of the assault. Rather than focusing on the nuances of the law, participants were scored purely on their advocacy style. This placed emphasis on how a conference, examination or submission was delivered, over the complexities of the law, which were not at all considered.
The trial started with submission advocacy. I argued that the statement of a witness should be read out in court where the witness was unavailable due to illness. Although the law has quite a lot to say about this topic, we were directed not to engage the law in areas other than those set out in the rules. Other than speaking to the ‘uniqueness’ of the evidence and the ‘survivability’ of the prosecution’s case without it, we were scored specifically on our style and effectiveness of advocacy. After the defence made submissions against admitting the evidence, Katie and I were sent to conference with the victim of the assault, who was our lead witness. During the conference, Katie asked the victim a series of question that not only sought to ascertain what he would say on the stand, but also to identify any weaknesses in their testimony. This is so that Katie was able to put a positive spin on them in Examination-in-Chief, and that we would not have any nasty surprises in the cross examination. After the conference, Katie carried out the examination-in-chief in court.
After the defence cross-examined the prosecution witness, they carried out the examination-in-chief of the defendant herself. During the examination, the defendant made some subtle yet important contradictions to her witness statement. Throughout the examination, I tweaked the questions that I had prepared for cross-examination so as to expose these contradictions and strengthen the prosecution’s case. Having never even practiced any cross-examination before, I found the prospect quite daunting. I knew that we were being scored purely on our advocacy style, and therefore thought that the being a bit more ‘theatrical’ would benefit my score. This was made slightly easier by the passive aggressive character of the accused, for whom it did not take much to wind up. Once I put to her the contradictions she had made, together with accusations towards her aggressive character, it did not take much to paint an ugly picture.
Overall, this was a unique experience. Most mooting competitions involve submission advocacy on a point of law with heavy judicial intervention. AOTY tests something quite different in that it focuses solely on the advocacy element. It appears to be a good taster to life on the Bar Course, and perhaps even practice. Now, I bet that you are wondering: How did we do? Fortunately, the University of Bradford placed second in the North East & Yorkshire Regional Heat. Additionally, I placed in the top 16 individual winners and secured a place in the Grand Final.
I would recommend that any student who wishes to experience courtroom advocacy should take part in this competition. It really is a fantastic opportunity to develop your advocacy skills.
Saffah Akhtar wins Stowe Family Law Prize
Now in its fourth year, The Stowe Family Law Prize is an annual award presented to the best performing undergraduate student within the family law cohort. In August 2020 this award was presented to Saffah Akhtar, a third-year student who had excelled in this key foundation module and the analytical skills it requires.
The Stowe Family Law Prize offers the winner work experience at the law firm’s central Leeds office. Stowe’s aim is to give the award winner a taste of what it's like to work in a family law firm, what the work entails and the chance to expand their professional network.
One of Stowe’s main motivations for getting involved in this way is to help give the next generation of the legal profession an opportunity to try their hand in different areas of the law.
Family lawyers need good people skills and a great deal of empathy, and understanding the demands of practising in a very emotive area is critical before choosing it as a career path. Through our continued involvement with the University of Bradford Law School, we have offered an experience to a student each year and met with other students, giving advice where possible to hopefully help graduates make the right choices early on Rachel Roberts, Stowe Family Law, Regional Director
Inaugural Annual Law Lecture delivered by Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC)
Judge Eboe-Osuji delivered the first Annual Law Lecture for the School of Law on the subject of The International Criminal Court – an Indispensable Instrument of Accountability for the Gravest International Crimes.
Judge Eboe-Osuji, the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), was an incredible prestigous guest to launch the annual Law Lecture programme here at the School of Law. His lecture offered staff, students and the wider community an opportunity to find out more about a highly relevent subject from the perspective on an eminent International jurist.
Judge Eboe-Osuji has had a distinguished career in law, was elected to the ICC in December 2011 and became its President in March 2018. He has also previously been the Legal Advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, during which time he led the writing of submissions to the European Court of Human Rights and the United States Supreme Court.
We are delighted to have Judge Eboe-Osuji joining us for our inaugural lecture. Following the successful opening of our 'Lady Hale Court' last month, we are pleased to be able to offer staff, students and the wider community an opportunity to explore this topical subject with this most distinguished International jurist Professor Engobo Emeseh, Head of the School of Law
Our state-of-the-art mock court officially opened by renowned judge Lady Brenda Hale
Lady Hale was at the University of Bradford to officially open a new mock courtroom for the School of Law. As the first woman President of the UK’s Supreme Court and a trailblazer for equality in the field of law and justice, it was a fitting honour.
The new facility, named the Lady Hale Court in her honour, will provide students with an opportunity to experience a courtroom atmosphere and develop their legal skills. It is also hoped that the facility will provide the community with opportuities to experience a court setting for themselves.
As part of the event, Lady Hale, who was awarded an honorary degree from the University in 2019, delivered a speech to students, solicitors and alumni, and talked about her praise and admiration for the new development. She said: "It's very important that the diversity of those entering the legal profession is increased. Because the law is for everyone, and those who are administering the law should reflect everyone. It shouldn't just be a narrow, so-called elite group of people. And so a place like Bradford, which is making real efforts towards social inclusion and being there for everyone, is a very valuable place."
Producing job-ready graduates equipped not only with knowledge of the law but also practical legal skills, is an intrinsic part of legal education here at the School of Law and the Lady Brenda Hale Court will go some way in helping us achieve that. Professor Engobo Emeseh, Head of the School of Law