School of Law | Study here | Extracurricular activities
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Extracurricular activities

Students at all levels of legal and criminology study are encouraged to take part in our extracurricular activities.

Mooting and mock trials

When solicitors’ firms and barristers’ chambers are taking their pick from the huge number of applications for training and pupillage, one of the key factors they look for is evidence of commitment to a career in the law. They take into account, in particular, active participation in opportunities for mooting. We offer both mooting events and mock trials for our students to participate in.

Mooting is not only tremendous fun, and one of the best ways of learning the law, it is perhaps the only student preparation for the real life of practice.

What is mooting?

  • Mooting, as the rather antiquated name suggests, has a tradition extending back to the beginning of the legal professions. It is how lawyers trained in Shakespeare’s time. It is the closest you can get, while still a student, to presenting a case in court.

How does it work?

  • In a moot, students play the role of advocates and argue a fictitious case in a variety of possible settings: jury trial; civil dispute; Court of Appeal; Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. The role of the judge is played by a practising barrister, Queen's Counsel or a real judge. The objective is not to win the case, but to put forward the most convincing arguments in the most professional manner. The winning team will be the team which makes the best presentation. The judge will not be a silent umpire, but will constantly intervene to test the arguments and the acumen of the student advocates. This, as much as having very good student advocates as opponents, is what strengthens student advocacy skills: research, analysis, legal reasoning, and public speaking.
  • Mooting is organised by Jonathan Thorpe.

River House Law Clinic

The River House Law Clinic is a collaboration between the School of Law at Birkbeck, University of London and two other partners - HCL Hanne & Co, a firm of London solicitors, and the River House Trust, an organisation providing services for people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV).

How to take part in this project

  • More than 120 Birkbeck students have expressed an interest in taking part in the project, conducting initial fact-finding, both in person and by telephone, undertaking research, and otherwise supporting HCL Hanne & Co's solicitors. The clinic, which opened to clients early in 2011, is housed in the River House Trust's premises in Hammersmith.

Cumberland Lodge weekend

Every September we host a residential weekend away for our students to participate in discussions, workshops and lectures.

Further registration details are given to students in the summer term.