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.