Workshops & Webinars – thoughts on virtual law events I’ve attended
Possibly one of the only good things to come about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is the creative & engaging ways people are finding to run & attend events. Whereas before I may have been limited to attending only law events that are at my university or within my local area, I can now access so many events & experiences from home! Here are my thoughts on a few of the online events & experiences I have attended recently!
Inner Temple Insight Evening: Becoming a Barrister
This was a great, insightful event run by one of the four Inns of Court, Inner Temple. The event was 2 hours long, held on Zoom, and consisted of the following:
- panel session with five practitioners
- Q&A session
- scholarship presentation & Q&A
It was really interesting to hear about the legal journeys of the barristers attending. Some of them started with a law degree and took a very traditional route, whereas others did completely unrelated degrees or jobs and then decided to go into law a bit later. The barristers also discussed how they chose the area of law they wanted to specialise in and the advantages and disadvantages of these areas.
The scholarship presentation was less relevant to me as I am not yet at the stage where I can apply for scholarships from the Inns for the Bar Course. However, it was relieving to see how much support there is for law students wanting to train as barristers, despite the overwhelming costs.
Speed Mooting Advocacy Club – Debating Session (paid opportunity*)
You may have heard about the National Speed Mooting Competition which is an excellent opportunity for law students. However, you may not have heard about the Advocacy Club! Speed Mooting runs the Advocacy Club once a month, it is essentially an opportunity to come together with other law students or those interested in advocacy and practice skills such as debating, public speaking, mooting etc.
I have only attended one session so far – a debating session on Artificial Intelligence – but it was amazing! Everyone was so kind, so supportive, and I felt really welcomed despite joining late in the year. I’m so excited to take part in my first mooting experience at next month’s Advocacy Club session!
* please note – joining the Advocacy Club costs around £45 for the year
CPS West Midlands Digital Experience
Whilst browsing the Opportunities for Warwick Law Students page (don’t lie, we all do it), I came across the CPS West Midlands Digital Experience. There were 25 spaces for Warwick students to take part in a week-long experience with the Crown Prosecution Service. I applied and was accepted!
We essentially worked through a whole (fictional) case from start to finish, going through different courts and learning about how the prosecution system works. We also had the opportunity to ask questions to prosecutors about the role, the day-to-day life, and the reasons for choosing prosecution.
Overall, it was one of the more interactive events that I have attended & I enjoyed it!
Advocacy Taster Session with BPP
BPP is one of the few universities that offers the Bar Course (formly BPTC). In this virtual Advocacy Taster Session, BPP gave us an insight into what a class with them may look like. We learnt about the key skills for successful advocacy and then watched a mock trial & had to comment on where each counsel member did well, and where they didn’t. Although some of the skills seemed obvious (speaking at an appropriate volume and pace), some of the skills were very specific to the Bar and therefore incredibly helpful to witness!
As you can tell, I’ve been signing up to lots of events and keeping myself busy. I think it’s great to engage with these opportunities, not only to show your dedication to the Bar but also to actually determine whether or not it is right for you! It’s very possible that you’ll come away from your first mooting session and realise that you hate public speaking and don’t want to be a barrister. But, on the other hand, you may start speaking and absolutely fall in love with it! Gaining experience is the key to success!