23 November 2009

Students face the gavel in new moot court

Photo: Prof Keith Burnett with Law graduate Frances Murphy

Law students at the University swapped the lecture theatre for the courtroom following the official opening of a new Moot Court on Wednesday 18 November 2009.

The Moot Court, based in the School of Law at Bartolomé House, Winter Street, will allow students to hold simulated court proceedings and argue hypothetical cases to enhance their studies. The court was opened by University of Sheffield law graduate Frances Murphy, Head of Corporate Practice at law firm Slaughter and May, which funded the build and previously funded the School of Law’s Internet Café.

Current students from the School of Law then marked the grand opening by conducting the first moot in the authentically designed ‘courtroom’, which features sound and vision recording facilities, as well as oak panelling.

Professor Joanna Shapland, Head of the School of Law said: “We are extremely grateful to Slaughter and May for their generous support of the School of Law. This excellent facility that they have funded will give students a proper forum in which to compete in moots and hone their legal skills.

“University of Sheffield law students have been very successful in the past at mooting – thanks to the generosity of Slaughter and May we look forward to further successes and being able to host mooting competitions in proper surroundings.”

Stephanie Cunningham, a third year law student at the University of Sheffield, said: “Having a Moot Court allows students to have an effective place to practise speaking skills in a more realistic setting.

“This helps build confidence and get experience of what it is like to speak in a courtroom environment. Being able to record your performance is really helpful as it allows you to identify your errors and address them in order to improve.”

Sarah Lee, Trainee Recruitment Partner at Slaughter and May, said: "Slaughter and May are delighted to support the Moot Court which will give students a great opportunity to develop their communication and practical legal skills."