…And justice for all – Student Case Study

My work experience consisted of five days with the chambers Three Raymond Buildings whereby I completed a mini pupillage. The aim of this work was to better my understanding of the work of a practising barrister, thus providing an insight into their daily lives and the different forms of work they may undertake within the week. I completed two of the days alongside a barrister working in Southwark Crown Court, another two in the Royal Courts of Justice and the final day was spent in Wood Green Crown Court.

Before completion of these five days I was briefly familiar with the work of a barrister through previous experience with a judge, albeit I had never shadowed a barrister. I was fortunate to work with three barristers within the week whom were all working on a variety of cases. This variation was incredibly appreciated as it allowed for a large insight. I was even fortunate enough to shadow a barrister in the Court of Appeal whereby I saw the functioning of a very different court an system. For this it can be said that I was able to understand and acknowledge the variety of work expected of a lawyer practising within the criminal field.

Whist this experience was limited in that it was only shadowing, I was able to develop skills of listening and note taking. This may seem to be a very basic comment, however in law it is a key ingredient to success in the profession. I was able to differentiate between key information within a case and also observe as to what the judge or jury were paying more attention to. In addition to this I also enjoyed listening and observing a variety of barrister and their varying techniques. I was able to make personal decisions on advocacy which was more persuasive and admiring, and contrast this with examples which were not so successful. i.e. counsels which failed to win their case or provide a really strong submission. Techniques which I was fond of will thus stay at the forefront of my mind and I will most likely adopt these approaches if I continue to practise advocacy in the future.

In order to compete in the legal society following graduation it is essential to show key understanding and involvement in the legal sector throughout your degree. By completing this mini pupillage I am this able to add this credit to my CV and hence improve my applications for future legal training I am likely to try and pursue after graduation. Nevertheless, this mini pupillage will also help in the short term. As this is my first mini pupillage I can therefore combine this experience with marshalling I completed with a judge in May and use this as the ‘foot in the door’. This now gives me a huge advantage for applying to other alike work experience as competing firms will recognise previous voluntary work and experience I am beginning to undertake and hoping to develop.

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