Students advance to Mooting Shield final
LLB Law students, Kelly Cronin and Amelia Ellis, took part in the semi-final of the DAC Beachcroft Mooting shield competition on March 5. The competition, run by DAC Beachcroft since 2009, underlines their belief that law students and lawyers in practice all benefit from exposure to structured advocacy and the skills involved in effective case preparation.
The shield is a knock-out competition, with three initial rounds, followed by semi-finals and a final, with progression competitive, between teams from universities from throughout Yorkshire, Manchester and the North-East.
LLB Law student Kelly Cronin said: "I can't quite believe we are in the finals but it is brilliant. We have worked really hard on each round so it is good to know that all the hard work has paid off. The key to all of our rounds has been preparation. We spend hours beforehand researching and preparing our case. Also, we keep our argument very simple and to the point as sometimes if you are too technical you can confuse the judges and make your basic point unclear. We also just wanted to enjoy it."
Speaking about her future career Kelly added: "I want to be a barrister so the competition has given me a good insight into what it will be like in court. I find that I thrive during the judicial intervention (when the judges ask questions about our legal arguments during our submissions), and I find I cope well under pressure. Having never mooted before I started off being quite nervous but I found that being on my feet really suits me. Mooting has shown me that taking the Bar is definitely the right career for me. It has also given me the confidence to believe in my own work and presentation skills."
Looking ahead to the final Kelly said: "I think we have a good chance in the final. The other team are on the BPC (Bar Professional Course). We lost to them in the first round but not by much. As a post-graduate team they should have flattened us but they didn't. Now that we have more experience and confidence I think we should give them a good run for their money."
Tom McDonald, Head of the Leeds Law School, said: "Kelly, accompanied as ever by everyone's favourite law student, River the guide dog, displayed immense poise under fire from the judicial intervention (of which there was a great deal!) and was a living example of the value of intense preparation, calmly standing her ground and responding with relevant authorities to the points raised.
"Amelia delivered a poised and polished argument, impassioned at times and bolstered again with well researched authorities, and both were impressive in their confidence, in their understanding of and compliance with court etiquette, and against a very strong team fielded by Sheffield Hallam, Amelia and Kelly were the deserving winners. We all wish Kelly and Amelia the very best of luck in the final!"
The moot is a staged court argument focusing on a particular legal issue or problem and is designed to introduce students to the courtroom experience. In the moot, two pairs of 'advocates' argue their case in front of a 'judge', the winner is the team who makes the best presentation of their legal arguments, regardless of whether they win their case or not.
Kelly and Amelia will represent Leeds Law School and the University at the final at Sovereign Barristers Chambers in Leeds on Wednesday 2 April, when they will be facing a team of Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) students from BPP Manchester. The winners of the moot final will receive a week of work experience with DAC Beachcroft.
DAC Beachcroft launched the mooting shield competition in October 2009 to help law students based at universities across Yorkshire and the North East increase their chances of breaking into the legal profession.
DAC Beachcroft is a leading international legal business with more than 2,200 people and coverage across the UK, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and North America.