“As a judge, I found the whole experience unbelievably heart-warming. The students had worked hard, and it was a pleasure to see all of those who came to give of their best during the day. This experience will mean they will be better informed to understand and engage in debate about how the criminal courts work when they read about in cases in the media during their adult lives.”
His Honour Judge Salmon
Your time and expertise makes a difference in a number of ways. You can:
- support greater public legal education (PLE)
- contribute to your local community
- influence young people’s view of the legal profession, and
- increase the students’ aspirations – boosting confidence and social mobility.
How to apply
Browse the various volunteer opportunities or enter your details in the form below. By checking the box in the form, we will add you to our mailing list. This enables us to keep you informed of the volunteer opportunities and updates.
Regional Coordinator – Bar Mock Trial
The role is the intermediary between the local legal network (barristers and judges) and the Programme Coordinator, based in our London office. The role is flexible but might well include responsibilities such as:
- Recruiting and matching mentors for the schools in that heat
- Recruiting the volunteer judges for the day
- Helping to run the heat on the day, for example making the opening speech or briefing the judges
- Liaising with the court staff to arrange particular additions to the heat, for example a judges’ lunch
- Arranging for chambers to sponsor the heat or part of the heat
The Regional Coordinator works with our staff throughout the process, but is particularly valuable as a source of contacts in a particular region. The role can be as involved or hands off as the Regional Coordinator prefers and the time-intensive work is always done by the team in the office. Got the networks and a passion for teaching young people the judiciary system? Complete this form today.
Judge – Bar Mock Trial
Volunteering in this role you would sit as a Judge to hear the mock trials, score the schools according to criteria and guidance that will be provided to you, and provide short oral feedback of each case. The schools will stage three trials each using two case studies, alternating between acting for prosecution and defence, and two schools will go on to the day’s final round before one emerges to proceed to the national final. If you are able to sit as a Judge for the initial three rounds, your role should be finished by approximately 14.30. You are welcome to stay for the final round, which should finish at around 16.00. We accept both judges and senior barristers for this role.
This is a major role on the day, and your participation makes a enormous impression on the students. Sign-up to one Saturday a year and be a part of the biggest mock trial competition in the UK!
The Barrister Mentor – Bar Mock Trial
Your role as a Mentor would principally be to support your chosen school in its preparation for the Regional Heats. Understandably, many schools will have had minimal exposure to the intricacies of the legal system, and so the expertise of a practitioner is invaluable to the participants. You would be required to:
- explain the basics of the court process
- advise students how to prepare and present legal advocacy in a trial context
- provide advice and feedback when students practice after school
Obviously, the level of your involvement is entirely up to you, but we recommend that you attend your chosen school at least once to observe a run-through of the cases, and then provide constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. We have found, however, that in previous years many Mentors have enjoyed their involvement so much that they have returned several times to aid the preparation, and have even attended the Regional Heats to support the pupils. We accept barristers of any seniority for this role. This role comes with a health warning as it’s highly addictive! Sign-up and help inspire a new generation of advocates.
“The mock trial was a really enjoyable day and I was very glad to be asked to get involved again. I was so impressed last year by the standard of the young people’s performances.”
Lynne Price, Barrister, Temple Court Chambers