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Mock trials will be live-streamed and law students could win a car

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Students in the University's Lady Hale mock court room

Local law firm Proctor & Hobbs is sponsoring the new mock trial law competition

Everyone loves a good courtroom drama and now University of Bradford will take centre stage in a series of live-streamed mock trials. 

The mock trial competition is being launched in collaboration with local law firm Proctor & Hobbs 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 their official YouTube page.

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. 

Follow Proctor & Hobbs' instagram for live updates on this competition.

Exciting times

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.”

Realistic setting

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’s like to have to advocate on behalf of a client in a realistic 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 here.

“The calibre of teaching and the level of expertise available to students is exceptional. My course gave me the confidence to start my own business and our links with the University continue to this day.”

Mock trials

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, with partners in Australia and South Africa. It already offers placements for University of Bradford students, including one nine-month 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, citing their favourite court case. Entries will then be shortlisted to just six, who will then go forward to the mock trials. The competition, exclusive to students at the University of Bradford, is open to any undergraduate and post-graduate students 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 10 September and remaining open for a week. The winner will be announced on September 20 and presented with the smart car at an award ceremony at Proctor & Hobbs offices. 

Courtroom setting

Lecturer and solicitor Tuiya Tembo said she hoped the mock trials would now become an annual event.

She said: “The School of Law is committed to offering our students practical experiences and this is an example of that. Our students already engage in real cases through our law clinic, offering advice to members of the public on a variety of issues. 

“This competition, which mimics reality, is a wonderful opportunity for our students to gain experience in a courtroom setting and I think it will also show the public the calibre of students we have.”

Click here to find out more about the competition.

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