This term a group of 4 second year law students were entered in the Advocate of the Year Competition 2016 to represent the University of Reading. The competition was run by BPP Law School on the weekend of the 26th/27th November in 5 regional centres across the country. The team travelled to Birmingham and spent the weekend participating in mock criminal and civil trial exercises, being observed and marked by staff from BPP’s Bar Professional Training Course.
Our University of Reading team was Sasha Ford, Hayley Newell, Daiana Serban and Oliver Morriss. They worked together as a team for each trial, with different team members taking roles in client interviewing, conducting examination in chief, cross-examination and making submissions; these roles were rotated, so they undertook all 4 skills. They were scored out of 20 for each skill.
The University of Reading team not only won their regional competition (against the University of Birmingham, University of Warwick and another Birmingham composite team) by a resounding 10 points, but as far as we know (although this has yet to be officially confirmed) they came 3rd nationally out of 22 teams only just behind the Universities of Cambridge and Leeds (beating illustrious opposition including Oxford, UCL, Kings, Bristol, Durham, Exeter, Cardiff and many more).
Their scores individually were outstanding (with none lower than 80%) and Oliver Morriss scored highest in the Birmingham region with a score of 69/80, which we believe places him about 6th nationally (out of 88 candidates).
The Law School assisted the students with funding for their travel and accommodation and thanks should also go to the 2 Masters of Moots Nathaniel Littler and Colin Hughes (and other members of the Law Society committee) who helped the preparations by acting as witnesses who the team were able to interview and practice their questioning skills upon.
This is a fantastic win for the students, who represented their University with great pride. They have all worked incredibly hard towards this competition and their success is very well-deserved; they all have the makings of excellent advocates. We’re now looking forward to next year’s competition!