Students to gain realistic court room experience

Students to gain realistic court room experience

Appearing in a court room can be a daunting experience, as much for expert witnesses and lawyers as defendants.

This month (Oct 27) University of Cumbria students in social work, midwifery, law and mental health nursing courses will be making use of the atmospheric environment of the old court rooms in the Citadel, Carlisle to give them a sense of what they can expect when they qualify.

Alongside their lecturers a mock family court case and mental health tribunal will be held offering realistic experience. The reputation of the event, the third time it has been held, has grown with serving NHS staff also applying to attend. 

“The courtroom event is part of an initiative which focuses on educating students to become professionals who are ready and able to practice when they graduate,” Kirsteen Laidlaw, senior lecturer in rehabilitation and social work, said. “Social work students would not normally have an opportunity to acquire court skills during their studies but this mock trial experience allows them to gain first-hand involvement in integrating theory and legislative knowledge into contemporary practice.”

As well as university lecturers, Linda Vance, former Divisional Crown Prosecutor in Cumbria and current member of Police Commissioner's Scrutiny Panel and NHS Governor will guide students in their advocacy preparation. Christopher Armstrong, solicitor and former bench legal advisor for Cumbria will act as judge and lend realism to the court sessions.

“At the University of Cumbria we believe it is important that our students are prepared for and have an understanding of the profession in which they will be working, to be involved in the experience of court proceedings and to understand the protocols and complexities of working in the legal arena,“ University of Cumbria principal law lecturer Ann Thanaraj explains. “Having the chance to work in a real court environment is part of our many initiative which focuses on educating students to become professionals who are ready and able to practice when they graduate.”

Alongside their lecturers a mock family court case and mental health tribunal will be held offering realistic experience. The reputation of the event, the third time it has been held, has grown with serving NHS staff also applying to attend. 

“The courtroom event is part of an initiative which focuses on educating students to become professionals who are ready and able to practice when they graduate,” Kirsteen Laidlaw, senior lecturer in rehabilitation and social work, said. “Social work students would not normally have an opportunity to acquire court skills during their studies but this mock trial experience allows them to gain first-hand involvement in integrating theory and legislative knowledge into contemporary practice.”

As well as university lecturers, Linda Vance, former Divisional Crown Prosecutor in Cumbria and current member of Police Commissioner's Scrutiny Panel and NHS Governor will guide students in their advocacy preparation. Christopher Armstrong, solicitor and former bench legal advisor for Cumbria will act as judge and lend realism to the court sessions.

“At the University of Cumbria we believe it is important that our students are prepared for and have an understanding of the profession in which they will be working, to be involved in the experience of court proceedings and to understand the protocols and complexities of working in the legal arena,“ University of Cumbria principal law lecturer Ann Thanaraj explains. “Having the chance to work in a real court environment is part of our many initiative which focuses on educating students to become professionals who are ready and able to practice when they graduate.”