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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Law in action

Published: 6 March 2013

Law students saw how courts and tribunals operate in real life as part of the Southampton Law School’s Employability Skills Programme for second years.

Halfway through their degree programmes, they already have a good grasp of the theory but value the opportunity to see how law works in practice.

Oliver Saunders and William Cowell visited Winchester Crown Court. “Although we study law as an academic discipline, it is important to observe its impact on people in real life,” says Oliver, who saw the opening of a murder trial. William was in court for the first day of a rape trial and saw the jury sworn in, the prosecuting barrister embark on his case and a video interview of the woman making the complaint, which was made shortly after the alleged crime.

Céline Winham, Katie Bunce and Oliver Saunders sat in on employment tribunals. They heard a father's claim against his company's decision to refuse his flexible working application.

“It was interesting to see how the tribunal worked as it was more informal than a court,” says Céline. “The visit has reinforced my ambition to work in employment law.” Katie adds: “I had already done some work experience in this field but it was good to see how tribunals operate with different cases.”

The Employability Skills Programme is organised by the Law School and offers students a unique opportunity to develop key transferable skills. “Students always appreciate the chance to visit courts to see the law in action,” says the Law School’s Careers and Employability Co-ordinator Jan Steele. “We also arrange presentations and workshops from a wide range of professionals including solicitors, barristers and in-house lawyers as well as business leaders.”

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