The School of Law recognises and supports its students' critical need to enhance their prospects of gaining employment within the legal sector by adding strong academic performance with a good record of practical experience and skills.
Our Clinical Legal Education Programme encompasses helping law students to find legal work experience, bringing lawyers into the School of Law to talk to our students, arranging events that provide networking opportunities and integrating legal skills into the law curriculum at Middlesex University.
We facilitate work experience opportunities for both undergraduate and postgraduate students through arrangements with law firms, barristers chambers, law clinics, courts and tribunals, in-house legal teams and international NGOs. These opportunities are often tied to academic success and occur throughout the academic year and the summer.
Consistent with the School of Law’s commitment to social justice and community involvement, our senior law students who are supervised by a solicitor, run weekly law clinics on campus. We also support a busy walk-in law clinic in the community, whereby Middlesex students assist barristers with a range of real-life cases. We have an on-going partnership with AdviceUK, whose 300+ London member organisations provide legal pro bono work experience in a wide variety of third-sector contexts. The European Human Rights Advocacy Centre is based at Middlesex University and involves law students in its award-winning work.
We have a long-standing record of active membership in the local law society and good links with alumni working in a variety of fields of legal practice, both high street and company commercial.
Our law students participate in national organisations offering networking and skills building opportunities. They receive a continuous ‘feed’ of information about legal sector opportunities and jobs. They have access to one-to-one support and advice on CV writing, presentations and interviewing skills from our Employability Business Partner.
Our students’ volunteering work is acknowledged on their university record of achievement through registration on a non-credit bearing module. We also offer a range of credit-bearing placement modules to our third-year students who work part-time within the legal sector.
The Department of Law & Politics organises participation in a wide range of external and internal events and activities relevant to careers in the legal sector. These include court and parliament visits, law fairs and negotiation and mooting competitions. Throughout the year, we host presentations and panel discussion, delivered by practicing lawyers from a variety of fields along with judges from different parts of the civil and criminal justice systems.
Lawyers and judges regularly contribute as guest speakers within our taught modules. We host continuing professional development events for local lawyers and provide a venue for public events at which firms or chambers provide free legal information and advice on areas of particular interest to individuals and businesses within the local community.
Events our students have been involved in include tours of the UK Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights, the Inns of Court, the London Law Fair, the Law Society, the Middlesex Law Society AGM, the House of Commons, the London Court of International Arbitration and the Welcome Trust’s exhibition on forensic science. Notable speakers have included the president of the Law Society, District Judge Tan Ikram (Diversity and Community Relations Judge), Chris White (founder of Aspiring Solicitors), Noel Inge (Managing Director of CILEX Law School).
A central aspect of our work within Clinical Legal Education involves reshaping our curricula by adding modules that help students acquire the practical as well as the intellectual skills they need to stand out as potential lawyers.
Examples of how we are embedding legal skills include the Year 1 Legal Method LLB and BA Law module where students engage in mooting as part of their assessment engaging in teaching and practice. We offer selected second year students a place on our ADR and Ethic module where they can participate in negotiations, consider aspects of legal ethics and learn about the growing use of mediation by legal practitioners. We plan to add further such modules at other levels and across more of our programmes.
Students employed part-time in the legal sector are eligible to take a range of credit-bearing placement modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Pro bono legal work is voluntary legal advice given to those who are unable to afford it and cannot access legal aid. It comes from the Latin phrase pro bono publico, which means 'for the public good'. According to the Law Society, almost two-thirds (65%) of solicitors had undertaken pro bono work at some point in their legal career. It is a great way to gain experience in the profession as well as give something back to the local community.