UNIVERSITY of Bradford students took part in a mock-trial competition and a chance to win a smart car, last week in the Lady Hale Court room at the

The competition was established as a collaboration between Proctor& Hobbs Solicitors, a local firm based in Bradford, and the School of Law, University of Bradford.

Each mock-trial was live-streamed via Proctor & Hobb Solicitors’ YouTube channel and anyone who missed it can watch them on the same channel.

Alan Bridger, senior partner at Proctor& Hobbs, was the judge in the mock-trials.

Alan, who qualified as a solicitor in 1982 and was one of the very first solicitors in England to be awarded Higher Rights of Audience, said: “I was very impressed by the students’ enthusiasm and potential talent.

“I enjoyed each mock-trial and I think the participants enjoyed it too.”

Katie, one of the contestants said: “I would like to thank the law school for this amazing opportunity that we’ve had and although I found it challenging as it took me out of my comfort zone, it has given me the boost I needed and reenergised my passion for studying law.

“I hope the competition continues and that future law students have this same opportunity as it was an amazing learning experience.” 

The competition opened on Monday 6th September 2021 with a word from Prof Engobo Emeseh, Head of the School of Law, who pointed out that: “This is the first of a series of collaborations between Proctor & Hobbs Solicitors and the School of Law, University of Bradford to engage our students and provide opportunities for them to develop their practical legal skills and other basic skills that will be essential for them for their work going into the future.”

Professor Emeseh hoped that the competition would whet the appetites of the viewers providing an insight into law and assist anyone who may be thinking about studying law to take that step in doing so.

The competition was open exclusively to students studying at the University of Bradford with an element of Law in their degree course.

The five candidates who were shortlisted from a wider pool of applicants  to take part in the live competition were Babita Dhand, Wiktoria Lenkiewick, Shaikhul Amin, Katie Siobhan and Tamarakuro (Tkay) Agama.

There was a 6th contestant shortlisted who was unable to attend the competition due to unforeseen circumstances.

Shaikhul commented: “The mock-trial competition was a truly eye-opening experience which enabled me to tap into my passion for advocacy.

"As pointed out by solicitor Alan Bridger, who very convincingly played the role of a judge for this competition, “advocacy is not limited to trials/ court hearings.”

“Advocacy is an essential skill that is displayed in many ways; and I was thrilled to take part in this competition.

“I have learned a lot from this competition and the experience itself, pushes me to pursue a career as a barrister. Finally, I would like to say a BIG thank you to the law school, to Proctor & Hobbs and to everyone else who took part in this competition.”

Matters now lie somewhat in the hands of the public as the public vote will count towards 40% of the overall mark awarded to each participant with 60% being determined by members of staff from both the University and Proctor & Hobbs.

Voting lines opened immediately after the last mock-trial and will remain open until 4.30pm on Friday 15th September 2021.

The voting link can be found on Proctor & Hobbs website or follow the link below:

Tuiya Tembo, solicitor and lecturer added: It is coincidental that all 5 participants were 2nd year students going into their third year this October.

They each put up a fierce fight and displayed a clear understanding of the law together with strong advocacy skills.

The School of Law is committed to providing our students with an excellent learning experience that includes practical skills to enhance students’ employability as well as a strong legal foundation.

This is just one of the many collaborations the School has cultivated with a view to achieving this aim.”

The winner will be announced on Monday 20th September 2021 at an award ceremony where the lucky contestant will walk away, or should we say drive off, with a smart car.

It is expected the mock-trial competition will be an annual event.