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  1. Continuing Professional Development
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Higher Rights of Audience CPD

Key information

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The December Civil Higher Rights of Audience course, training & assessment will be delivered online.

Course overview

Obtaining one's Higher Rights of Audience is a major boost to the credibility, professionalism and service that solicitors can offer to their clients.

The City Law School, formerly the Inns of Court School of Law, are world-renowned experts in the preparation of Advocates and have devised a thorough and cost-effective course and assessment which enables practitioners to qualify as Solicitor Advocates and to represent their clients in the higher courts. We offer both Civil and Criminal courses and assessments, and our courses are fully authorised by the Solicitor's Regulatory Authority (SRA) under the Higher Rights of Audience Regulations 2011.

Who is it for?

The City Law School runs the Higher Rights Assessment accredited by and on behalf of the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. The Higher Rights Qualification, and therefore the training in preparation of it, is envisaged to be most suitable for fully qualified members of the solicitors’ profession who have existing advocacy experience in the lower courts and are seeking to make the progression into Higher Court advocacy.

The assessment involves written elements which test the candidate’s knowledge of Evidence, Procedure and Ethics. That knowledge is anticipated to be the subject of self-study and a drip-feed culmination of experience amassed in a litigation practice. The assessment also has a drafting element and again it is presumed that this is a pre-existing skill for lawyers in practice. The advocacy elements include an interim submission and a fully executed trial. The latter involves the candidate making an opening speech, cross-examination and a closing speech as well as interacting in any way appropriate within the trial process, be it engaging with the lay client to making ad hoc legal applications to react to developments within the trial.

The training course in preparation of the assessment readies candidates by providing a refresher in the skills of witness handling, speeches and submissions. Comprehensive feedback is then provided to candidates undertaking advocacy performances on practice briefs. The first day is made up of lectures touching upon assessment technique across all the elements of the assessment and includes discussion of a pre-sat mock knowledge test and discussion of drafting conventions.

Ask about in-house options

If you have more than a few staff to train, want to tailor the content to your exact organisational needs, prefer the privacy of one-to-one training, or simply want the flexibility of choosing a date and venue that suits you, then this is a great and, in most cases, cost-effective alternative to our public sessions.

For further information on Higher Rights of Audience, please visit the SRA website 

Download a copy of our Higher Rights of Audience leaflet

Course outcomes

Course outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • Candidates successfully passing the assessment will achieve their Higher Rights of Audience and be able to appear as Solicitor Advocates in the High Court/Crown Court
  • Delegates who undertake the training will improve their advocacy skills and confidence, as well as enhancing their knowledge of evidence and ethics
  • Having passed the assessment new Solicitor Advocates will be able to offer their clients a full service including all aspects of litigation work
  • Benefits will also include the likelihood of greater fee earning potential and an enhanced status and reputation.



Preparation for Assessments

There is no compulsory requirement to undertake any training for the assessments, and you may proceed straight to taking them if you wish.

However, you are strongly advised not to attempt the assessments without undertaking some training by way of preparation.

Training can only improve your chance of passing the assessments and offers the following advantages:

  • It enables you to practice using the type of case study that will be used for assessments
  • You will learn specifically what the assessors are looking for in the assessments
  • You will be able to gauge how well prepared you are to take the assessments, and whether you are likely to pass
  • You will be able to familiarise yourself with the syllabus and format of the assessment
  • You can improve your confidence as an advocate

City Law School offers the following by way of preparation:

  • Three days of intensive, small group practical training
  • A mock written paper for you to sit so that you can evaluate your level of knowledge and identify any gaps that need to be filled
  • Full and practical advocacy training, including skeleton drafting, trial plans, making an interim application and a mock trial

Taking the Assessment

Our assessment is designed to ensure that potential Solicitor Advocates are properly equipped to perform at the level required when appearing in the higher courts, and successful candidates will know that they have achieved a high standard of advocacy skills. They will be well prepared to appear in court and will feel confident to do so. The assessment itself comprises three elements:

  1. A two-hour written assessment to deal with the knowledge elements presented in an MCT format
  2. An interim submission advocacy assessment in a contested context that will require the preparation of a skeleton argument in advance. The duration will be 10 minutes for each delegate and will involve judicial intervention by the assessor
  3. A trial advocacy assessment in a contested context. Each delegate will have to furnish a trial strategy plan to demonstrate case analysis and then participate in an opening speech, cross-examination of a lay witness and then a closing speech. Each element will be of 10 minutes duration