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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Fulford Scheme inaugural winners announced

Published: 6 November 2015
Anna Leatham
Anna Leatham, one of two successful applicants for the Fulford scheme

Southampton Law School is delighted to announce that students Anna Leatham and Amber Athill are the first successful applicants for the prestigious Lord Justice Fulford Marshalling scheme.

The scheme provides two second year law students with the opportunity to gain one week of court marshalling experience with Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Fulford, and a bursary to enable them to undertake this opportunity. This is an extremely valuable experience for aspiring lawyers and Southampton Law School is grateful for the philanthropic support of Lord Justice Fulford, an alumnus of the University of Southampton.

Anna Leatham has shared her thoughts on why she applied for the Lord Justice Fulford Marshalling Scheme and what she expects:

"I am fascinated by everything about the Bar: advocacy in court, solving problems, drafting documents and how the law is applied as a regulatory system. Marshalling at Winchester Crown Court earlier this year gave me a great insight into the well-respected world of a judge and opened my eyes to the possibility of a career at the Bar. So to have this significant opportunity to undertake work experience with Lord Justice Fulford will be a unique privilege.

Whilst at Winchester Crown Court, what particularly stood out for me was the human cost of being a judge. The Senior Circuit judge commented that it could be emotionally draining. I am therefore keen to compare this with the role of a High Court judge and to identify any differences.

Having read numerous judgments made by Court of Appeal judges throughout University, I am excited to witness the appellate procedure for myself. In comparing it with my previous work experience with barristers, I am expecting it to be much more formal. I am particularly interested to see the grounds of appeal that the case is based upon and to be able to discuss the thought processes and logic behind their decisions. It will be great to read the judgment at a later date, having met Lord Justice Fulford and been party to his insights. I have already received some advice about what to expect: one barrister I spoke with during a mini-pupillage, having previously been in front of Lord Justice Fulford, said that I should expect some homework!

I am serious about pursing a career at the Bar and this experience will be invaluable both to my personal development and to my future pupillage applications; not many people can say they have spent a week marshalling a Court of Appeal judge!"

Amber Athill has given insight into her experience on the scheme:

"During my second year, I was fortunate to successfully apply for the inaugural Fulford Scheme opportunity. This has led to the experience of a lifetime this October. During my first two days, I had the absolute pleasure to marshal in a case that had Lord Justice Sir Leveson, Lord Justice Gross and Lord Justice Fulford on the panel. I was able to witness a ground-breaking change in the law and discuss its repercussions with the judges on a one-to-one basis. As one can imagine, this was a thrilling experience and provides a fascinating perspective on the judgments we read every day at university.

As Deputy Senior Presiding Judge for England, Lord Justice Fulford attends many prestigious meetings with the likes of the Ministry of Justice and the Lord Chief Justice. I was privileged to be invited into such meetings and was fascinated to see how much work goes on behind the scenes. Wanting me to witness both civil and criminal matters, Lord Justice Fulford also provided me the opportunity to sit with a High Court Judge in a defamation case, marshal with three Judges in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) and spend my final two days at the Old Bailey.

The judges I spent time with were incredibly accommodating – they really are far less intimidating out of the courtroom! I am so grateful for their taking the time to speak with me; I have even been offered the opportunity to marshal again at the Old Bailey. Sitting on the bench and witnessing the court proceedings from a judge’s perspective was invaluable. I gained valuable insights into the effective (and ineffective!) styles of advocacy in the eyes of particular judges and hope to use such knowledge to develop and improve my own advocacy skills. I thank the Law School for this fantastic experience and would encourage all second year law students to apply."

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