A great example of how our alumni continue to make a difference to the prospects of our students is within Southampton Law School. The Fulford, Green and Roberts marshalling schemes provide students with an unrivaled opportunity to gain first-hand insights into the work of leading judges.
Successful applicants have benefited from the opportunity to spend time with barristers and judges, attend court cases, discuss cases and even attend ceremonial events such as the swearing in of the Lord Chancellor.
The opportunities are made possible thanks to the support of alumni Sir Nicholas Green, (PhD, 1985) who sits as a judge of the Queen’s Bench Division; Sir Adrian Fulford (BA History, 1974) who has recently been appointed as the first Investigatory Powers Commissioner; and Dame Jennifer Roberts (LLB Law, 1986) who is a judge of the High Court Family Division.
Second year students are invited to apply for one of the marshalling placements, with each judge accommodating two students a year with the offer of a bursary to cover students’ costs. Students spend a week with the judges, giving them a unique behind-the-scenes perspective into the workings of the higher courts.
Estian Deysel and Tom Brook were both picked for the Fulford Marshalling Scheme in 2016-17. Speaking about his experience Estian says: “The breadth of exposure we got was terrific; everything from arms dealing and extradition to illegal raves and gun crime. The flavour of the cases was generally criminal, which was exactly what I, as an aspiring criminal barrister, had applied to this scheme in the hopes of seeing. The true value of the Scheme was the opportunity to see top-end appeal advocacy and discuss the proceedings with the judges.”
“The quality of advocacy was excellent, and the conversations I had with the judges I met were encouraging and inspired me. The Scheme has reaffirmed my plans to be in the criminal law area or in public law more broadly.”
Amber Kennedy was one of the students who obtained the opportunity to observe Dame Jennifer in action as she presided over cases in the Family Court. Amber explains: “Some of the things I experienced during this week I would never get the opportunity to have experienced without the marshalling Scheme. These will no doubt benefit me in the future, applying for legal work experience and jobs.
The week confirmed my passion for a career in Family Law and has been a highlight of my study so far.
Student Lauren Merrett agreed the experience marshalling Sir Nicholas Green was invaluable. She says: “The experience will certainly give any student a completely new and unique perspective of our justice system, beyond what is possible in other work experience opportunities within the legal profession.”
Giving back to the next generation
Dame Jennifer, who was presented with an Honorary Doctorate last year in recognition of her career, described how she enjoyed supporting aspiring barristers.
“It is lovely to know that, in some very small way, we can – as members of the judiciary – help to signpost these brilliant young students along their way to a career in law. The profession will benefit enormously from what they have to offer in years to come.
“It is something which has thus far been a complete pleasure to do and we have enjoyed all the students who have come from Southampton – they have been delightful. They will come with me into court and will sit throughout my working day and hear, hopefully, some of the finest advocacy the London Bar can bring us.”
Sir Nicholas said he too hoped the experience would benefit students in their future careers.
“I am happy to support the students because I still value my past connections with the faculty and because I can offer an experience which is unusual and, I hope, provides an insight into how the High Court really works,” he added.
Dr Harry Annison, Lecturer in Criminal Law and Criminology at Southampton Law School, says:
These alumni judges are terrific role models for our students and I know that the experiences gained by the students in these marshalling schemes will continue to inform, guide and influence them as they move forwards in their legal careers.
“We are very grateful for the generosity of Sir Adrian, Sir Nicholas and Dame Jennifer in providing these opportunities for current Law students at Southampton Law School.”