Birkbeck rises to legal challenge

The College's Law School is through to the national final of mooting contest.

Birkbeck's mooting team (l to r): Santosh Carvalho, Jonathan Thorpe (mooting co-ordinator), Lewis Aldous and Daniel Cullen

Birkbeck Law School has achieved the prestigious feat of reaching the national final for a mooting competition, which enables students to showcase and sharpen their courtroom skills.

The team triumphed in a semi-final heat of the Oxford University Press National Moot Competition against City University. The students now go forward to the climax of the contest, taking place at Inner Temple Inn of Court on 28 June, for which the Court of Appeal’s Lady Justice Hallett DBE will be judging.

Moots are competitions between law schools, giving students the chance to practise and hone their advocacy skills. Birkbeck has a long tradition of providing moot training for its law students.

The Law School's mooting team of Daniel Cullen and Lewis Aldous fought the first three rounds, with Santosh Carvalho taking over from Lewis in the semi-final clash. All three team members are studying for the intensive LLM Qualifying Law Degree in addition to working, in common with many other Birkbeck students.

To get to the final, the teams have had to research and advocate a wide range of legal subjects, from contempt of court to contract law.

Jonathan Thorpe, coordinator of the Birkbeck mooting programme and a college alumnus who was awarded his LLB in 2010, said: “'Birkbeck has a long-standing mooting programme. Students train at the weekends and take part in internal competitions before being selected to represent Birkbeck against other law schools. We enter the major moots each year and have a tradition of doing well in these, but this year our success is exceptional, having reached the final of one of the major nationals.

“The experience of mooting is extremely valuable and students wishing to practise law should consider participating. One of our team, Lewis Aldous, has been awarded a full scholarship by Inner Temple Inn of Court to study to be a barrister, and I am confident that the other members of the team will be equally successful.”

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