Big Voice London Newsletter April 2015

April 2015 – Issue 3
Big Voice London Newsletter
In this issue:
Supreme Court Mooting
Linklaters LLP Workshop
Middle Temple Lectures
Criminal Bar Association
Summer School Recruitment
In the Press!
April 2015 – Issue 3
Big Voice London Newsletter
Newsletter Issue #3
A note from the Directors
What a term! 2015 has proved in just
the first 3 months to be our most
exciting year yet and it seems like
we’re completely overwhelmed with
amazing volunteers and opportunities.
We have so much to talk about in this
issue that we don’t want to delay you
reading about it, so won’t keep you
long with our waffle.
As usual we’ve had some amazing
students and some great help from our
supporters so we’d like to thank
everyone whole-heartedly for keeping
us going. Without your help we simply
wouldn’t run.
In this newsletter we talk about our
projects with Middle Temple, Linklaters
and the Criminal Bar Association. Not
to mention our 2015 Supreme Court
Mooting Competition. Plus, we’ll be
giving you a heads up about what’s
happening in the coming months and
how you can get involved.
We have some volunteer vacancies
advertised in this issue so please
make sure to apply if you can!
If you’d like to make a donation to help
us reach charity status by the end of
2015 please email us or visit
Without further ado, please enjoy issue
number three!
Project Directors:
Victoria Anderson
Emily Lanham
Email us:
[email protected]
Visit us:
April 2015 – Issue 3
Big Voice London Newsletter
Supreme Court Mooting Competition
2015 saw our biggest and best mooting
competition so far; with the final taking
place for the 3rd year in a row at the UK
Supreme Court.
Our finalists: Mathias, Hena, Jessica & Horatio
20 Big Voice Students gained a spot on the
competition this year and each was
teamed up with a BPTC student (or
equivalent) as their mentor and
Each mentor helped their teammate learn
how to find authorities, draft skeletons
and compete to the best of their abilities.
Mooting questions allowed our students
to explore everything from Human Rights,
to Tort, to Medical Negligence; some
really difficult topics for sixth formers who
are just starting out in the world of legal
It was a tough and fast paced competition.
With none of our students having mooted
before, we endeavoured to provide a few
hours of teaching and a mock moot to
prepare them for the competition. After
that, there was a knock-out round every
week until the final.
Judges for each round came from a variety
of solicitors firms and chambers, with high
standards for mooters. We’re pleased to
say that the Big Voice students excelled
themselves; proving they were natural
advocates in just a few weeks.
The final at the Supreme Court took place
between Mathias Cheung (City Law
School) with Hena Patel (Seven Kings Sixth
Form), and Horatio Waller (BPP graduate)
with Jessica Savery (Holy Family Catholic
The judges asked some incredibly difficult
questions, really testing our mooters, but
they dealt with intervention well and
received high praise. Including; “the
structure and presentation was better
than many advocates appearing before
the Supreme Court”!
This year’s winners were Mathias and
Hena, winning on both the law and the
advocacy. Congratulations to all involved
and we look forward to seeing you in the
Supreme Court in a few years’ time!
The next mooting competition will take place
in Jan/Feb 2016.
April 2015 – Issue 3
Big Voice London Newsletter
Middle Temple Guest Lectures
This term included invitations to the first
two Middle Temple lecture evenings; the
second two will take place in the
Autumn/Winter Term. We took students
from 9 different schools to the Inn to
experience the culture of the Bar, and
engage them in topical debates with the
ambition of beginning to open up and
diversify the Bar.
The next two guest lecture evenings will
be attended by another 5 schools, and
take place at the end of the calendar year.
We are hopeful that this is the start of a
much longer term programme that will
help engage students and the general
public with the world of the Bar and legal
debate, and a firm relationship with
Middle Temple.
The first lecture was from Lord Judge, on
the “Magna Carta: luck or judgment?”,
and the second was a panel discussion on
“Is it in the Bar’s DNA that everyone
deserves a fair chance?” The latter was
particularly close to our students’ hearts
as they consider their futures and career
Before both events we held a pre-lecture
meeting at the Inn to discuss the topics at
hand and enable the students to
participate fully in the debates.
These pre-meetings were not only a great
insight into what the young people
thought of the topics, but also gave them
an opportunity to ask BVL mentors about
their tips for university and starting a
career in law.
We were incredibly grateful for the
invitation and the students seemed to
really embrace the events. Barristers at
the Inn were keen to chat with students,
and may of them were lucky enough to
get work experience from the event.
A student chats to Barristers after the Event in Hall
April 2015 – Issue 3
Big Voice London Newsletter
Teacher Feedback – Middle Temple:
“On behalf of myself and those of my
students lucky enough to attend
yesterday evening, "thank you" very much
for inviting us to Middle Temple's Guest
Lecture evening.
The experience of
coming to such a splendid venue and
having the opportunity to speak with so
many members of the bar was
invaluable... I very much hope there will
be further opportunities for our working
together, in order to promote greater
diversity at the bar..” – Nigel Bartlett,
Sutton Grammar School
“I have spoken to most of the students
who attended the event last month and
the response has been overwhelmingly
One of my students already carried out
work experience that [was] arranged for
her after the pre-meeting and she has
come back a different student! She was
really inspired by both the trips to Middle
Temple and the work experience and has
responded by dramatically improving her
work effort in and out of class.
Another student has told me that before
the event she wasn’t sure if she wanted to
go to university and what she would study
if she did. However, having met and
spoken to [BVL Mentors] she is really keen
to do Law.
I can’t think of anything that could be
improved for subsequent events. The
barristers were really welcoming to the
students and a couple of them gave
students their business cards, telling them
to contact them for work experience.”Jonathan Lake, All Saints School
“I enjoyed the event and am glad you
were able to arrange the opportunity.
Instant feedback from the students,
talking to them afterwards, was positive
but non-specific - more of a reaction to
the environment. For them, it was a
completely new experience in a place they
would never otherwise have seen unless
(as several of them hope) they end up
coming back in the future as members of
an Inn. Certainly, these events have
enthused them. I find that a number of
students at my school start asking me
about how to become a lawyer or state
that as their ambition from 13 onwards,
but none have any real idea at that stage
what's involved or what being a lawyer
would be like. It's one thing for me to
explain requirements to them or tell them
about my own and my friends'
experiences as solicitors and barristers,
but quite another (and far better) for
them to start seeing such things for
themselves” – Ben Gallagher, Queensmead
April 2015 – Issue 3
Big Voice London Newsletter
Criminal Bar Association Seminar
Our seminar in conjunction with the
Criminal Bar Association, took place in
early February in anticipation of the
Global Law Summit. We were joined by
barristers from 23 Essex Street and 25
Bedford Row, and around 20 students
from local schools.
The aim of the seminar was to get a feel
for how young people felt about the
changing legal service provisions and gage
their thoughts on Legal Aid.
First, we broke into groups to consider
scenarios in three different highly
publically funded areas of law;
immigration, crime and healthcare. The
students discussed what kind of support
people going through this might need, in
terms of legal or palliative care. We then
discussed the issues that they might face
if Legal Aid wasn’t there to help.
After discussing the various benefits and
drawbacks of Legal Aid in practical
scenarios, the group then split in two. Ten
students were given the task of arguing
against Legal Aid and the other ten for
Legal Aid.
The general realisation was that because
you never expect to end up in a situation
where you urgently need legal support,
you have absolutely no idea where to go
or what to do. Support services like the
CAB then become a lifeline in what can be
an emotional and devastating time.
Overall, it was a successful evening.
Students’ eyes were opened to the real
effects that cuts will have and they were
truly able to engage passionately in
debate with current practitioners. We are
just sorry we didn’t get an invitation to
the Summit itself!
The discussion was heated as both
barristers and students tried to argue
their points with passion. The “against”
group argued that it was a costs issue,
with money better applied else where in
the public sector like the NHS, which the
Eventually, the “against” group conceded
with; “it’s not fair, they have all the good
April 2015 – Issue 3
Big Voice London Newsletter
Linklaters Plea in Mitigation Workshop
Our final project of the term took place
during Linklaters’ Prime work experience
programme. Over 60 teenagers from
schools across London attended a four
day programme at Linklaters during the
Easter holidays, to get a taste for life in
the legal sphere.
Our Directors introduce the workshop…
We were thrilled to be invited to run a
workshop on the Tuesday morning and we
showcased one of our newest projects;
the plea in mitigation workshop.
Our BVL volunteers each took a group of 8
students and using mock case-files, taught
them how Magistrates and Judges in the
Crown Court decide how to sentence
people who are convicted of various
offences. After they’d decided what they
thought the sentence should be, we
looked at court etiquette and how to
frame arguments with persuasive
advocacy techniques.
The students took to advocacy naturally
understanding, considering 80% of them
had never studied law before. We did
have to dispel some myths about
American dramatisation and the English
court room though; much to their
The workshop was a massive success and
we all left with smiles on our faces and
already looking forward to next time!
Big Voice have been working with
Linklaters closely over the past few
months and are incredibly grateful for
their support. Hopefully, you should be
seeing a lot more from both of us in the
coming months.
The first case was domestic burglary
committed by a drug addict, and the
second involved a particularly violent
Students give us feedback on the day
Teaching them how to conduct Pleas in
Mitigation involved using the sentencing
guidelines and discussing the various
mitigating and aggravating features of the
April 2015 – Issue 3
Big Voice London Newsletter
Applications Now Open!
We are now taking applications for our annual Summer School 2015!
We’re looking for sixth form students who want to explore current issues of Public Law over
five evenings, involving teaching, report writing and advocacy sessions, and culminating in a
final presentation at Landmark Chambers.
No previous experience needed
Open to anyone aged 16-18 from non-fee paying schools
Date: 20th – 25th July 2015
Time: Evenings from 6-8pm
If you’re a sixth form student who can attend all the evenings above, and would like to take
part in a fun, friendly and exciting Summer School then please get in touch at
[email protected]
If you are a law student and would like to volunteer your time to help out on one or more
of the evenings – feel free to get in touch, too!
April 2015 – Issue 3
Big Voice London Newsletter
Applications Now Open!
We are looking for two volunteers to help us with web design and fundraising!
Over the summer we will be revamping our website, and organising a spectacular
fundraiser, but we need your help.
Web Design Volunteer:
We need someone with experience of web design, who is looking for some experience in rebuilding a website to help us keep on top of our projects. You must be interested in
promoting our cause and available at short notice.
Fundraising Volunteer:
We need someone with experience of fundraising at events, and grant applications. This will
be a six week placement over the summer months. You must want to promote our cause
and be able to work autonomously, as well as working well in a team.
Both positions will report to our Directors and work with our Management Board over the
summer. We need volunteers who are enthusiastic and good at communicating and
interacting with all levels of society.
If you’d like to apply, please email [email protected] with a covering letter and CV.
April 2015 – Issue 3
Big Voice London Newsletter
In the Press!
Our Directors have been busy promoting Big Voice London and advertising the project
across the legal press.
We’ve appeared in the January and March editions of Barrister Magazine, and our Model
Law Commission landed a double page spread in Counsel Magazine this month.
Make sure to keep an eye out for our next moment in the spotlight!
Thank you for Reading!
We hope you enjoyed this edition of our newsletter. If you’d like to donate to our cause,
volunteer, or sponsor an event, please get in touch at [email protected] For more
information on our upcoming events and project please follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter
@bigvoicelondon or like us on Facebook.
Edited by Emily Lanham