23 April 2013

Mock trial provides students with a taste of the law

Parklane Plowden Chambers and Walker Morris provided ten A-level law students a unique insight into the legal profession by running a mock High Court trial, as part of a week of work experience.

The students, from Notre Dame High School in Leeds, were given just over a day to study the evidence for a road traffic accident case and to prepare for the trial. The boardroom at Walker Morris' offices was converted to a court room and the trial was kept as true to life as possible, complete with wigs, gowns, a witness box and even an usher played by, Counsel, Gareth Price. The whole proceedings were presided over by Barrister, Kaiser Nazir, acting as the High Court, Trial Judge.

The week's experience is part of the work that Walker Morris and Parklane Plowden are running with PRIME, an organisation committed to providing work experience in the legal profession to students from less privileged backgrounds.

Kaiser Nazir from Parklane Plowden said:

"Whilst the experience is supposed to be enjoyable, it is a case scenario which is used to train barristers, so it is certainly challenging and we do push the students. The whole experience is designed to be as realistic as possible, which means the students learn the techniques used in a real civil trial such as cross examination, analysis of the strengths of a case and formulating arguments. We even swear in the witnesses."

Marshal Ahluwalia, Director at Walker Morris, who worked with the students said:

"This is the second year we have run the scheme after the success of last year. The intensive week of work experience provides the students with access to invaluable experience into how the law works. In addition to the knowledge gained from working with two solicitors and four barristers from Parklane Plowden (who are recognised as one of the leading Personal Injury Chambers in the North of England) during the mock trial, they also learn how to strengthen their future applications, understand the different routes of entry into the profession as solicitor and barrister, and receive advice on universities and degrees.

"The whole week is a great insight into the profession at a young age, and if it inspires just one of the students, to go on and have a successful legal career, the whole programme would have been worthwhile. I cannot wait for the scheme to enter its third year."