Leicester Law School

News archive 2019

Graduate Teaching Assistants to give keynote at the Association of Law Teachers’ Early Careers Symposium

Presentation is based on prize-winning research into undergraduate law student perceptions of PhD tutors

12 September 2019

Three of our Graduate Teaching Assistants, Vicki Ball, Arwen Joyce and Charlotte Mills, will deliver the keynote “‘Not a Student, not yet an Academic”: Undergraduate Law Students’ Perceptions of PhD Tutors’ at the Association of Law Teachers Early Careers Symposium on the 10 September 2019 in Leeds. The presentation, based on research which won the Chris Gale Memorial Prize for Best Joint Paper at the ALT annual conference in April 2019, discusses empirical data collected from a student questionnaire and puts forward the techniques and traits needed for effective teaching.

Vicki, Arwen and Charlotte will further develop this research after being awarded funding to conduct focus groups. This data, alongside the data presented in their keynote, will be used to create a Best Practice Teaching Guide for PhD tutors.

Leicester students runners up in ESU Essex Moot Competition 2019

Leicester Law School team of Samuel Knight and Amberlie Camm win the Scarman Shield for Leicester Law School

11 June 2019

Leicester Law School team of Samuel Knight and Amberlie Camm battled their way through six rounds and finished as runners up in the finals of the prestigious ESU-Essex Court National Mooting Competition at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, on 10 June 2019. This is a fantastic achievement, given that 64 Universities took part in the competition. Our team did incredibly well in the final against Oxford Brooks, having to deal with challenging and numerous judicial interventions. Amberlie and Samuel win the Scarman Shield for the Law School, £750 each, mini-pupillages at Essex Court Chambers, and £500 for the Law School.

Debating the role of professional writing in law schools today

Dr Maribel Canto-Lopez organised a debating event to discuss the role of professional writing in legal education today. The widely attended event included presentations from academics, law practitioners, current and alumni students.

24 May 2019

The requirement of producing employable graduates is well established in Higher Education. The focus of this debate is to identify how far ‘professional writing’ activities introduced in Law School curriculum are helpful in equipping students with the skills they need (from a liberal legal education and vocational viewpoints).

In the last few years Leicester Law School has embedded professional writing assignments into modules with collaboration from Careers Services and international Law firms, and entice participation through a competitive prize. What do other Law Schools do about professional writing?

The event included a panel of current and alumni students from different UK institutions who gave their perception of professional writing and how it helped post-university.

The main outcome of the debate was the advantage for students who experience different types of written communications (beyond exams and essays), making them think about different audiences.

Prize for research exploring law student perceptions of PhD tutors

Three graduate teaching assistants, Vicki Ball, Arwen Joyce and Charlotte Mills, were awarded a prize for best joint paper at the 2019 Association of Law Teachers’ annual conference.

9 April 2019

Vicki, Arwen and Charlotte presented a paper titled ‘Undergraduate Law Students’ Perceptions of PhD Tutors: A Pilot Study’ at the annual conference of the Association of Law Teachers on 8 April 2019. They were awarded the Chris Gale Memorial Prize for Best Joint Paper by the Association of Law Teachers and the Committee of Heads of UK Law Schools in memory of Chris Gale.

The empirical research examined undergraduate law students’ perceptions of small-group teaching delivered by PhD tutors. Data was collected from students using an online questionnaire and small focus groups with the results culminating in a ‘best practice’ teaching guide for current and aspiring PhD tutors. The paper was also presented at the Socio-Legal Studies Annual Conference in April. Vicki, Arwen and Charlotte are planning to publish the first half of their results and then conduct another round of focus groups to collect additional data in the next academic year.

Student success at international mooting competition

Leicester Law School students win the DLP Piper Global Vis Pre moot competition for the second consecutive year

10 April 2019

Leicester Law School’s mooting success continues for another year, as our students have won the DLA Piper Global Vis Pre-Moot competition in Madrid. The competition, hosted by global law firm DLA Piper, was an opportunity for students to prepare for the Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna.

The Leicester Vis team of Hyland Muirhead, Himashweta Singh and Jean Hee competed against teams of students from across the globe to practice their oral advocacy. The team was coached for the competition by Paolo Vargiu and Tony Cole.

The students will now compete in the prestigious Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. The moot is an opportunity for students to embed their study of international commercial law to real-life problems and encourage the resolution of international business disputes through arbitration.

Leicester Pro Bono group shortlisted for national award

Law School recognised as making one of the best contributions in the country in the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards 2019

16 April 2019

Another successful year of Pro Bono activity has culminated in a shortlisting for the national LawWorks and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards 2019. These awards celebrate the contributions of law students and law schools across the country providing the best pro bono activities across five different categories. Leicester Law School has been shortlisted in the Best Contribution by a Law School category alongside six other universities.

The student led Pro Bono activity at Leicester is now supported by our in-house solicitor and Pro Bono Manager, Laura Bee, and administrator, Natalie Howden. Around 300 students participate in nine different projects, with the aim of supporting the local community by voluntarily applying their legal knowledge to a range of initiatives. Students work alongside local legal professionals, academic staff and charities who provide guidance and training across the different projects.

Developments this year, include the expansion of our Legal Advice Clinic to two sites which has doubled the number of available appointments, as well as advice in new areas of law. The clinic has assisted 57 clients since September 2018 and appeared on BBC Radio Leicester to raise awareness of the service. Feedback has been extremely positive, with one client commenting, “Absolutely brilliant! All of my questions were answered and a comprehensive plan was put together. The advice I received was thorough and well structured. I can’t recommend this service enough!”

The Litigants in Person project at Leicester County Court has increased its membership and now provides a daily service, with students assisting members of the public who are using the courts but cannot afford legal representation. As part of the Immigration and Asylum project, students have helped more than 20 local asylum seekers with applications for refugee status. The Amicus project has started to conduct research to assist caseworkers who provide access to justice for US death row prisoners. Fund raising activities by the Pro Bono Society have included clothing drives, bake sales and the ‘Leicester Legal Walk’ which raised £540, beating our target to raise funds for local free advice centres.

Head of Leicester Law School, Professor Francois du Bois commented that “We are very proud of the extremely high level of student engagement in our pro bono activity. We recognize that by nurturing this and by offering more pro bono opportunities for students, we can help to foster in our students a commitment to pro bono work which may last throughout their careers.”

On receiving the nomination, Chief Officer of the Pro Bono Society, student Claire Collins, said that this was a “reflection of the great developments we have had in our Pro Bono work this year and all of the hard work and commitment by students involved in our projects.”

The winner of the Best Contribution by a Law School award will be announced in the awards ceremony at the House of Commons on Wednesday 1 May 2019.

Law student shortlisted in Undergraduate of the Year Awards

Daniel Adebayo recognised as one of the top students in the UK for impactful social action

11 April 2019

We are delighted to announce that LLB Law with a Year Abroad student, Daniel Adebayo, has been shortlisted for the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Award for Impactful Social Action 2019. Daniel faced fierce competition from thousands of applicants to achieve this recognition and is one of 10 student finalists in this highly competitive category.

Daniel has a passion for meaningful social action and demonstrated how this would help him develop the skills needed for a successful career in law. His application highlighted his potential to become an impactful leader after setting up his own social enterprise.

He would encourage other students to apply for the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards, “with all things in life, you never know how far you will get in life unless you actually just go for it. Even if you don’t get to the latter stages of the award, it is still a good opportunity for application practice.”

Daniel believes that completing the Leicester Award helped him with the rigorous application, “it is important that once you know what is being asked of you, you tailor your response to show you understand the question. I did this through using the STARS technique I learnt when I did the Leicester Awards as it allowed me to structure my response within the word limit.”

The grand final celebrating the top undergraduates in the UK will take place at Canary Wharf in London on Friday 26 April. We would like to congratulate Daniel on this fantastic achievement and wish him good luck for the final.

The TARGETjobs Undergraduate of Year Awards is an annual competition where the best university students from across the UK can apply to receive an award across 14 different categories. The awards are sponsored by a range of internationally recognised organisations who offer placements, internships and trips abroad as prizes. The Impactful Social Action award is sponsored by Teach First and #iwill who are offering a paid summer internship as a prize to the winner.

Radio Leicester visits the University of Leicester’s Free Legal Advice Clinic

Radio Leicester visited the Free Legal Advice Clinic to find out more about the community work being done by Law School students

21 January 2021

The Leicester Law School Free Legal Advice Clinic offers initial advice to people with legal problems in consumer law, employment, family, housing, wills and probate. It has recently expanded and now, alongside the client sessions offered on campus, it also offers sessions at Voluntary Action Leicestershire to be more accessible to the local community.

Student advisers work closely with qualified solicitors to ensure an excellent quality of service. The clinic has had a 100% positive feedback rate from clients since collating feedback this academic year. There are many benefits to the student advisers who will experience for the first time what it is like to advise real clients. The experience boosts their confidence, develops their professional legal skills and provides the opportunity to connect more deeply with the legal material used to advise clients.

The clip was broadcast on Radio Leicester, Ady Dayman and Jo Hayward, 21 January 2019.

For more information please contact clinic manager laura.bee@le.ac.uk

Leicester Law School Professor takes up Judicial Appointment

Professor Dawn Watkins has been appointed as a Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, assigned to the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber.

22 February 2019

Professor Dawn Watkins from Leicester Law School has recently been appointed as a Judge of the First-tier Tribunal. Tribunals are specialist judicial bodies which decide disputes in particular areas of law. Professor Watkins has been assigned to the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber, where she will be hearing appeals made by citizens against decisions made by Government departments or agencies. She will be employed on a fee-paid basis, working a maximum of 30 days per year. This means that she is able to take on this judicial role at the same time as continuing in her professorial role at the University.

Head of Leicester Law School, Professor Francois du Bois commented “I wish Dawn every success in this new role, secured through a highly competitive selection process. The experience gained will bring benefits to the institution, as well as to the individual.”

'Expert' professor Adam Cygan to discuss Parliament’s Brexit options

Part of the Social Market Foundation’s ‘Ask the Expert’ series in Westminster, 5 February, 2019.

1 February 2019

Professor Cygan will consider the role of Parliament in determining the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and the legislation that is required before the UK leaves the EU.

Full story

Employability skills embedded into innovative Employment Law module

Employment Law students get hands-on experience working with solicitors and take part in a mock tribunal with a practicing judge

30 January 2019

Students taking the popular Employment Law module on their LLB course are given opportunities to participate in activities and events to enhance their learning experience and employability. Students are able to develop their skills and receive feedback in ‘client advice’ exercises led by a solicitor from Geldards LLP, one of the leading legal firms specialising in Employment Law. The best performing students are selected for annual placements at Geldards LLP in Nottingham. These week-long placements fully immerse students in the daily working life of a solicitor where they are challenged with the tasks of preparing clients’ cases for employment tribunals, writing reports on legislation development, and attending tribunal hearings.

One student commented: “It has been a great opportunity for hands-on experience, putting theory into practice, particularly the chance to attend a tribunal alongside the employment team. The placement at Geldards has confirmed I would like to train to be a solicitor and hopefully specialise in the area of Employment Law.”

Such placements have contributed to students’ success in securing jobs after graduation. Students have benefited from the placements by securing training contracts with top law firm Baker McKenzie and job offers from Geldards LLP.Employment Law students also have the opportunity to participate in a mock tribunals with Employment Tribunal Judge Martin Bloom, Partner at Hegarty LLP. Mr Bloom offered high praise to students who took part in last year’s mock tribunal hearing and commented that it was extremely valuable for their professional training skills and employability.#

Embedding these opportunities into our curriculum puts legal theory into practice. Students are always enthusiastic about the “practical and commercial value” that this brings to their learning.

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