Law students often seek out activities such as mooting or debating, as both of these bring out in students qualities they will need in their future careers. You can develop skills such as clear, fluent and on-spot thinking and presentation of ideas, public speaking, team building, confident demeanour and leadership skills, to name a few.
What many people either don’t know about, or underestimate, are the Model United Nations (MUNs). MUNs are simulations of the proceedings of the real United Nations committees, which are concerned with diverse global problems, ranging from military and security issues, human rights, economics and finance, to committees concerned with bioethics or outer space usage. Students have the opportunity to either act as delegates, representing the position of countries assigned to them, or as chairs/presidents of the committees, leading the debate.
There are so many great aspects of joining the MUN community. First and foremost, you get to learn and research global issues in a fun and exciting way. But you also get to network with people, who share similar interests and share your experience.
Most have amazing socials where you can do so, which are usually either a dinner with a theme, or visiting local bars and clubs, but the point is to give you the opportunity to socialise with other attendants.
Also, you can travel around to see new places! Most Model UN are international, and many arrange for discounts at hotels, or even flight discounts, as WORLDMUN has arranged this year, so it would be more affordable for everyone. However, I will always emphasise what a great learning experience it is. MUNs gave me the confidence to pursue a law career and can be a very valuable experience when you are applying to university, internships or a job. They usually portray you as a strong, communicative and committed person.
In most university level MUNs, you will have beginner and advanced committees. However, you can choose any, depends on your level of confidence. Usually beginner level committees are less strict with the rules and the quorum, the chairs tend to be friendlier and the committees can be a lot of fun, which always depends upon the delegates. Advanced committee, such as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) can be a bit stressful, if it’s your first time, but if you do your research and study the rules, it can be even more fun.
Thursday 18th December 2014 will be a big day for City's 800 postgraduate law students - sign up for the 48 remaining places in the Senior Moot kicks off at 1pm.
The Senior Moot was launched last year, and is generously sponsored by Savills, one of the world's largest real estate firms. Unique to this year's competition is that 14 'Prestige Places' have been created - allowing those experienced and successful mooters to apply for one of these reserved places.
Very well done to all those securing a Prestige Place - the process was very competitive indeed. The chosen students represent outstanding talent and there will be one seeded into every Round One match. Collectively the Prestige Places show winners of major international and national competitions. Many are multiple championship winners. They include international moot problem setters and coaches of elite teams. There is an immense spread of achievement and a terrific fund of experience across England, Wales, Scotland, various European countries, East Asia and the United States.
Chloe Bell, Daniel Black, Iwona Boesche, Mathias Cheung, Jodie Drummond, Harihara Gomathinayagam, David Green, Martin Horne, Thomas Jones, Zachary Kell, Michael Levenstein, James Mallon, Guy Oliff-Cooper, Richard Wayman.
So delighted are we with the anticipated quality of this year’s competition that a decision has been taken to enhance the prizes. Accordingly, the new prize fund this year is £3,000 to be divided £1,650 for the winner, £750 for the runner-up and £300 for each of the other two finalists.
The finals will be held on 7 May at the London West End headquarters of Savills. The distinguished Finals Judges are Professor Jeremy Horder of the London School of Economics and Professor Peter Hungerford-Welch of The City Law School. This should bring back fond memories: 32 years ago they were the winning moot team for the national Observer Trophy.
GELLB, GDL, LPC and BPTC students - get ready for 1pm tomorrow. Sign up via the Senior Moot module on Moodle - places are likely to go very quickly.
Read more about The Senior Moot on CityNews.
If you fancy a break from your core texts over Christmas don't forget about the Innovation Centre library's fiction collection.
Held in the academic corner next to the main desk you'll find books with links to London and some with legal connections; there's crime, thrillers, fantasy, war, romance, classics - some funny, some tragic but lots of great stories.
Here's ten to wet your appetite:
Iain Banks - The Crow Road
Dalton Trumbo - Johnny got his Gun
David Guterson - Snow Falling on Cedars
Pat Barker - Regeneration Trilogy
John Lanchester - Capital
Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere
Jonathan Franzen - The Corrections
Caitlin Moran - How to Build a Girl
Donna Tartt - Secret History
Edgar Allan Poe - Selected Tales
I chose the collection - so really hope everyone can find something that allows them to get a bit of a break from study!
Keep Calm Talk Law are putting on an event at City on Wednesday 10th December for all those interested in legal journalism. Here's what they say about it:
Online publication has proved to be a useful tool over recent years boosting the profile of both solicitors and barristers, which in turn has led to significant business development for those individuals.
Recognising this and doing something about it at an early stage demonstrates the elusive commercial awareness in a unique way that few aspiring lawyers recognise.
However, typically, it is difficult for a junior lawyer to enter the world of online publishing, with many of the leading blogs and freely accessible journals being run by specific law firms or Chambers, which for self-evident reasons, do not allow guest contributions.
Keep Calm Talk Law’s senior management presents a workshop on how to get yourself started in legal journalism as an aspiring lawyer, along with best practices and tips on how to approach online publication.
Further, the workshop will cover the ‘due diligence’ steps both aspiring and practising lawyers should take before publishing online. Whilst the internet provides a fantastic platform for self-promotion, it should be treated with care and respect.
With business development being an ever more significant consideration for progression and standing within law firms and chambers alike, this is an opportunity that should not be ignored.
This event is being held at City Law School, and is therefore free for all students.
18:30 - 19:30 Wednesday 10th December 2014
Room 04AB, City Law School
Online sign up is required.
The dress code is business casual.
Dr John Stanton graduated from his LLB at the University of Surrey in 2007. In November 2010 he was awarded a doctorate by Kingston University for his work 'Democracy in sustainable development: Accountability and participation in Britain's local communities'.
Appointed Lecturer in Law at Kingston University in September 2010, John joined The City Law School in September 2012 where he teaches Constitutional and Administrative Law on both the LLB and Graduate Entry LLB, and Public Law on the GDL.
What drew you into public law?
From the second year of my undergraduatedegree I knew I wanted to be an academic rather than practice as a solicitor or barrister. Though I spent the summers (during my LLB) at a solicitors’ firm, I quickly realised that studying the law and continuing to learn about it, is where my fascination lies. I love the pursuit of scholarship that can come through working as an academic as well as the various discussions and debates.
I did my undergraduate dissertation on the Jackson Case  UKHL 56 in 2006 – 2007, considering the implications of the House of Lords’ judgment on orthodox parliamentary sovereignty. There was so much academic debate to consider that it made writing easierand more fun. And that also drew me into constitutional and administrative law. I enjoy Public Law because there's rarely a ‘right’ answer to the issues and discussions, especially in our system which is so different and complex to other countries’ systems. I don't know if there are wrong answers either… misunderstandings, perhaps!
What do you think is next for the area?
We are in a time of constitutional change - all the various issues are fascinating. We've currently got the first peace time coalition government since the 30s, for instance. The next general election will be pivotal, and I think we'll see an increase in turnout in 2015 as the way the whole system works seems to be changing. In years to come, there's the possibility of EU referendums, a new Bill of Rights, talk about leaving the Council of Europe. We're potentially in the midst of clear constitutional evolution.
Lots of high level international politics to look forward to then. You recently published a book, tell us about that.
My book was my PhD thesis and came from a studentship, supported and funded by the EC1 New Deal for Communities government regeneration programme. My area of specialism is localism, and the book really looked at what happened in local communities under New Labour policy, assessing their changed approach to how communities and citizens can plan their own development and play a part in improving local areas.
Democracy in the form of the involvement of local people is fundamental to sustainable development, making sure that activities and changes meet the needs of people today without jeopardising people’s future needs.
Does it work?
It does, the changes I studied are the community just next to this university ‘EC1’. One of the projects was called Help on your Doorstep and involved people calling on their fellow residents to ask what they wanted. That meant that the people whose ideas created what you see around here, are not only people who are usually active volunteers in their local community, but a much wider group of people. So it can work, but there are problems which we see time and again in local governmental reform. It can be summed up by saying that there's a reluctance at the centre to ‘let go’, meaning local people aren't empowered properly, they have the power of ideas but not power over the money or resources.
The Intelligent Aid competition launched by Clifford Chance offers law and non-law students from all universities the chance to win a place on the firm’s vacation scheme, by submitting a 500 word essay on an issue that is relevant in the legal sector today.
The overall winner also receives £5,000 towards their university fees, and the group of winners will have the chance to donate £1,000 to a charity that is on the firm’s selected list. This year’s topic concerns the rule of law and as to whether it is essential in ensuring an economy’s success. Having loved studying constitutional and administrative law last year, I thought that this competition was the perfect opportunity for me! I am also very attracted to the idea of being assessed purely on your intellectual curiosity, your ability to think critically, creatively and “outside” the box.
The workshop at City University London (30th October 2014) was led by Natasha Moore, also with help from the campaign manager of ‘MyKindaCrowd’ Toby Horner, and a specialist from the Graduate Recruitment Team at Clifford Chance, Katy Beresford. The first task involved getting into groups to discuss and feedback on the key points regarding a definition that we were given on the rule of law. It was interesting to hear how the various explanations differed from group to group. We went on to pick out three main definitions, these included the principle reflecting one of governance, avoidance from arbitrariness and one based strongly on international human rights norms and standards. Next, we explored the relationship between the rule of law and the economy further and considered various answers to the following questions:
- Does the rule of law encourage investors to invest in a country?
- Is the rule of law only established once a country is economically successful?
- What happens when the rule of law breaks down?
Natasha suggested a potential structure which we could use for our essays. This included analysing historical examples such as Ancient Rome, growth economies such as China and emerging economies such as Indonesia. During discussions such as this, I realised the importance in being commercially aware and developing your own perspectives on issues currently affecting the wider world. Some of us were able to share our views on Mexico’s struggle in establishing in the rule of law as recently featured in the FT.
When? Thursday 27th November 2014 - 6pm-8pm
Where? Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre, City University London, Northampton Square EC1V 0HB
Speaker Knut Fournier will briefly introduce competition law in the context of the maritime sector, before looking at a series of case studies - the liner conferences' structure, price announcements among shipping liners and the market for transportation of cars. The final case study will focus on the rejection of the P3 Alliance by the Chinese regulator. The seminar will reflect on whether the maritime sector should be exempted from competition rules, as is the case in Singapore.
Open to teams of undergraduate, GDL and BPTC students, the Kingsland Cup includes moots spanning European, Environmental and Public law and will take place over three rounds. The first round sees entrants judged on their skeleton arguments, with the top-scoring teams appearing at the semi-final in London before a distinguished high court judge in a full mock court in the New Year.
Last year’s Grand Final was held in Courtroom 1 at the Supreme Court, and was judged by Justice of the Supreme Court, Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill. Comparable arrangements for this year’s final are to be confirmed in the very near future.
To get going on this you need to:
1. Find a friend to be your moot partner
2. Download the FTB Mooting Competition Guide
3. Get working on the two skeleton arguments required for entry
4. Download and fill in the entry form, before sending it off, along with your skeleton arguments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline = 4pm Friday 19th December 2014.
5. Cross fingers!
Through the City University emails, I was notified about a Law trip to Scotland with ELSA. ELSA London is an inclusive association with many aims.
These include: helping law students in participating in international study visits/exchanges; forming friendly and collaborative relationships with student law societies based in London law schools and organising seminars, panel discussions, legal research groups and other academic activities.
I had never previously visited Scotland, so I was able to persuade my parents to let me go if the trip was ‘Law’ related, which is was, indeed. After I did some research around ELSA, I was immediately intrigued and consequently, I filled in an online application form - where I tried to explain why visiting Scotland would benefit me.
Still reading? Okay, just checking. The programme ran from the 2nd of November until the 6th of November and the group was composed of 30 students. The students were from a number of universities, such as UCL, Queen Mary, King College London and Middlesex University - studying law at either undergraduate or postgraduate level.
On Monday the 3rd we set off to the Scottish Parliament and this included a guided tour for approximately half an hour. The tour was extremely beneficial as it gave us an insight into when the Scottish Parliament was formed. It was formed in September 1997; the 1997 Scottish devolution referendum was put to the Scottish electorate and secured a majority in favour of the establishment of a new devolved Scottish Parliament. We were also told who was responsible of designing it, taking ideas from all over Scotland. It was fascinating to learn about why the structure was a certain way– it is completely different to what England’s parliament looks like. Later on in the day, we visited the University of Edinburgh for an introductory lecture on Scottish Law. Something that might be of particular interest is the fact that in Scotland there are three verdicts: guilty, not guilty and not proven (which is that the person is guilty but the courts do not have enough evidence against him).
The Senior Moot 2015 has now been launched with a prize pot of £2000 - £1000 to the winner, £500 for the runner-up and £250 for each of the other two finalists.
The Finals and reception will be held at the West End Headquarters of Savills in London on Thursday 7 May 2015 and our distinguished moot judges will be Professor Jeremy Horder of the London School of Economics, and Professor Peter Hungerford-Welch of the City Law School.
The Senior Moot 2015 is a cross-school competition open to postgraduates on the following programmes: BPTC, GDL, LPC and GE LLB. It is available to all students on any of those courses (including any part-timers on the BPTC).
There are 64 places available, of which a small number (called Prestige places) will be pre-allocated on an entirely discretionary basis by Moot Director Joanne Moss. These pre-allocated places are to seed the Moot with excellence.
Important deadlines as follows:
28th November by 6pm - email application for a Prestige Place to Joanne Moss (from your City email address), with a subject line of PRESTIGE PLACE REQUEST.
The email should contain no more than 150 words in which you should list your mooting achievements. Only a truly outstanding record of winning moot competitions is realistically worth submitting - enthusiasm is insufficient. You will be notified if you are successful but applications will not be acknowledged.
18th December at 1pm - sign-up will open on Moodle. Places are likely to go VERY QUICKLY (last year within 52 mins) so be ready.
We are delighted to thank our sponsors, Savills, for their generous support and tremendous hospitality in their magnificent Headquarters. It is a very great pleasure to acknowledge their second sponsorship year.