6th Form Conferences

The School of Law recently played host to a number of local schools and colleges who participated in two 6th Form Conferences held on the 22nd and 26th March 2010.  The conferences proved very popular with pupils and teachers from secondary education institutions from Bridgend, Gorseinon, Llandeilo, Llanelli, Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea with over 130 participants attending over the two days. 

As part of the School of Law efforts to ease the transition between secondary and higher education the conferences were organised to give pupils studying at AS level the opportunity to experience teaching in a University setting.  Pupils and teachers from the schools and colleges were given the opportunity to take part in 4 seminars which were organised by lecturers from the School of Law on a diversity of topics, ranging from anti-social behaviour law, terrorism, children’s rights and employment discrimination, through to how the law protects privacy, the validity of identification evidence and the ownership of wrecks. Dr Simon Hoffman one of the event organisers said ‘these conferences give students a feel for what studying the law is all about’, adding the experience would help students to decide whether or not to undertake a law degree.

School of Law 6th Form Conference

1st photo – Pupils taking part in one of the seminars delivered by Dr Stuart Macdonald.
2nd photoLecturers from the School of Law taking part in one of the seminars.  Pictured from left to right: Ms Kathryn Devonald-Davies, Ms Michaela Leyshon and Ms Amanda Rees.

In addition to the seminars those pupils who attended the conference held on the 22nd March were given the opportunity to take part in a mock trial and asked to play out various roles such as barrister, judge and jury which were intended to give pupils a taster of law as a profession.  As well as attending seminars or participating in a mock trial pupils were given information about what the School of Law is able to offer by way of undergraduate and post-graduate courses.    

During the conferences the School of Law benefited from its close links with the local judiciary and practitioners. District Judge Ray Singh attended the conference on the 22nd March to give the closing address, speaking of the opportunities available to pursue a career in law. On the 26th March two local barristers from Iscoed Chambers, Nicola Preece and John Hipkin who both specialize in criminal law gave a joint address. Both Judge and barristers emphasized the benefits of studying law, and the quality of legal education at Swansea University. Nicola Preece welcomed the School of Law initiative and emphasized the ‘benefits for students of close links between the University and the legal profession.’ Catherine Reohorn, Head of Law at Bishop Gore School described the day as a ‘brilliant experience’ and confirmed that pupils had been left with a very positive view of the School of Law and Swansea University. Other teachers and pupils were also in agreement that the conferences were an enjoyable and worthwhile experience and that they provided a valuable insight into university teaching.

Swansea’s Law Students enjoy further mooting success

As part of their preparation for entry into the legal profession, students of the Law School are actively encouraged to develop their powers of advocacy and sharpen their forensic skills by participating in internal moots and competing against teams from other leading Law Schools in a variety of national mooting events.

The excellent standard of mooting achieved by our students has most recently been demonstrated in the highly prestigious Oxford University Press/BPP National Mooting Competition in which two of our second year students, John Jessup (Junior Counsel) and Clare Passé (Lead Counsel) have progressed to the semi-final stage after defeating University of Gloucester and will now compete in the semi-finals of the competition against Sheffield Hallam University. The Swansea team convincingly defeated previous champions, Southampton University on their home turf in the first round and then knocked out a formidable team from Strathclyde University in the second round which was staged in the Law School’s state-of-the-art Advocacy Suite.  This builds upon the impressive performance of our students in the 2009 and 2010 Welsh National Mooting Competition in which we emerged as runner up for 2 years running having narrowly lost to Aberystwyth University in the finals.  The Swansea team consisted of Penelope Harry (Lead Counsel), David Turner (Junior Counsel) and Charley Hasim (Researcher).

Swansea’s Law Students enjoy further mooting success

1st photoPictured above from left to right: Andrew Perkins (Barrister and Postgraduate Research Student – Adviser to the Swansea Team); Clare Passé (Senior Counsel and Mistress of the Moots); John Jessup (Junior Counsel); David Turner (Student Law Society President – Clerk of Court)
2nd photoPictured above from left to right: Andrew Perkins (Team Adviser); Clare Passé (Mistress of the Moots); Penelope Harry (Lead Counsel), Charley Hasim (Researcher)

 
This success at the national level has led to an upsurge of interest in this year’s internal mooting programme organised by our Students Law Society which has attracted nearly 120 participants.  These participants benefitted from intensive training sessions delivered by Andrew Perkins, a Swansea alumnus and Barrister whose input has helped ensure a remarkably high standard of mooting from the very first round.  

According to the current Mistress of the Moots, Clare Passé, “It is amazing and gratifying how mooting has grown from strength to strength in the Law School. We are determined to sustain this momentum by giving a good account of ourselves in the latter stages of the OUP/BPP competition as well as in this year’s Welsh National Mooting Competition for which we have also entered. Given the depth of mooting talent in the Law School, we are also planning a series of summer schools where we can prepare more students for national mooting competitions”.