Mark Mulrooney mentors aspiring barristers in Mock Trial Competition

November 20, 2015

On Saturday 14th November 2015 a team of A level and Applied Law students from South Sefton College had their first taste of a life ‘at the Bar’ when they competed against nine other schools and colleges in the Manchester heat of the Bar National Mock Trial Competition.

The trial took place at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court and was judged by Crown Court judges including Her Honour Judge Nicholls who had the highest praise for the group of 16 -18 year olds when she said they had performed “absolutely brilliantly”.

The national competition, organised by the Citizenship Foundation, attracts applicants from around England, Wales and Scotland and consists of twenty-four different heats.

The South Sefton students taking part in the competition are interested in law careers and this was a perfect opportunity to gain experience and make some legal contacts. Mark Mulrooney, barrister at Exchange Chambers, who also sits as a Deputy District Judge, mentored the team of four barristers, four witnesses, usher, clerk and jury.

He said:

“The students were a credit to themselves and the college.

“The Bar National Mock trial competition provides an excellent introduction to the dynamics of trial advocacy. Students learn how to argue a case, examine and cross examine witnesses and be successful in the courtroom environment. They also learn the logic of legal reasoning and gain excellent presentational skills.”

The competition at South Sefton College is one of many options on the ‘Experiences Programme’ offered as part of the curriculum.  The college has strong links with employers and teaches many ‘employability skills’.  The students taking part in this competition enjoy and benefit from the practical application of the study of law.