Darren Weir, Director of Lawyering Skills at Kent Law School (KLS), explains how the Law School enables and prepares students for future careers in law through clinical, practical and experiential learning opportunities:
‘Something that is important to us at KLS, is preparing students for successful careers once they have left us. To that end there are plenty of opportunities for our law students to build their CVs and make themselves marketable in the world of work. These opportunities form an umbrella of activities we like to call, ‘KLS Community’.
‘We offer a wide range of clinical, practical and experiential learning opportunities. In our award-winning law clinic, students get the opportunity to work on a real caseload, speak to clients and help clinic solicitors prepare cases.
‘In our lawyering skills programme, students get trained in the skills of negotiation, mediation, mooting, mock trial advocacy and client interviewing. The programme gives students the opportunity to enhance their confidence ‘by doing.’ They get trained by academics who have often had experience in practice as well visiting practitioners and judges. Not only do we arrange internal competitions in those skills, but we also host the only National Law Student Triathlon in the country where students participate in three skill activities in the one day. Our students also enter and go on to do well in several external lawyering skill competitions across the country as well as internationally.
‘Students can also show off their writing skills by researching and submitting articles for the Kent Law School Review or presenting a paper on an area of research at the KLS’ Critical Law Conference. They could even be part of Kent’s pioneering ‘Critical Law TV’, where journalism meets Law. This involves taking an important socio-legal issue of the day, researching it, interviewing key figures and then presenting a news show.
‘Students can also think about joining our brand-new Student Outdoor Clerk Scheme, where they get the chance to sit behind and assist barristers at the Crown Court.
‘KLS has eight student law societies – all of them free to join and all focusing on different aspects of the law and/or professional legal life. Whether that be the Kent Law Temple Society, for those seeking a career as a barrister or societies specialising in advice and guidance for sectors of our diverse student community such as the BAME Student Law Society. This enables students to develop expertise in areas of law that interest them the most.
‘All this activity is supported by our amazing Employability team who run a number of talks and training sessions for those interested in pursuing the various careers in law available.
‘We encourage students to just get involved. We provide so many doors of opportunity. What students do on the other side of the door, is up to them.’