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Law conference gives city students a detailed insight into their chosen profession

Principal law lecturer, Ann Thanaraj
Principal law lecturer, Ann Thanaraj

Law students from the University of Cumbria this week received some valuable advice about their proposed profession at a special conference held in Carlisle. The National Law Conference was organised by the university’s Student Law Society along with staff members from the law team

Invited to attend the conference were not only all current law students, but also applicants for a September 2017 start who were able to enjoy the opportunities presented.

The event was opened by Pro Vice Chancellor Enterprise, Business Development and Engagement, Sandra Booth, who spoke of the growth of investment and businesses in Cumbria and the university’s role in supplying highly skilled graduates to support this development. Speaking of the University of Cumbria Law School, Sandra emphasised its excellent reputation for preparing students thoroughly for the demands of a career in the legal sector.

The line-up of speakers – all of whom are either lecturers in the university’s law team or are directly involved with the university’s law department – included Chris Armstrong, a former Clerk to the Justices for Cumbria and ex President of the Justices’ Clerks’ Society (Chris led the Society on sentencing matters for 10 years and was a member of the working party that produced the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines), and Nick Robson, a senior lecturer in law at the University of Cumbria, who was formerly a senior legal advisor to three European Union justice and security reform missions. Nick was also defence counsel at both the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court, and a Foreign and Commonwealth Office deployable civilian expert. Dr. Duncan Curley is one of our law lecturers who also works in private practice as an IP solicitor in the boutique law firm, Innovate Legal, which Duncan founded in 2007.

The lunchtime sessions were led by Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors and Burnetts Solicitors, who spoke of the value of studying law and gave advice on what law firms are looking for from a prospective lawyer

Other themes covered during the day included ‘The challenges of defending and sentencing in a criminal case’, the highly topical ‘Brexit: Debating Article 50, the legality of a referendum and parliamentary supremacy’ and, intriguingly, ‘Private secrets, celebrities and the law’!

Ann Thanaraj, principal lecturer on the university’s law programmes, said: “As a modern, practice-oriented, forward-thinking law school, we are ambitious for our students and their employability prospects. We therefore like to ensure that students are given as much professional advice and legal work experience as we can, to enhance their learning and understanding of the profession and of the opportunities that can be presented to them.

“By inviting applicants as well as current students, we are able more easily to demonstrate to them the advantages of studying law at the University of Cumbria; they can interrogate our current students about their experiences, and discuss future professional prospects with our recent graduates, law firms and the Carlisle law centre.”

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