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Senior Old Bailey judge 'impressed' by new UEL law degree module

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC says module will equip students with the skills they need when they practise

The most senior judge at the Old Bailey has praised the University of East London’s (UEL) new and innovative law degree module that will offer law students a unique set of skills and experiences. 

The Clinical Legal Education module will be offered to final-year students on the LLB Law programme at UEL from October this year. 

His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said, “I was very keen to visit UEL’s Legal Advice Centre to learn about the new Clinical Legal Education module. I was impressed with what I saw and heard about it.

He added: “I think it provides a great opportunity for students to learn the skills they will need in practice, and it will be a valuable resource for the local community. It is an initiative that deserves to do well.”

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC was a high-profile criminal barrister who in January 2015 became the Recorder of London, which is the most senior legal post at the Old Bailey.

He visited UEL’s Legal Advice Centre in Stratford in May this year and met with Centre staff. 

The Centre, which was launched in Stratford in 2010, provides a free law clinic for members of the public who cannot afford legal fees or obtain help under legal aid.

The new module is designed and led by senior law lecturer Nicola Antoniou. It takes many of the hands-on activities of the law clinic and re-designs them for the classroom. 

It means law students who are unable to volunteer at the Centre can still benefit from the training available to Centre volunteers.   

“The new module essentially adds our clinic activities within the curriculum, so that students can undertake live-client interviews and advice, practise their legal drafting, research, mooting and debating skills,” said Ms Antoniou, who is a qualified criminal lawyer and solicitor-advocate. 

As part of the course, students will take part in a bespoke visit to the Old Bailey, using one of its world famous courtrooms to host their own mock legal trial, known as a moot.

Photo kindly provided by Avalon. Not for commercial use.