Gray's Inn

Pupil Advocacy Course

The course is designed in stages to help pupils progressively strengthen their skills in preparation for starting their 2nd Six. It culminates with a mock trial exercise (usually held at the Royal Courts of Justice or the Central Criminal Court).

Very helpful feedback as ever - very pleased to have the opportunity to have a specialist criminal session

Course stages

Each stage is taught in small groups of (usually) six pupils with two accredited advocacy trainers and, in all exercises, pupils perform as advocates. Using the Hampel Method we teach through giving one to one feedback on the performance, not by lecturing. The trainer will identify one aspect of the performance, explaining to the pupil what they did, why it is inappropriate and how to avoid the problem. The trainer will then demonstrate to the pupil how to improve before asking the pupil to replay that aspect of their performance. This usually succeeds in getting a single message across; the pupil can then build on that in subsequent performances. The core components on the course are;

Case Analysis

An introduction to case analysis.

Witness Handling, Practice Management, Ethics

Pupils are guided through the transition from academic student to independent advocate. In small groups, pupils will participate in a witness handling workshop (practising examination in chief and cross-examination of witnesses). This stage will also cover practice management and the ethical issues of practice. Topics covered include tenancy decisions, professional insurance, accounts and record keeping, skeleton arguments and court etiquette. 

Legal Argument

This is a single-session introduction to legal argument. Pupils perform by making or opposing an injunction application and their performances are reviewed by the trainers.

Interlocutory Exercise

This stage consists of two separate applications, one of which is prepared by each pair of pupils, and is split between two separate evenings. The first evening consists of a skeleton argument review, where pupils have the chance to discuss their skeleton arguments with the trainers before their oral submissions. On the second sessions pupils will perform before a real judge. During the exercises, the judges behave as they would in a real case (although they will later give some advice to the pupils) and the trainers will, during or after each performance, give feedback.

The Trial Exercise

This stage consists of a preparatory ’case analysis’ session, followed by an all-day session on a Saturday (usually held at the Royal Courts of Justice or the Central Criminal Court).  The case involves three parties; each party is represented by a pair of pupils and witnesses are usually played usually by the previous year’s pupils. The exercise is performed before a real judge.

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