Client Interviewing Training and Competition 2018-9

The School Law takes part in the Annual National Client Interviewing Competition.

Each year, during the Autumn Term,  the School of Law organises two sets of client interview training for a total of approximately 60 students.  The training is given by alumni who are practicing lawyers in London firms. Students learn the techniques of obtaining information, asking open questions, active listening and the importance of building a good relationship with the client.  An internal Reading Client Interviewing competition is held with five teams of two students interviewing a “client” to discover his or her legal probelm and offer  some advice. The subject matter of the problem the client has varies from year to year; in 2019 it was theft and other crimes covered by the Theft Acts. The team which the Reading panel of judges decides conducts the best interview represents Reading at the Regional  Final.  Both the winning team and the two other best interviewers get the opportunity to attend a Master Class in Client Interviewing on a Saturday in January which this year was held at Oxford Brooks University. The Regional Final was held at Exeter University.

This year the Reading team was Manon Williams and Kyle Oba.  Kyle said of the experience that “…I found that it developed my confidence and ability to work under pressure. I also found it enjoyable to work closely with a partner, further improving my ability to work in a team. I would highly recommend this competition to anyone interested.”.

Manon felt that the training and the competitions had “…helped me in understanding the initial role of a solicitor when dealing with clients. I will take this understanding with me into my future career as well as the confidence I have gained from taking part.

The team did not win the regional round, but it scored highly against some very impressive student teams.  This is an interesting and very beneficial example of co-curricular training offered by the School of Law.

Criminal Justice: the limits of community

On Saturday 10 November 2018, the School of Law at the University of Reading hosted a public research event in the historic Grade 1 Listed building of Minster of St. Mary-the-Virgin, located in Reading city centre. It formed part of the ESRC’s (Economic and Social Research Council) Festival of Social Science, a week-long national programme of events designed to celebrate the social sciences and bring them to a wider public audience.

The programme for the event is available here.

Our event turned Reading Minister into an interactive exhibition space filled with studies on crime and criminal justice carried out by University of Reading researchers at the School of Law, plus a range of other partners and associated researchers. Through the use of mini-lectures and visual data – including photography, artifacts, and videos – the event challenged visitors to think about the history and impact of incarceration, criminalisation, and our societal appetite to punish offenders. It asked questions such as: Can the use of criminal punishments prevent unwanted deaths? How has punishment changed over the years? What does history tell us about what and who should be criminalised? Should the death penalty be reintroduced? How do prisons differ across the world?

Hundreds of members of the local community came by during the day to listen, view, and browse the projects on display, and to talk to the researchers involved in the projects.

Tweets about the event can be found at #limitsofcommunity.

 

Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation Research Seminar Series 2019

 

The Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation at Reading will host research events discussing topical issues on various aspects of commercial law between the months of January and March this year. The events are dedicated to interdisciplinary conversations and will bring practitioners from across the commercial law sphere together with national and international academics. The series aims to explore the main issues regarding Commercial and IP law and regulation as they concern the appropriate policy intervention to sharing of data, data security and data governance. The seminars will provide opportunities for students and guests to immerse themselves, and participate in riveting debates with our staff and participants.

Attendance is Free. Visitors coming from outside the University of Reading are requested to send advanced notification of their attendance to commercialllms@reading.ac.uk

Read more about the CCLFR Research Seminar Series.

Read more about the Intellectual Property Law Research Seminar Series.

War crimes lawyer given Alumni Award

Dr Rosalynd Roberts, who completed her PhD at the School of Law at the University of Reading in 2011, was recognised at the 2018 Winter Graduations for her role in prosecuting war crimes from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia – including the conviction of Ratko Mladić of crimes including genocide. Read more here.

The School of Law welcomes collaboration with Stowe Family Law in Reading

The School of Law is delighted to announce support from the newly opened Reading branch of Stowe Family Law. Stowe Family Law is an established firm of specialist family law and divorce solicitors, with offices across the UK. The opening of the office in Reading provides a fantastic opportunity for collaboration with our law students who will supplement their academic knowledge of the law with practical insight from practitioners. Stowe Family Law will take over sponsorship of the Family Law Prize for the best performance in the final exam from 2019. The lucky prize winner will receive one week’s work experience with the firm which will provide hands-on experience and support the winner in developing their legal career.
 
Dr Thérèse Callus, module convenor for Family Law said “We are extremely pleased to embark upon an exciting collaboration with Stowe Family Law, Reading. We strongly believe that cooperation between academia and practice brings great benefits to our students. As well as the advantage of the prize, we are also looking forward to working with the team at Stowe to provide insight for our students of life in private practice. The School of Law is proud of the relationships it has built with local practitioners and pleased to welcome Stowe Family Law to the region, and to the University.”
 
As the School prepares to celebrate 100 years of access to the legal profession for women in 2019, it is particularly relevant that Stowe is a market leader in terms of female representation at the highest level. 45 of the firm’s 64 fee earners are female – that’s 70% at Partner level.
 
The firm’s Managing Partner Naheed Taj said “It’s very exciting to be collaborating with the University of Reading.  The subject of Women in Law is very fitting for a firm like Stowe to be getting involved in as it has more female lawyers than male. We have some very interesting client work, strong ties to the local community and other businesses within it, the University being one of them.  We are particularly keen on engaging with students as one of the most important things that new professionals can miss, is trying their hand at different areas of practice before starting a traineeship.  Family Law is a very different beast to Criminal or Commercial Law for example.  The skills and personal attributes required to succeed in each, greatly differ.  We are trying to encourage students all over the country to try as many areas of law as possible before committing to one.”

Advocate of the Year Competition

Sam Carson, Manon Williams, Amanda Baiarda-Harris & Ro Goodger

On  November 24, a team of four Part 2 students – Sam Carson, Manon Williams, Amanda Baiarda-Harris & Ro Goodger  competed in the BPP Advocate of the Year competition in London. They conducted a criminal trial and a civil trial all taking part in making a speech/application or client interviewing and either examination in chief or cross-examination.

Out of 96 participants across the country, Sam Carson was placed in the top 12 and is progressing to the Grand Final in March 2019. Ro Goodger came close and has been asked to be a reserve.

The team has worked incredibly hard preparing for these trials, and have come on in leaps and bounds in their advocacy skills. This is a really tough competition and they have acquitted themselves admirably.

Uncertain Futures: EU citizenship rights in the shadow of Brexit

On November 06th 2018, Dr Ruvi Ziegler gave a well-attended lecture at Thailand’s leading Thammasat University Faculty of Law, titled ‘Uncertain Futures: EU citizenship rights in the shadow of Brexit’. During his Bangkok visit, as Acting Director of the Law School’s Postgraduate Programmes, Ruvi attended several postgraduate fairs and presented the school’s wide offering of courses to Thai students.