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Oxford Brookes Mooting team through to the National Semi-finals

The Royal Courts of Justice in London where the final of this prestigious competition will take place

The Royal Courts of Justice in London where the final of this prestigious competition will take place

Many congratulations to the Oxford Brookes mooting team who are now one of the final 4 teams in the ESU- Essex court National Mooting Competition and have a chance to win for the second year running.

The Brookes team, James Fennemore and Jonathan Goddard, both of whom are currently studying for the Graduate Diploma in Law, successfully defeated the University of Nottingham in the quarter-finals held last week.

Mooting is the traditional method through which law students are introduced to practical experience of courtroom advocacy. They compete against an opposing counsel and before a judge, making it a valuable training exercise for aspiring barristers. The ESU – Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition is one of the longest established national mooting competitions in the UK, with Oxford Brookes the current defending champions.

James and Jonathan will now advance to the semi-finals of the prestigious competition, which will be held at Dartmouth House in London on the morning of Wednesday 22 June. The final will also take place that evening in the President’s Court at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand.

Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences said:

The School of Law at Oxford Brookes University has a long tradition of success in mooting at a regional and national level. I am very pleased to see this tradition continue in 2016. This is down to the dedication and hard work of our staff and our students. We are very proud of our law students and all that they achieve and we wish them every success in the semi-final! “

To find out more about the ESU-Essex Court Chambers National Mooting competition go to: http://nationalmooting.org/

Oxford Brookes Mooting Team in National Quarter Final

Headington Hill Hall

The quarter finals will take place in the prestigious Headington Hill Hall Moot Court

Students from the School of Law will be taking on the University of Nottingham in the quarter finals of the ESU/Essex Court National Mooting Competition next week.

Mooting is the traditional method through which law students are introduced to practical experience of courtroom advocacy. They compete against an opposing counsel and before a judge, making it a valuable training exercise for aspiring barristers.

The upcoming moot follows a trail of successes for the Oxford Brookes team, James Fennemore and Jonathan Goddard, both of whom are currently studying for the Graduate Diploma in Law. James and Jonathan have progressed to the quarter finals after successfully defeating Birmingham City University in the third round of the competition in March this year, after earlier successes versus the University of Gloucestershire and the University of Buckingham.

Speaking about the upcoming moot, Principal Lecturer Marc Howe said

“Oxford Brookes are the defending champions of this highly prestigious national mooting competition, and we wish Jonathan and James the very best of luck in their quarter final”

The moot will take place in the prestigious Headington Hill Hall Moot Court at 1.30pm on Friday 6 May.

Oxford Brookes named as one of the best young universities in the world

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Oxford Brookes University has been named in the Times Higher Education’s 150 Under 50 Rankings for the first time.

The Rankings 2016 is a ranking of the top universities in the world which are under 50 years old. It celebrates those young universities that have made a great impact on the global stage in years rather than centuries and showcases the future rising university stars.

Oxford Brookes is among 25 UK-based universities to be named in the rankings.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Paul Inman said: “We are delighted to see Oxford Brookes recognised for the first time in THE’s 150 Under 50 Rankings. With our excellent reputation for teaching and support and internationally recognised research, this latest ranking is another indicator of our ability to compete with universities across the world. We are confident that we can increase Oxford Brookes’ global standing even further in the coming years.”

Last month, Oxford Brookes’ global reputation was recognised in the QS World Rankings by Subject where 12 subject areas were considered to be among the ‘world’s elite’.

Triple Pupillage success from the School of Law

GDL students

Pictured: Jonathan Goddard, Will Mitchell and James Fennemore, GDL students 2016

Three Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) students (Jonathan Goddard, James Fennemore and Will Mitchell) have successfully secured pupillage contracts from some of the country’s most prestigious barristers’ chambers.

A pupillage is a compulsory year of vocational training, similar to an apprenticeship, which all aspiring barristers must undertake before they can start practice. Competition to receive pupillage is fierce, with most chambers allocating only two or sometimes three contracts a year. Chambers look for excellent academic records, experience of the legal profession, and a demonstrated commitment to a career as a barrister.

Jonathan, James and Will were all finalists in this year’s Oxford Brookes GDL mooting competition, and have represented Oxford Brookes in the ESU/Essex Court National Mooting Competition and the Inner Temple Inter-Varsity Mooting Competition – both of which were won last year by Oxford Brookes University.

Will Mitchell, who will join Quadrant Chambers, a top commercial chambers specialising in shipping and aviation, said:

“The fantastic mooting opportunities provided during the GDL… were instrumental in allowing me to approach the interview as a credible and confident candidate.”

Jonathan Goddard will join 4 Pump Court, a top ranked Chambers specialising in commercial law and James Fennemore will join XXIV Old Buildings, a leading commercial chancery set, from October 2017.

Marc Howe, Principal Lecturer Oxford Brookes University, and a tutor to all three students said:

“We are very proud of the success of Jonathan, James and Will in obtaining pupillage in such prestigious barristers’ chambers. All three have been outstanding in university and national mooting competitions, in which they have showcased the advocacy skills which will make them excellent barristers, and they wholly deserve their success in obtaining pupillage.”

More information about studying at Law at Oxford Brookes University can be found on the School of Law webpages.

Oxford Brookes Law student to take up overseas pro bono work with the Amicus Death Row Charity

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Chloe Arnold, a first-year Law Student at Oxford Brookes, has been awarded a £1000 Santander grant to take part in the Missouri Capital Sentencing Project.

“I applied because it is quite literally a once in-a-lifetime opportunity and I want to experience the American culture and death row culture first hand.”

Chloe Arnold, first-year Law student

 

This project is organised through the Amicus death penalty charity, which assists in the provision of legal representation for those awaiting capital trial and punishment, as well as raising awareness of potential abuses of defendants’ rights.

Chloe was funded by the Oxford Brookes School of Law to attend Amicus’s death penalty training in October where she learned about the basic history of legal framework, racism and the death penalty in the US. She also heard real-life stories from recently exonerated death row inmates Sunny Jacobs and Peter Pringle.

Explaining her passion for the project, Chloe said:

“Advocacy particularly interests me and in America, death row inmates are often disadvantaged or have been the victims of abuse as children. What’s more is that often during their trials, defendants of an ethnic minority have faced some form of racism from the police, jurors, prosecutors or even judges. With death penalty cases, many things seem so unjust and ‘old-fashioned’ in such an advanced country – particularly in the South.”

On her initial desire to study Law, Chloe added:

“Law was the only subject I could see myself doing. I find it incredibly interesting how it has such a large role in upholding society.”

She will know spend the Summer on secondment in Missouri, where she will gather and analyse empirical data on capital trial and punishment.

You can find out more about the Capital Sentencing project Chloe will be taking part in here: http://www.phillipsblack.org/

 

Further Success for the School of Law in the ESU/Essex Court National Mooting Competition

Law students mooting

Law students mooting in Headington Hill Hall

Students from the School of Law have defeated the University of Gloucestershire in the second round of the ESU/Essex Court National Mooting Competition.  The students, who are both studying on the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) programme, will now progress to the third round of the prestigious national competition, as Oxford Brookes looks to take home the prize for the second year running.

Mooting is the traditional method through which law students are introduced to practical experience of courtroom advocacy. They compete against an opposing counsel and before a judge making it is a crucial training exercise.

James Fennemore, who was part of Oxford Brookes’ winning team of 2015, said:

“Mooting provides an excellent opportunity to research in much more detail an area of law that you might have covered only in passing on the GDL, which is by necessity a fast-paced and introductory course. You really get to know the case law and the issues at stake, and so it’s a very satisfying way of complementing the ground-work done in lectures and seminars.”

James has recently accepted pupillage from XXIV Old Buildings for 2017 and hopes to practise as a barrister once he qualifies.

He added:

“For anyone interested in the Bar, it also gives you essential advocacy experience: preparing a skeleton argument, arguing your case on your feet, and addressing questions from a judge. Besides being very good fun in itself, this is excellent preparation for pupillage interviews, which often involve a discussion of a recent moot or a similar advocacy exercise.”

The third round of the ESU/Essex Court National Mooting Competition will take place on Thursday 17 March 2016.

More information about studying at Law at Oxford Brookes University can be found on the School of Law webpages.

Law launches a new solicitor mentoring scheme

Mark O’Brien, Head of the School of Law and William Downing, Partner Blake Morgan

Mark O’Brien, Head of the School of Law and William Downing, Partner Blake Morgan

The Oxford Brookes Law School has recently set up a new mentoring scheme to give current undergraduate students the opportunity to gain insight and experience into the world of legal practice. Working in conjunction with Blake Morgan, one of the UK’s leading Law firms, this programme will involve legal staff acting as mentors for Oxford Brookes students. The mentors will provide guidance on anything from discussions on areas of practice, CVs, application forms, application strategy and interview preparation through to wider career management issues. 

“The new Blake Morgan Mentoring Scheme provides an invaluable opportunity for our law students to obtain guidance and support from lawyers in a leading law firm.”

Marc Howe, Principal Lecturer and Project coordinator

The scheme will specifically focus on offering mentors to those students who do not have existing links into, or experience of, the legal profession. 

3rd year LLB student Natalia Cabezuelo Martos is taking part in the scheme and hopes to study the LPC in London once graduating before becoming a solicitor, specialising in either Commercial, Financial or International Trade Law.

Speaking about the scheme she said: “I hope I can get some first-hand information on what the day to day life of a solicitor is like, as well as gain advice on applying to training contracts and vacation schemes. Moreover I hope that having this experience on my CV will enhance my chances of getting some more relevant work experience.”

Speaking about the launch of the new scheme, Mark O’Brien, Head of the School of Law said: We are really delighted that we have been able to offer our students such a comprehensive and genuinely enriching experience as they navigate the competitive path of entry in to the legal profession. This is quite a large scale mentoring venture, and permeates all aspects of the firm. We hope this opportunity will be a useful ‘first step’ for our students and assist them in developing their professional networks, and gaining ‘real world’ insight into life in practice.”

Information about studying for the LLB at Oxford Brookes University can be found on the School of Law webpages. 

Success for the School of Law at the National Client Interviewing Competition

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Two students from Oxford Brookes’ School of Law took the top spot in the Regional Heat of the Client Interviewing Competition of England and Wales on Wednesday 10 February.

Graduate Diploma in Law students Helen Bray and Will Mitchell gave an excellent performance during the heat, which took place at the University of Reading, and defeated the Universities of Reading, Hertfordshire and Surrey. Will said: “I was delighted to win the regional heat with Helen. We had worked hard towards this result, with both internal and external support and coaching so it was very pleasing for that to pay off.

“Client interviewing is a very rewarding way to put the academic learning you have done into practice. Giving advice to a client requires the ability to convey the law accurately, in a straightforward way and so that the client has confidence in you. That is a true test of whether you have understood the academic learning you have done.”

The pair will now represent Oxford Brookes in the National Final which is taking place at the Sheffield offices of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors on Saturday 12 March. Winners of the national competition will then go on to compete in the international competition which this year, takes place at the University of Windsor in Canada.

Client interviewing is a very rewarding way to put the academic learning you have done into practice.

Will Mitchell, Graduate Diploma in Law student, Oxford Brookes University

Universities and Law Schools across the UK take part in the annual competition which aims to encourage the promotion and development of the invaluable skills involved with client interviewing, counselling and centres on a simulated law office interview.

Principal Lecturer in Law Marc Howe said: “The continuing success of Oxford Brookes teams at the Client Interviewing Competition is testament to their hard work and skills as future lawyers”.

Law students, working in teams of two, interview and advise a client – a role-playing actor. They are assessed on interpersonal skills as well as their ability to handle a legal problem.

Oxford Brookes University also hosted the Client Interviewing Competition’s National Training Day in January which invited all the teams entering the competition. Students had the opportunity to take part in demonstrations, discussions and critique of client interviewing skills and ask questions to experienced judges, faculty coaches and past competitors.

Information about studying for the Graduate Diploma in Law at Oxford Brookes University can be found on the School of Law webpages. 

Brookes’ mooting success continues

Law students mooting

Law students mooting

Many congratulations to James Fennemore and Jonathan Goddard, the Oxford Brookes University GDL mooting team, who convincingly defeated the University of Buckingham in the first round of this year’s ESU/Essex Court National Mooting Competition.

James and Jonathan, will now progress to the second round of this prestigious national competition, which was won last year by Oxford Brookes University.

“In 2015 the School of Law had its most successful mooting year ever, and it is wonderful to see the Brookes tradition of mooting success being continued by this year’s teams”

Marc Howe, Principal Lecturer in Law and University Teaching Fellow

Oxford Brookes University complete commission from the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Professors Peter Edge & Lucy Vickers

Professors Peter Edge & Lucy Vickers outside Edinburgh Castle

The legal equality framework in Great Britain which protects the right to hold and express a religion or belief in the workplace has recently been reviewed by Professors Peter Edge and Lucy Vickers from Oxford Brookes’ School of Law.

The review looked at key issues such as how religion and belief are defined by the law, the legal protection for religion or belief, the balancing of competing rights and the idea of a duty to reasonable accommodation.

Professor Peter Edge said: “It was great to take the expertise we have built up in research and teaching in this area and apply it to such an important project. Especially pleasing is that the report is being fed back into our undergraduate teaching within weeks of it being released.”

The review builds on past consultation surveying how people responded when asked how religion or belief affected their experiences at work, which varied from workplaces where employees and employers felt they could openly discuss the impact of religion or belief to workplaces where people said religion or belief was mocked.

The review finds that although the current legislation and case law protects people with a religion or a belief and those who lack a religion or belief, there are several areas that still need more thought. In addition current views about the legal framework still differ greatly. Some people thought that equality law provided a robust single framework to deal with discrimination and ensure equality for everybody; others has mixed views, and some viewed the law negatively, with some Christian respondents saying that the legal framework had undermined the status of Christianity in Britain.

This project also forms part of the work done at Oxford Brookes’ Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice which carries out research linking legal and human resource management to develop best practice policies in managing workplace equalities. The Centre’s areas of expertise include age diversity, gender equality, work-life balance and religion or belief.

The Commission will now begin work on its concluding report setting out its own views on these issues using the Oxford Brookes report as a starting point. The Commission’s role is to promote and enforce the laws that protect everyone’s right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.