University of Leeds' Law Society and Barrister Society enjoy annual collaborative trip to London

Twenty students were fortunate to receive a tour of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple and of the Supreme Court, where students had the chance to partake in an immersive advocacy exercise.

On Wednesday 15 February 2023, the Law Society and the Barrister Society held their annual collaborative trip to London.  

School of Law third year LLB student Joshua Parsons (BarSoc President and LawSoc Mooting Secretary) told us about the visit.  

“We arrived in London at 9AM and then made our way to Holborn, the legal core of England and Wales. Following an exploration of the four Inns of Court (and after getting lost once or twice), we visited the Royal Courts of Justice and had an opportunity to speak to a number of protestors and enjoy a cup of coffee. 

“The real fun began when we began our tour of the Middle Temple at 11am. We were fortunate enough to be guided around one of the four incredible institutions responsible for the training and nurturing of barristers for nearly five hundred years. To say we were taken aback by the Inn’s beauty and historical prowess would be an understatement. From the Great Hall where the first performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was held, to the fascinatingly prestigious library, prospective barristers from the University of Leeds did not have to look far to be reminded of the rich history on which our legal system rests. 

“We were then able to enjoy a delicious two-course lunch in the Great Hall, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had the pleasure of dining on numerous occasions. We were joined by a number of pupil-barristers, who gave us the opportunity to ask any burning questions we had about a career at the Bar.  

It was incredibly motivating to be able to discuss such a privileged profession with such friendly and genuine barristers. 

“We then walked along the bank of the Thames to the Supreme Court. In retrospect, given how full we were, it would have been a good idea to get the tube. Following lengthy security checks, we were in, and were guided into one of the two Supreme Court rooms. We firstly received an illuminating talk on the nature of Supreme Court proceedings, the history of the Supreme Court, and even the carpets inside. Who knew carpets could be so interesting?  

“I think the highlight of our Supreme Court visit was the mock case we had the chance to partake in. To be able to say that we argued a case, albeit a fake one, in the Supreme Court, is an immense privilege.  

“As if this wasn’t enough, we then visited Courtroom Three, home to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. This is currently the highest appellate court in twelve Commonwealth countries outside of the United Kingdom. Just being in this room was seriously humbling: it was a true honour to visit.  

We want to thank everybody involved for giving us such a tremendous day, and for allowing us to feel so welcome in such a prestigious place. It was lovely to meet such wonderful and friendly people who shared their knowledge. I’d encourage anybody considering a career at the Bar to attend this trip in the future. 

“After our visit, we learnt from our past mistakes, and took the tube back to Holborn. Here, we enjoyed some drinks and networked with one another. We discussed our highlights of the day, our motivations for going to the Bar, and what we wanted to do after university. It was a great end to a great day.”