Antonis's Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre experience

Antonis Charalambous is a Student Manager for the Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre (MJRC) at the University of Sheffield. In this blog post he talks about his experience with the Centre, and what he's learnt along the way.

Photograph of MJRC Student Manager Antonis
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The MJRC is an amazing experience to get involved with during your university years that will award you with employability skills and further enhance your university experience by connecting you with like-minded individuals.

Antonis Charalambous

Student Manager, Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre

After 3-years as a volunteer for the Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre (MJRC) at the University of Sheffield, I have successfully managed to hold various positions including the role of Student Manager, which I currently hold. Initially, I got involved with the MJRC after attending the student fair at the School of Law during my first year, where I vividly remember walking down the corridors of Bartolomé House looking for a pro-bono clinic to join. Overwhelmed with options, I decided to take my chances with the MJRC due to the clinics’ criminal-law nature. In hindsight, I made the right decision to join the MJRC, as I have enjoyed, and I keep enjoying every moment of it.
What I enjoy the most about the MJRC is the clinics’ criminal nature, allowing us (volunteers) to work on real-life criminal cases. For example, during my three years of volunteering, I have worked on homicide cases and overseen sexual offence cases.

The above experiences have given me real-life legal knowledge that I can apply in a professional context and prepare me for the realities of criminal law. It is extremely important for graduates that want to pursue a career in criminal law to be prepared to correctly handle the sensitive cases the specific field of law offers. Nevertheless, even if the MJRC makes you realise that a career in criminal law is not for you, it still has loads to offer that employers scrutinise to find in potential candidates. For example, the MJRC allows you to build excellent client relationships as you must keep weekly contact with your client, including CVP video link meetings every so often.

The sign at the entrance to Bartolomé House, listing the Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre
The sign at the entrance to Bartolomé House, listing the Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre

Your weekly correspondence with your client not only helps you build brilliant client relationships, but also enhances your awareness of your clients’ needs, a skill that is rarely found by employers, but one that is in great demand. All in all, the MJRC offers great opportunities for students to build their employability skills and be at the top of the selection pool.

Additionally, it should be highlighted that the Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre is not just an organisation that helps you build your employability skills, it is an organisation that makes your university experience more rewarding. After volunteering for the MJRC for the past three years it has helped me meet great individuals and create amazing friendships. More importantly, it is also a great support bubble for difficult times, especially during the days of strong Covid-19 restrictions.

Overall, the MJRC is an amazing experience to get involved with during your university years that will award you with employability skills and further enhance your university experience by connecting you with like-minded individuals.

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