Why this mooting competition was a highlight of our university years

Participating in mooting competitions is an excellent way to develop your advocacy skills – particularly if you are looking to pursue a career at the bar. The Law School has a well established advocacy programme open to current students throughout the academic year. Current undergraduate law students, Cher Lyne Peh and Chloe Yeung impressively came in second place from 64 universities competing at the OUP & ICCA National Moot Competition. Read their blog below to find out more about what the competition entailed and what they learned during this experience.

Cher Lyne Peh & Chloe Yeung
Cher Lyne Peh & Chloe Yeung

It all started back in September 2021 when we came across the OUP & ICCA National Moot Competition 2021-2022. Having had some mooting experience, we wanted to challenge ourselves and compete at a national level.

The Competition

The Moot took place over eight months and consisted of 64 competing universities/teams across the UK. Each round engaged different legal topics and issues which were very current and mostly unresolved. We were able to moot on cases awaiting the judgment of the Supreme Court such as Fearn v The Tate Gallery [2020] EWCA Civ 104, Paul v The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust [2022] EWCA Civ 12 and many more. In the Grand Finals, we were judged by The Rt Honourable Lady Justice Andrews and were invited to dine at Middle Temple.


In each round, we started preparation by doing a broad sweep of the topic across platforms such as Westlaw, LexisNexis and so on. Most of the time, the moot problem would be on a general area of law that we were familiar with (e.g. tort). However, the actual subject area would be a lot more niche (e.g. psychiatric injury for secondary victims and overlooking into neighbours’ windows as a form of tortious nuisance).

“Since the moot problems were set in the Supreme Court, anything could be overturned or overruled, so we had licence to stretch our imagination!”

Hence, we looked beyond merely applying primary sources such as cases and legislation; we looked at the intention of the relevant legislation, rationale of decided case law, academic commentaries and law reform proposals from the UK and other commonwealth countries in order to build strong arguments and a good foundation of knowledge.

Secondly, we would refine, test and build on each other’s thinking processes to establish (hopefully!) not only sound but original legal arguments. We would embark on a “rebuttal exercise” where we would put forward rebuttals to each of our arguments to ensure that comprehensive responses had been crafted for any opposing arguments and judicial intervention we could think of. We would then summarise these into documents called “skeleton arguments”, to be submitted to our opponents and judges well before each round.

Cher Lyne Peh & Chloe Yeung

Thirdly, preparing to advocate orally was the next stage of the process. A very practical and effective way to test our fluency, ability to respond to judicial interventions and the strengths of our submissions was to practice them with the other teammate intervening as the judge. For the Grand Finals, we were instructed to print our bundles and skeleton arguments to better simulate an in-person courtroom environment. Filing and tabbing our bundles in heavy ring binders, then carrying them to London with us for the competition, was certainly a physically taxing ordeal, but was truly an exciting moment for both of us!


The requisite skills of research, legal-mindedness, quick thinking and fluent advocacy are essential for mooting, particularly at a competitive level. However, the first skill that helped us progress to the finals of the competition, ultimately winning second place was definitely having a strategy.

“In a national competition comprising many excellent universities and students, we knew that we had to go above and beyond the traditional mooting scorecard criteria of good advocacy skill and knowledge of the law  – we had to stand out and be original.”

Secondly, mooting on such complex and controversial topics meant that we had to develop a firm grasp of the core issues in each moot problem. Broad research was undoubtedly important, but just like tackling any problem question in an exam, we had to distinguish the helpful resources and strong arguments from the peripheral, insignificant ones, so to build a case that was not simply effective and strong, but focused, persuasive and easy to understand.

Cher Lyne Peh & Chloe Yeung

Finally, teamwork was crucial to our success. Having mooted with each other previously, we knew of each other’s particular strengths, and so delegated arguments and speaker positions accordingly. More broadly though, having a teammate meant that we could bounce ideas off each other and be constructively critical of each other’s thought processes, which helped us massively as we progressed into more difficult rounds.

Final Thoughts

Getting to moot in front of a Court of Appeal judge at the Middle Temple was a great honour and privilege for us, and definitely one of the highlights of our university years.

Cher Lyne Peh & Chloe Yeung

This competition tested our ability to research a broad range of unfamiliar and unresolved areas of the law and use it for a hypothetical client’s interest. This experience no doubt affirmed and enhanced our skills as advocates, law students and aspiring barristers, and has been an extremely memorable way to end our time at the University of Bristol.

“We would heartily recommend any student interested in pursuing the Bar, or a career in law, to represent Bristol at this competition in the years to come!”

Further information

Find out more about the practical experiences of law opportunities available to law students on our Careers and Employability webpages – and find out how you can do more with law.


Why you should apply for a Think Big about Global Justice Scholarship

Recent law graduate and recipient of a Think Big about Global Justice Scholarship, Kudzi Manase, explains how she came to study law in the first place and what inspired her to apply for the scholarship to kickstart her career.

Kudzi Manase

Why Bristol?

I was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, where I completed my IGCSE’s and A-levels in Maths, English Literature and Biology. I particularly enjoyed the last two because of how much reading was involved and was inspired to study law as a result. I chose Bristol for a number of reasons, one of which was the city’s reputation as a lively and welcoming place. More importantly, I was looking for a university that would provide me with the skills and experiences that would allow me to complete my studies as a highly employable graduate. Bristol was, and still is, ranked very highly for employability.

Figuring out my path

Before studying at University, I felt I wasn’t provided with as much careers guidance as I would have liked. Students were expected to follow very traditional career paths, but I wanted to explore things that were a bit more creative. As there wasn’t much guidance for this, I created a website where I interviewed successful Zimbabwean women based across the world in a wide range of professions. I asked them about their roles and to explain what their processes were, why they chose their specific paths and what students who wanted to go into something similar would need to do to get there.

Making my application

When I applied to Bristol, I also applied for the Think Big about Global Justice Scholarship. The scholarship is specific to University of Bristol applicants and involved writing a bit about myself, what I wanted to do once I graduated and why I chose Bristol. I also had to outline something that I had done within my community that I felt was of importance and helped as many people as possible – see above! Thankfully I was successful in gaining the scholarship which was helpful during my studies.

“When I found out that I was successful in my application, I was very excited as I’d always known Bristol was my first choice. Receiving that email only cemented my decision to study there.”

I felt that I had worked very hard in my academics and various projects, so it was something that made me feel good about all the work that I had put in up to that point.

What it was really like

One of the ways that the scholarship did push me was the requirement to maintain a certain grade level throughout my degree. I like to think that I am self-motivated, but that was definitely a nice, additional motivator! I always felt that there was support whenever I needed it at a number of different levels. At the closest level, every student is given a personal tutor – that’s someone that you can talk to about your academics and extracurricular activities whenever you need to. Just knowing that person was there whenever I needed them was amazing and a very big help! Beyond that, thinking about the law school more broadly, I always felt that whenever I had a query or an issue and reached out to someone, it was dealt with quickly and well.

There was a very diverse range of units offered by the Law School. From my own perspective, I always gravitated towards units that would allow me to go into a more corporate environment. Some of the units I took, as a result, were things like commercial, banking and corporate law to name a few. That said, for students who aren’t interested in that sort of thing, there certainly are many other units available, such as Human Rights Law, Medical Law and Land Law to name a few.

Tailoring my degree and specialising

In my final year, I decided to study IT law. There were a number of reasons for this, the first of which was the novelty. A lot of my units were very much tailored towards going into either banking or corporate law, but IT Law was more diverse and covered a lot of different areas. We studied how IT features in the work that the police do, in medicine and social media, to name a few. The other reason I chose the unit was because of how inescapable information technology has become. It made sense to be able to understand how the law in this space was evolving as a result and the impact it could have on myself and others as consumers.

“My experience at the University of Bristol was amazing. Being able to learn alongside students who are very ambitious and who expect great things in their future really does encourage you to continue working hard. Bristol provided me with an environment where I felt encouraged and able to achieve my ambitions.”

My experiences at the university of Bristol have been incredibly helpful in helping me settle into my role as a graduate analyst and are sure to continue being useful as I progress in my career.

Find out more

Applications for the Think Big about Global Justice Scholarships are now open. The first deadline for applications is 28 March 2022. Find out more about the scholarship on the Law School Funding webpage.

How being a volunteer in a dynamic university has changed me

For this blog we caught up with Aryan Mandal, who shares his thoughts about being an international student here – and how the culture and spirit of the university, combined with his experience working as a volunteer lawyer, has seen him grow as a human with ambition for the future.

Aryan Mandal

How has your experience at the University of Bristol shaped you?

The University of Bristol is always changing, always evolving – it’s so dynamic in nature. It’s all about new ideas, new cultures, new traditions and it makes you think differently.  It’s made me understand my choices. I’ve had such beautiful courses, such beautiful optional units, it has shaped my future ambition. I’m very thankful to the university for that. It’s all about choosing something which you deserve and choosing something that suits you.  When I came in here, I always thought I wanted to become a barrister in the area of human rights law. But then Bristol changed that completely. I still want to become a barrister, but in the field of commercial law, in the field of arbitration law.

What is the Law Clinic – and how did it help form your future goals?

The University of Bristol Law Clinic provides social service to anyone who needs advice with regard to legal problems, and I think that is what makes University of Bristol stand apart. It helps people solve their legal problems without any costs, and I feel that is what is needed. Free legal aid, helping people, advising people, that is what us volunteer lawyers are. You help that person, you make a difference to that person’s life by your advice, and that person can decide whether or not to take it to litigation or arbitration or mediation and then get resolution out of it. That can make a real difference to their lives

“It’s not always about getting something out of it. It’s not always something about gaining reputation, but it’s about helping people. And that is what a law degree is actually about. It’s about human rights. It’s about how you can help, how you can make a change to another person.”

What cases have you worked on as a volunteer in the Clinic and what have they taught you?

I have undertaken many different cases and been involved in many different activities. From cases involving family law and environmental law to arbitration and mediation. These experiences have got me ready for the legal world. I’m advising clients every month and that gets me ready to go out there as a lawyer after three years and advise clients. The Law Clinic taught me the procedures to do that, and that’s the biggest blessing for me because going out there as a lawyer, you never might know how to advise a client or how to write advise or draft advice. But the Law Clinic prepares you for all of that.

What other activities have helped you build practical skills? 

Offering students the opportunity to get involved with the many different mooting competitions that are available around the world is another way the Law School helps you develop skills for your future career.  My highlight of being here is taking part in the KK Luthra International Moot Court competition as the lead mooter. Mooting generally helps you gain confidence in yourself. It helps you know what it is to stand in that court and argue as counsel for a client, making a difference to that person. It is such an important part the career and employability provision – and there is an array of opportunities that you can get involved in as an international student.  There’s so much to do I have never felt that, well, I’ve come to a different country, what’s going to happen? I’ve never felt that. And that is what is so pleasing to me. 

What advice would you give a student thinking about studying here?

My big bit of advice is just accept your offer. Just accept it and come here because there’s nothing better. There’s nothing better than the University of Bristol Law School. It’s highly ranked. It’s research intensive. It’s top five in UK for research. And they accept you with open arms. They’re so welcoming to international students. You go to the library, you sit among people and they become your best friends. I feel that is what the University of Bristol’s all about. That is what the culture in Bristol is all about. That is what the city is all about.  

Find out more

Don’t forget to read the full Volunteering Week blog series to find out more about the options for gaining real-life experiences of law, in social justice and beyond, whilst studying at the Law School. Find out more about our Law Clinic work and careers opportunities on our webpages.

My experience as a Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholar and how it has helped shape my future

The University of Bristol supports eligible first year law students to apply for the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme. Launched in 2013, the scheme seeks to address the disproportionate under-representation of black and black mixed-race men from less socially mobile backgrounds in large commercial law firms, and in recent years other ‘City’ careers too. Each year students will work closely with lawyers and other professionals within Freshfields, and at other City organisations.

This year three University of Bristol law students were amongst only 13 successful applicants – a fantastic achievement. They follow in the footsteps of two previous University of Bristol law students who also won scholarships and whose feedback on the scheme, and the support offered, was exceptional. We caught up with Jeante Nero who was one of the three Bristol law students to join the scheme in 2021, as he tells us his thoughts on the scheme and why you should apply.

Jeante Nero

Why did you decide to apply for the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship?

“I was contacted by the Law School’s Career adviser Jo Cooksley who nominated me for the opportunity. Upon attending the online welcome event I emailed a previous 2020 scholar, Oli, and asked a few additional questions about it. I applied because I thought it was a fantastic opportunity, and rightly so, to gain insight into the commercial world. I am so much more aware than I ever would’ve been with how things work.”

When you were selected for the scholarship, how did this make you feel?

“I honestly didn’t think I’d be offered a scholarship after the assessment days. I felt like there were so many great applicants so when I found out I’d been awarded one I was quite shocked but my excitement for the programme overcame most of the imposter syndrome.”

What is offered on the scholarship and what do you feel you have gained from the opportunity?

“You get invaluable insight into the commercial world, and incredible mentorship from people at the top of their field. There are a number of City and legal careers we explore on the programme: the focus is a primarily commercial one, but that’s not to say you cannot receive guidance on other areas. Mentors are great at helping you to explore fields you’re interested in. This process has helped me discover that my true passion resides in human rights and civil law, possibly as a barrister. The skills sessions included in the development programme will help me succeed in the competitive area that I plan to move in to. Sessions so far have included ‘ESG’ (environmental, social, governance), tech and innovation, writing skills, personal and professional branding, and building resilience. The unique thing about the programme is the networks it seeks to build, including among scholars and candidates. I don’t know of another programme that brings together black men with the potential to succeed.”

What advice would you give to someone thinking of applying?

“Just do it (not to sound cliché). You have nothing to lose by applying and the assessment centre is great practice for the future. You don’t have to be set on entering the commercial world. This programme can help with a wide range of careers. Don’t be scared to apply or doubt your capabilities. The criteria can seem daunting, but Freshfields considers potential in a number of ways, and far too often we underestimate our own capabilities. There’s even a great offering for those who don’t win a scholarship.”

How can I find out more about the scheme and how to apply?

You can find out more about this fantastic scheme via this link. If you are studying law at the University of Bristol and think that you might be eligible for the scheme, you can contact Jo Cooksley (law-employability@bristol.ac.uk) to find out more.

My internship experience: developing my employability, furthering my academic studies and working to promote race equality

Recent LLB law graduate, Lottie Boateng-Kennett tells us more about undertaking an internship working as a Research Assistant at Research Action Coalition for Race Equality (RACE) at the end of her final year – opening up opportunities, experiences and the making of new friends in the sphere of understanding and tackling race and equality.

“I have literally never worked in such a nurturing, compassionate and refreshing space centred upon a commitment to race equality. Interning with RACE has been one huge lightbulb moment!”

Lottie Boateng-Kennett (right)


I saw the role advertised as part of the Bristol Model through the Professional Liaison Network, in the last few weeks of my Law LLB. Studying Law and Race, Immigration Law and framing my Final Year Research Project on the injustices suffered by the Windrush Generation lit a fire inside me. Born and raised in Bristol, I was empowered to contribute to tangible change within the race equality space and this role was the perfect opportunity to do so. Opening that email and applying was one of the best things I did the entire year.

The Role, The Team

I applied to intern with RACE because I had never seen a role like it. I’m not sure if that was because I wasn’t looking in the right place, or because I simply didn’t know that roles like this existed. I was so thrilled that in my interview, I said ‘I’m so excited’ maybe 50 times.

I worked with RACE as a Research Assistant. With my colleagues, Tobi and Morayo, I worked under the supervision of Angelique, Mina and Saffron and with other incredible members of the team – like Kat who took some time out of her busy schedule to provide us with some social media and communications training. If it’s one thing the RACE Team will do, it’s ensure you are equipped.

The Project

My primary role was on the Mapping element of the Project with Morayo, though tangential tasks arose incrementally throughout the Summer. It was very flexible and very self-driven. You take on as much as you can and have free reign to get involved in as much as you’d like. For example, whilst thinking through ideas one afternoon, we came up with #BSWhatDoYouThink? – a hashtag Black South West Network (BSWN) now uses to promote its debate platform. We were invited to live-tweet the RACE Launch Event. We worked on a video on Being Gen Z with BSWN. We were encouraged to write submissions, articles, think-pieces. Your ideas are truly valued here.

The Mapping Project was our little baby. In the early stages, it required rudimentary research into publicly available data. Once we had the foundations in place, it was time to start interviewing organisations. Morayo and I met so many incredible people, bodies and networks that do brilliant work. The main objective was to create a physical map, for both Bristol City Council and for RACE. I would never have imagined that I would be attached to a map. But I am. It’s our Summer’s work – and I think it’s fantastic. It’s the first of its kind: a map of the race equality space in the South-West. We did that!

Morayo, Melissa, Natalie and Lottie

I learnt –

I think one of my favourite things about interning with RACE was the insight to a world I didn’t know existed. It was especially interesting to gain this insight through the lens of data accessibility – something I’ve never considered before.

Interning with RACE has massively expanded my skillset. It’s nurtured my confidence. From evidence-based analysis, to summarising heaps of qualitative data. I’ve developed my own interview technique. I can finally navigate Excel beyond colour coding cells. I know that I can contribute to the change I want to see, even if it is just a little.

“I’ve built connections with some of the most incredible, most hard-working, relentless people I’ve ever met and I hope to have them for a very long time. If you’re committed to race equality, intrigued by the dimensions of data accessibility and up with working with the best bunch ever, I can’t recommend this internship enough.”

Further to my internship, I was put forward for extra opportunities. I was asked to host a book launch for ‘Grown: The Black Girls’ Guide to Glowing Up’ from (Mariah-Carey-endorsed) The Black Girls Book Club, for Bloomsbury Publishers. I was invited to work for BSWN – RACE’s umbrella network – and had an excerpt of my Final Year Research Paper published in the Bristol Black History Magazine. Talking with co-authors Natalie and Melissa at Book Haus – Bristol’s newest bookshop opened by the profound David Olusoga – was a dream. It was so comforting to be surrounded by successful black women, yet paradoxically unnerving because it was a total first for me. We even sold out tickets! I love how the internship with RACE has not just ended, but that the relationships I cultivated during the Summer have turned into friendships, mentorships and other beautiful opportunities.

Find out more

Learn more about the study of law and race and what you can expect to cover in the Law School’s Law and Race unit by reading the 2021/22 unit catalogue.

The Bristol Model offers udergraduate students the opportunity to work as Research Assistants, to gain experience of academic research and apply your learning to real social and economic challenges. Working with leading academics and partner organisations you’ll make new connections and expand your professional network.

Applications are currently open for a Research Assistant role on the Research Action Coalition for Race Equality (RACE) projectdeadline 12 midday, 28 October 2021. The PLN will be recruiting for more Bristol Model Research Assistant roles between now and August 2022.

Researching outside-the-box: how to pursue interests in specialist areas of law

University of Bristol Law School alumni, Michael Gould graduated with an LLB in 2020 and has since worked in the space industry, both in business and law with Satellite Applications Catapult and First Steps Legal respectively. Also a published author with the European Space Policy Institute, his research focuses on space debris and small satellite issues. Michael has written this blog to help students and graduates research specialist areas of law suited to their career aspirations.

Michael Gould

Researching specialist areas of law can be a minefield. There can be no-one to point you in the right direction, tell you straight that it’s not worth pursuing or even walk you through considerations you might not think about on your own. More often than not, this can accumulate into a loss of confidence in the ability any student possesses to decipher the complexities of a niche area of interest. This is unfortunate both because it can dissuade students from following any hint of genuine curiosity and means that intensive legal research becomes funnelled into only a few clearly defined avenues of thought.  

For me, Space Law provided that spark. I think it was the nascency of it as well as the opportunity to be truly impactful with my ideas that interested me in the topic, and I went on to write a piece on space law for my final-year research project. However, the research process was difficult, and looking for professional opportunities was even harder. The aim of this blog is to provide some tips about researching these niche areas confidently and effectively, both for academic work and in a professional capacity.  

Immediate Contacts 

Lecturers at the University often have an eclectic set of weird and wonderful research interests, and you might be lucky enough to find a professor with a similar interest to you. It’s worth asking around and going into their Law School Profiles to investigate this possibility and contact them if so. Researchers love to talk about their research, so more often than not they will welcome the opportunity to discuss the area with you. Make use of Bristol Connects to contact alumni that have indicated a willingness to talk to students about their careers. Chances are there are a few leads that might be exactly what you’re looking for.  

A guidance appointment with the Central Careers Service or an appointment with the Law School Employability Adviser may also help you to begin to fine tune some next steps.   


Most helpful for me in both stages was the tools that LinkedIn offers. First, you have the option to follow hashtags on particular topics and, more often than not, there is already a wealth of information about the topic included in its history. This will help you locate the most poignant legal issues in the niche, find the key industry players and organisations and locate professional opportunities within the industry. Find someone in the position you want to be in 20 years and have a look at the steps they took to get there. There may even be a research organisation dedicated to your specialist area which you can get involved with, or links to introductory academic papers which explain the central tenets of the specialism. You can find out more about how to use LinkedIn here: 

Using LinkedIn: Profiles 

Using LinkedIn: Networking 

Using Linkedin: Etiquette  


In the age of Zoom, it has never been easier to attend a conference or speaker event. What was once more daunting can now be achieved from the comfort of your bedroom, and there are a wealth of opportunities out there. Start by general research into the types of conferences that may be applicable; say, if you are interested in Energy Law, researching an Environment Conference and seeing if there are any lawyers present with which you could speak to. It only takes one connection to get your foot in the door or to pique an interest, so there’s little to lose!  


Fashion lawyers, space lawyers and energy lawyers, to name a few, all likely began with nothing more than an interest. It takes effort to repeatedly justify your non-traditional focus, but the passion you have for the topic easily develops into persistence, and this passion shouldn’t be wasted just because the topic is not the ‘norm’. Who doesn’t want to love what they do for a living? 

Further information

Browse the University of Bristol Law School employability pages for more information on ways to research your career and ways to maximise opportunities with your law degree.

Why you should try mooting as a law student

Current law students, Max Sakoschek and Mayank Tripathi recently took part in the Landmark Chambers intervarsity mooting competition, representing the University of Bristol Law School. Having reached the final round, Max has written this blog post to share his wisdom on why you should give mooting a try. 

Mooting Bristol
Photo from University of Bristol Law School/UBLC Mooting Launch Night 2018-19

Being a second-year law student, one could say that my mooting experience is far from extensive, but the knowledge and skills I have gained so far in participating in a few moots this past year has given me the tools and the foundations that I will hold with me for the rest of my professional career. 

So here are my two cents on what skills one could hope to develop by participating in mooting competitions: 

Oral skills 

To get the obvious out of the way, a career in pretty much anything, requires at least a basic capacity to express oneself well  in some professions more than others. But what is sure, is that none require more attention to detail, more regard for tone, or more care in articulation than the barrister in court. It is the art of speech and the pursuit of its perfection that has driven me to a career at the bar (hopefully someday soon). Like with any skill, perfection demands practice. There is no easier way to practice this art than in a moot, facing an unconvinced judge. I have found that mooting resembles a natural conversation with a peer far more than any other form of public speaking, compared to say, debating – making it less daunting, more accessible, and ultimately more enjoyable. It is for this reason that I have come to adore mooting. 


Again, an obvious one. Mooting helps participants hone their ability to work as a team. To be honest, a lot depends on who your teammate actually is but every once in a while, you get the perfect push to your pull. This was the case between Mayank and me. By providing each other with constructive criticism and having open lines of communication, we were able to evaluate each other’s arguments, assist with research and coordinate our approach so as to formulate the very best way to deliver our submissions. 


I think attention to detail is any lawyer’s cup of tea, in some regard or other. Mooting is all about figuring out just where the law sits on an issue and it is about carving your way through the law to deliver a polished fool-proof argument. This can only be done by having a firm grip on the subject matter. Very often, it is the simplest argument that best resonates with the judge. So one could say that rigour, in mooting, is taught not through figuring out what to say but rather figuring out what is not worth saying. This skill can be transposed to all number of different aspects in life, in the office or in the court. 

Structure and succinctness 

Like with any good story, there needs to be a beginning, a middle, and an end. Too often have I seen (myself included) a participant lose themselves in their own argument, being overly wordy and repetitive. Mooting quite quickly teaches you to be sharp and to the point with anything that requires explanation. Succinctness is a skill most cherished not only by your firm, or the judge, but also by your clients. Quite paradoxically, at least for me, fluidity in speech seems to translate into fluidity of thought, rather than the other way round. Developing my skills in speech seems to have had an impact on my capacity to structure my thought processes.  


While this is a little more difficult over zoom, its application is nevertheless crucial. The very best moments in mooting for me are when I am able to change the way I deliver my submissions depending on how the judge is reacting to what I am saying. An ever so slight smirk, a nod or a frown are all as valuable as gold for any mooter, because these indicate as to whether what you are saying is at all being bought by the judge. Figuring out where you stand with a person you are speaking to is as valuable as anything for a lawyer. 


The road to the bar, as exhibited by practically every barrister out there is rife with failure, so it seems only appropriate to get used to it right out the gate. The best learning experiences you will get in mooting are when a judge completely calls you out on the logical inconsistencies of your arguments. This, I believe, will make you a better lawyer. 


Perhaps the most striking example for me was the degree of humanity I discovered when mooting in the finals of the Landmark Chambers Moot, in the privileged and terrifying position of submitting my arguments to none other than the former Supreme Court Justice Lord Carnwath and Mr David Elvin QC from Landmark Chambers, sitting as judges. My terror turned to content as I discovered that the judges were really rather pleasant and helped exemplify the principle that a barrister is really only there to aid the judge in discovering the truth of the matter and nothing more. 

All in all, mooting teaches you fundamental skills that will stick with you for the rest of your life. It’s a good laugh. Oh, and the prizes for winning usually are quite good as well – so there’s that. 

Image from Landmark Chambers Moot final round with Lord Carnwath

Further information

If you’d like to find out more about the practical opportunities available to students, through the Law School and student societies, take a look at our Careers and Employability pages. Considering studying law? See why studying at Bristol will allow you to do more with law than you ever imagined.

Are you keen to explore a career in Legal Tech?

The Law School, Engineering Industrial Liaison Office and law firm, Osborne Clarke have teamed up again to offer current law students an exclusive two-week paid placement in September 2021, focused on emerging technologies in the legal world.

The scheme

Award-winning multinational law firm Osborne Clarke has grown rapidly over recent years, with 25 offices around the world. The core sectors they work in all thrive on innovation; digital business, energy, financial services, life sciences, real estate, recruitment and transport.

They are looking for candidates who are passionate about legal tech to join them in September for a two-week placement. Based within their IT team, these technology-focussed placements will allow students to evaluate legal and emerging technologies and assess if they are viable and of use to Osborne Clarke. While these roles will be based in their IT team, it will be necessary for students to work with a cross-section of individuals, from associate to partner, as well as their OC Solutions and business support teams.

What can I expect?

Current law student, Ronald Lee took part in the placement during 2020 and said:

Ronald Lee

“I found the scheme to be incredibly helpful in exposing me to a different side of the law and demystifying the meaning of LegalTech. Especially with the current focus on digital transformation, innovation and making processes more efficient amidst the pandemic, witnessing these technologies at work made me more informed about the range of digital solutions available in the market and how it augments the role of lawyers. Despite the scheme being online, my mentors and project sponsor were very supportive throughout the whole process.”


“I would definitely recommend other students to apply for this scheme to expand their commercial awareness and gain insight into the internal support systems of a modern law firm.”


How to apply

To apply, please complete an online application form by 7 May 2021. 

How I prepare for success in my online assessment centres

Blog post by current LLB Law with Study Abroad student, Rosie Humphris as she explains her steps for success in preparing for online assessment centres.

Following the successful completion of an assessment centre with a top London law firm, DLA Piper, I was asked to comment on the how participating in lectures gave me the skills to successfully obtain a Summer Internship.  

Participation within lectures can sometimes seem trivial. So long as we attend and listen to what is being said, surely this is enough? With COVID-19 changing the way we work to online platforms, it can be very easy to fall into a routine of hiding behind our computer screens. We sit there with our screens off, muted, and hope for the best that the lecturer doesn’t know how to implement breakout rooms.  

Upon reflection, participation and discussion within lectures has been profoundly important to my success. Discussion in lectures enables you to build a wide range of skills which align with the skills needed to be successful in assessment centres. As a result, I thought it would be worth sharing these with you. 

Firstly, confidence is key.

Assessment centres usually involve interaction with a range of individuals from other students to partners of the law firm. As well as this, they often encompass completing tasks that you are unfamiliar with. By participating in discussions in lectures and tutorials, this will inevitably boost your confidence in talking aloud to a range of people, enable you to build ideas on topics that are new to you and think on the spot about your opinions. 

Secondly, obtaining the skills to be a good listener is crucial.

A substantial part of succeeding in an assessment centre is being able to show the assessors that you are able to work well with others, listening to them and building on what they have to say. This aligns with the central role of discussion in lectures and tutorials. Being able to take in another student’s idea, form an opinion and present that opinion to the group is exactly the opportunity that lectures offer you. 

Finally, as simple as it may sound, being able to virtually present yourself well is important.

Assessors are unlikely to be impressed by a black screen. They want to see who you are as a person and a lot can often be told by someone’s body language. Whilst it may seem daunting to turn on your cameras in lectures, this simple act will prepare you well for interviews and assessment day activities where you are no longer able to hide behind a screen and have to present yourself well. Whilst we may not all feel comfortable broadcasting how our bedrooms look to the public or our younger siblings new TikTok dance they are completing behind us, there are a lot of people in the same position and we all understand.  

Overall, discussion in lectures and tutorials goes beyond helping you succeed in your degree. With many of us starting to job-hunt, the skills built from discussions are key to our success. In an unprecedented time where it is easy to fall into the trap of hiding behind our screens, the skills that can be built from discussion must be acknowledged, encouraging the simple click of the ‘share video/audio’ button. 

Further information

Find resources to help build your skills with interviews, assessment centres and more on the Law School Careers and Employability Blackboard page.

My experience on the Pinsent Masons virtual vacation scheme

Latest blog post by LLB law student, Maddison Seed.

My name is Maddison and this summer I joined Pinsent Masons as a vacation scheme student, albeit a virtual one! Despite its differences to traditional in-person vacation schemes, this was a fantastic experience that was innovative, engaging and fun.

The Virtual Platform

The Virtual Vacation Scheme was hosted on Inside Sherpa; this is a digital platform with online programs that contain tasks designed to simulate various career roles.

The vacation scheme consisted of five tabs: Home, Schedule, Internship Hub, Networking Hub, and Chat & Inbox. The Home page presented your upcoming events; the Internship Hub was where you could access the resources for your assigned tasks and various videos on Pinsent Masons; and the Networking Hub was a directory of students and employees involved in the vacation scheme. It showed a photo of each person, and if you clicked on a person’s photo you could read a fun fact about them!

In addition to Inside Sherpa, Pinsent Masons used Microsoft Teams. By clicking on the event you wanted to attend on either the Home page or Schedule, you were automatically directed to Teams, where you could join the event call.

Contact on the scheme

We were each allocated a mentor (a qualified solicitor) and a trainee buddy who were our main points of contact throughout the scheme. They were easily reachable via the Inside Sherpa platform, Teams or email. They were also extremely supportive and on hand to give advice and answer all our questions.

Plus, we were given a teammate – this was another student who had applied to the same office, and shared your mentors and trainee buddy. Teammates acted as a friendly face during the scheme, and someone who you could work together with.

Structure of the scheme

The scheme consisted of live webinars on Teams, tasks to complete in your own time, and the odd social!

The webinars were a mixture of talks and workshops. The talks ranged in subject: examples include a presentation on how to be a successful trainee, panel discussions on COVID-19 and innovation, and Q&As with Richard Foley, the global Senior Partner at Pinsent Masons. The workshops were interactive, and the use of ‘breakout rooms’ on Teams allows us to collaborate in smaller groups. An example of a workshop was the commercial awareness exercise: we were faced with tricky ethical dilemmas which each group had to discuss and provide a solution for.

We were assigned two tasks to complete in our own time. The first one was to review a contract in order to provide answers to the client’s questions. The second one was to complete a due diligence report- this involved reading through all the client’s company documents to identify any issues. When we finished the tasks, we had a 1:1 session with our mentor who provided us with positive and constructive feedback.

Pinsent Masons made a big effort to ensure that we could still network and have fun! We had a quiz and a game of bingo, but my favourite social was the cocktail/mocktail event. Each office set up a Zoom call to make a cocktail/mocktail and there was a competition to see which office made the best one. The event was done in a ‘shocking shirt’ theme which only added to the fun!

(Birmingham Office Cocktail/Mocktail Event- I am in the shockingly bright green shirt!)

 Advantages to participating in a virtual vacation scheme

There were actually many advantages to completing the vacation scheme virtually, but I will focus on two of them.

The first benefit is that we could experience a range of tasks. Had we been in the office, we would have only been able to complete tasks pertaining to our allocated seat. However, because we completed the scheme virtually, the tasks allowed us to dabble in multiple different areas. Going back to the due diligence task I mentioned earlier, the documents we reviewed covered many areas of law, from commercial to IP, instead of just focusing on documents relating to one practice area. As such, we gained a broad knowledge of how different areas of law inter-relate and work in practice.

The second benefit is that the online platform allowed us to connect with vacation scheme students from all the UK offices: everyone was contactable through the Networking Hub and we all joined the same webinars. This meant that we could form long-lasting relationships with people who we may not have been able to meet had we been confined to one office.

How to prepare for a virtual vacation scheme

To conclude my blog, I will share some tips on how to prepare for a virtual vacation scheme.

Keep in mind the general advice for traditional in-person vacation schemes. Although you’re not in the office, don’t forget to be yourself and ask lots of questions. This includes asking for help- your mentor and trainee buddy are there to help you and want you to do well!

When you participate in events (whether that be talks, workshops, video meetings etc), make sure you keep your camera on so that they know you are engaged. You can make a good impression by actively listening: nodding, smiling and making notes. But remember that if your camera is on, it’s very important that you dress professionally (even if that is only your top half!) and have a tidy background.

Please don’t be put off by the fact that a vacation scheme is virtual. I had an incredible time with Pinsent Masons. I experienced multiple areas of law in practice, networked with people of all levels in the firm (Trainee, Associate, Partner and even Senior Partner!), and made some friends for life.