Student Stories and Successes
At the School of Law we are rightly proud of our students and delight in celebrating their successes, and in supporting them to fulfil their ambitions and to participate in a range of experiences and opportunities alongside their studies.
We have exceptional students, whose work at the University has inspired them to follow their passions. Here they share their experiences of studying at Reading and explore what they've learned during their time with us.
PRO BONO, CO-CURRICULAR AND WORK EXPERIENCE ACTIVITIES
As a School we are renowned for the range of pro bono, co-curricular and work experience opportunities which we offer to our students and very many of our students participate in, and derive huge benefit from, these activities. Here some of our students reflect on their experiences.
STUDENT NEGOTIATION COMPETITION
Two teams of law students - Olivia Muir and Ben Molyneux, and Tatiana Zanre and Sebastian Zanre took part in the regional heats of the CEDR National Student Negotiation Competition in London on Saturday 22nd February. They were selected after winning the Law School's internal negotiation competition supported by Boyes Turner.
From a large and competitive field Olivia and Ben were among the five teams selected to take part in the National finals in Manchester in a few weeks time, which is a fantastic achievement. Well done to both teams!
ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR COMPETITION 2019
On 23rd November 2019 a team of four students - Agnes McLoughlin-Weekes, Charlotte Hornshaw, Katie Stephens (all Part 2 students) and Sam Bolwell (finalist) travelled to Bristol to compete in the BPP Advocate of the Year competition. They conducted a criminal trial and a civil trial all taking part in making a speech/application, or client interviewing, and either examination in chief or cross-examination - all incredibly important skills for aspiring advocates.
The team came second in their heat, with over 100 competitors across the country.
This is the fourth time that the School of Law has put forward a team for this competition. Last year, Sam Carson reached the Final 12 students at the Old Bailey in this highly competitive competition.
Congratulations to all four competitors, who worked incredibly hard to learn these new skills, and represented the University of Reading in great style. The feedback from the BPP judges will no doubt help with future competitions and career aspirations.
LAW AND PSYCHOLOGY MOCK TRIAL COLLABORATION
On 7th November 2019, 30 speech and language therapy, and law, students came together for a day in Foxhill House, home to the School of Law, for a collaborative, practical workshop. The aim of the day was to learn more about the work of registered intermediaries - an independent communication specialist - supporting vulnerable people in the criminal courts, and how a criminal trial works in practice.
The workshop was run by former practising barrister Amanda Millmore from the School of Law, and intermediary and speech and language therapist Alison Cox from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences (PCLS). They were also joined by Melissa Loucas, another intermediary from PCLS.
The students - ranging from foundation through to postgraduate level - had the opportunity to practice questioning techniques and adjusting questions to meet the needs of witnesses with different communication difficulties, and then prepared for a mock trial. The law students worked on prosecution and defence briefs, while the speech and language therapists prepared intermediary reports and acted as vulnerable witnesses. Then in the afternoon two mock trials were run, using the methods and tools learned earlier in the day.
This was a fantastic opportunity for students from two very different disciplines to work together, and the feedback from students was universally positive:
Final year law student, Oyin Arikawe said, "We were able to put what we learned into action towards the end of the day when we had a mock trial in which I got to practice my advocacy skills. The workshop was very useful and insightful as it gave me the opportunity to see and experience how intermediaries and barristers work together in court. I enjoyed every part of it!"
Whilst Part 1 student Kiiti Opesanwo said, "It was truly a great learning experience and provided great clarity towards how court cases are run in the UK. I am now encouraged to sit in at one of the Crown court trials in Reading to witness a real one. Thank you very much for the experience!"
Professor Amanda Millmore said, "It was great to watch the Law & PCLS students working together to structure questions, bringing their respective skills and knowledge to the process. Working in an inter-disciplinary way brought a new dimension to advocacy training and the law students appreciated the practical nature of working with speech and language therapy students."
Alison Cox said: "It was fantastic to collaborate with the School of Law - with only 200 Registered Intermediaries in the UK having to manage more than 6,000 requests a year we hope some of our students are considering this role. The skills and knowledge from studying Speech and Language Therapy can be applied in many situations outside a clinical setting, whether it is law or a variety of professional careers."
UNIVERSITY OF READING STUDENTS PRESENT AT PARTNERSHIP CONFERENCE
On Monday 16th September 2019, two University of Reading LLB students presented at a conference at the University of Surrey - Student staff partnership symposium at Uni of Surrey.
Finalist Krissy Hiu co-presented with Amanda Millmore (School Director of Academic Tutoring) about the staff-student partnership they were involved in to embed employability skills into a module, with a group of Law students collaborating with academics Dr. Annika Newnham and Amanda Millmore to design the assessments. She follows in the footsteps of her fellow undergraduate students who have presented this project at other conferences; Tom Fuller and Megan Bennett presented the project to the SEDA Conference in Belfast in May, whilst Jess Davies co-presented with Amanda at the Advance HE Teaching & Learning conference in Newcastle in July. The new module that they designed collaboratively (Children, Families and the State) will be running for final year Law students at the University of Reading for the first time this autumn.
Meanwhile school representative and finalist Will Page presented the "Life Tools for Law Students" project at the University of Surrey along with Alicia Pena Bizama from the Student Wellbeing Service, who runs the Life Tools programme, and Amanda Millmore. Will wanted to improve the wellbeing of his fellow students during his time as school rep in the School of Law and so collaborated with Alicia, who runs the Life Tools programme university-wide, and Amanda to develop a Law School version of the programme designed specifically to support the Law students and run within the School of Law. Life Tools for Law Students will be running again in 2019/20 for all Law students, alongside the university-wide programme, following the success of last year's pilot.
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