The Honorable Society of Gray’s Inn hosted an Advocacy Training Day on Saturday 15 October 2016.
The focus of the practical sessions was on Witness Examination / Cross Examination.
This was quite rare and appreciated by all students in attendance as most advocacy days and mooting workshops at universities focus on other elements of advocacy; voice, body language, vocabulary and other formalities.
3 Top Tips – Listen, Listen, Listen. It was taught that a witness can completely throw off your scripted line of questioning or can offer you a gold nugget. This is why listening is key!
The day saw addresses by the Inn’s Bencher, members of the Education Department and leading QCs and Barristers who gave up their Saturdays to train us.
The offer of BPTC scholarships was highlighted.
The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) is the vocational stage – postgraduate course – which allows law graduates to be named and practice as barristers in England & Wales. Costs for the BPTC is steep, close to £20K.
The final stage of training (after the BPTC) is a Pupillage which is a compulsory training contract which usually lasts one year. Some students are fortunate enough to be offered a Pupillage before commencing the BPTC (which they will pursue after completing the BPTC). Some chambers allow students to draw down on their Pupillage offer to fund the BPTC year.
Thousands complete the BPTC every year but there are only approximately 400 Pupillages to go around. Needless to say, the competition for these scholarships are fierce. Therefore students are cautioned on the risk involved in pursuing the BPTC without a scholarship or a Pupillage offer.
We received great advice on how to get through these stages alive.
I missed my opportunity to have a picture taken with The Right Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond, Deputy President of The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, who gave an address at a reception at the end of the day. Please note you should never wait for the crowd to fade away, join the crowd, be the crowd.
I must note that the Creole fish was out-of-this-world delicious – definitely gave my compliments to the chef!
There was also filming on that day for the movie, The Children Act and Emma Thompson Emma Thompson to star in The Children Act was there – how often does that happen? The movie is set around Ian McEwan’s 2014 novel which was partly inspired by real-life cases presided over by his friends.
Of course, I was immediately reminded of the case I studied in my first year of Law School, R v Blaue.
It is always a pleasure attending such events as much more than the skills are gained. It is a wonderful opportunity to forge new friendships.
Permission has been granted to post on the event. Please note that this content is NOT to be taken as legal advice.
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