DOZENS of students from across Yorkshire converged on Bradford City Hall this week to take part in a three-day-long event focused on a career in law.

The brainchild of Bradford’s most senior judge His Honour Judge Jonathan Rose, SPRUCE - Student Pre University Court Exposure – provides Year 12 students aged 16-17 with a grounding in the practice and study of law via lectures and expert-led speaker sessions followed by Q&As.

It provides advice for those that might wish to study and pursue a career in law, how to go about it, what sort of work may be available to them as lawyers, and how rewarding their career could be.

The SPRUCE eventThe SPRUCE event (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

The SPRUCE eventThe SPRUCE event (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

The numbers attending SPRUCE have risen year-on-year since it was launched in 2015, when 22 attended.

This year Judge Rose and his team welcomed 86 students from schools in Bradford, Halifax, and Wakefield.

Attendees were introduced to wide-ranging elements of the law including human rights, family law, morality, the role of magistrates, apprenticeships, the work of the Crown Prosecution Service, and criminal law.

The Spruce eventThe Spruce event (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

The Spruce eventThe Spruce event (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

One of the three days involved holding mock sentencing exercises within the wood-panelled elegance of the old Bradford Crown Court where students could suggest appropriate sentences for scenarios they had witnessed, leading to a discussion on the objectives and purposes of sentencing.

Specialist speakers included barristers from Broadway House Chambers in Bradford, solicitors, and academics, as well as Judge Rose himself.

Each session led to interesting talking points on general principles of law and jurisprudence, including the morality of a lawyer representing a person charged with a heinous offence such as murder and rape, the commission of which is completely contrary to the morals of the lawyer involved.

Judge Rose at the SPRUCE eventJudge Rose at the SPRUCE event (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

The SPRUCE eventThe SPRUCE event (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

Judge Rose said: “We emphasise that to represent such a person is not an abandonment of the lawyer’s morality but an embracing of the fundamental principle that even where a person is charged with the most wicked of offences the lawyer has a duty to provide the best representation to ensure that justice is not only done but is seen to be done.”

He said this year’s students demonstrated “a real keenness to engage, ask questions, and proffer opinions” with some staying behind afterwards for one-to-one conversations.

The SPRUCE eventThe SPRUCE event (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

Paying tribute to volunteers Jayne Furniss, Susan Beckley, and Caroline Silvera, and thanking the court service, senior judiciary, and Bradford Council for making available City Hall, the council chamber and the old Crown Court, Judge Rose said he hoped SPRUCE would continue for many years to come and be run in other towns and cities.

He added: “They have all been fantastic in their support.

"The success of SPRUCE has been demonstrated by the number of students committing to attending each year but, more so, by the number of SPRUCE ‘graduates’ we come across in the profession in following years.”