This summer the Oxford Brookes School of Law opened its doors to a cohort of aspiring A-level student lawyers. Both attendance and spirits were high over the course of the week as the students engaged in a range of interactive seminars, including lectures with law staff, practising judges as well as professional lawyers. The summer school also included a trip to the local crown court and police station. Finally, and for many the highlight of the week, was the preparation and staging of a mock trial by the students.
The mock trial took place in the School of Law’s moot court and dealt with a fictional case of burglary. The students had to put in to practice all they had learnt in the previous days. They were split into a prosecution and a defence team and took turns to call witnesses and the defendant to the stand. The magistrates delivered a verdict of guilty, albeit with mitigating circumstances and gave the defendant a 6 month suspended sentence.
Summer school director Dr Michael John-Hopkins said “I think it is important to give students hands-on experience of what it’s like to be a lawyer: preparing for a trial, interviewing witnesses and dealing with case files.’ He went on to say that “all the students did a good job in performing their different roles in the mock trial.’
One student commented ‘The summer school has taught me the proceedings of court and what the role of a lawyer consists of. It was great, and thank you to everyone for the warm welcome and helping us over the four days!.’