Students cross the finish line for first National Law Student Triathlon

Olivia Miller
Kent Law Clinic
Wigoder Law Building

Two Kent students recently competed alongside students from 17 other universities in the UK’s first National Law Student Triathlon.

Hosted by Kent Law School (KLS), the event provided each of the 19 teams from 17 law schools with the opportunity to test their negotiation, court advocacy and mooting skills.

To showcase their lawyering skills, each team of competitors were presented with the same civil case which they tackled through negotiation, first instance court appearance and appeal.

Kent law students Stella English and Josh Andrews competed in the Triathlon. Stella said: ‘Taking part in the Kent Triathlon was the highlight of my degree so far. It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the advocacy skills I had learned in my second year, such as mooting. The challenge of performing a first instance hearing and conducting a negotiation, were a totally new experience which forced me out of my comfort zone. Not only were we provided with an interesting case that tested us intellectually; we were fortunate enough to be put through our paces by some seriously impressive practitioners including a silk and a judge.

‘Overall, my preparation, analysis and oral advocacy have improved greatly as a result. For any student, opportunities like these are golden and are the closest we can get to being on our feet in a real court. The competitive animal within me relished going up against the best undergraduates in the UK. Not only was it challenging and a wonderful learning experience, it was great fun too!’

Josh added: ‘I found it a great experience being exposed to several different types of advocacy in a single day. It really exposes you to what legal practice is like.’

Kent’s Wigoder Law Building, which boasts a state-of-the-art replica courtroom, was the focus for much of the KLS-Thomson Reuters National Law Student Triathlon.

The judges of the Triathlon included retired judge, now author, Judge Michael Stokes QC, Bernard Richmond QC (Chair of the Education Committee of the Middle Temple), and Johanne Thompson (KLS).

Kent Law School’s Director of Lawyering Skills and lead organiser of the National Law Student Triathlon, Darren Weir, said: ‘It was my great pleasure to be able to put together this truly inspirational event. It would not have been possible without all of our judges, CaseLines (part of Thomson Reuters) and Stuart Snow at Stour Chambers who wrote the civil case for the competition. It was great to see so many students put forward for the Triathlon and here’s to hoping that we get to do it all over again next year at Kent Law School.’

University of Oxford students Harry Chan and Rhys Duncan were crowned winners of the event. They have been given a cash prize of £250 each and a personal half-day advocacy training session with Bernard Richmond QC. The University of Oxford’s Faculty of Law will also receive a Visiting Advocacy Session with Bernard Richmond QC.

The Law Triathlon underway in Kent Law School's replica courtroom

The Law Triathlon in action