Most courts and tribunals are public, and anyone can go and observe a hearing.
We run an annual programme of court visits and mock trials for law students to observe hearings and become familiar with court procedure.
These involve visiting a court as part of a group, and in some cases meeting with a Judge.
If students are interested in observing hearings by yourself or organising a group visit, there are many local courts and tribunals in the area of Clerkenwell, Westminster and the City of London. Find your local court by visiting the government website, and check first whether the hearings are public.
At the City Law School we arrange extra-curricular activities which allow students to develop their ‘lawyering’ skills. Participating in mock trials is a great way to develop legal confidence and advocacy skills.
All City Law School students have exclusive access to the Law IRL Moodle pages and you can register for a court visit . Observing hearings is a great way to experience the English legal system in practice and a chance to see advocacy in action.
A mock trial teaches you to present your ideas in public and to assess, examine and criticise information. It also gives you a realistic idea of what working in a courtroom entails. Usually mock trials are conducted using a simulated criminal case study, and are based in the Crown Court. Students play the roles of witness, jurors, and barristers. We also provide opportunities to participate in civil litigation mock trials.
How it works
The ‘Judge’ will conduct the trial as he/she would in real life and you will have the chance to observe and interact when it’s your time to role-play. At the end of the mock trial, the ‘Judge’ will tell you what the ‘Jury’ has decided and give you feedback on how the trial went.
If you are new to the concept of mock trials we also recruit for placements such as Debatemate, Young Citizens, and Vocalise, which provide similar opportunities for students to grow their skills. All details are published on our LawIRL Moodle page available exclusively to City Law School students.
Participating in mock trials is a great way to develop your legal CV, as you will be able to gain skills such as legal research, teamwork, advocacy and in-depth knowledge of an area of law, allowing you to talk fluently at interview about extra-curricular activities.
Once you have developed mock trial skills you may be interested in getting involved in our mooting activities. Mooting is essentially a mock trial where two sides argue a point of law in front of an acting judge, who based on the presentation by each sides decides who wins.
It is a contest in which opposing pairs of counsel argue a fictitious legal appeal case in front of a 'judge' (normally a lecturer or postgraduate student).
To win you do not necessarily have to win the legal case but must make the best presentation of your legal arguments. Mooting is an important part of studying law at City, with City students seeing significant success in both national and international competitions.