Date of release: Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Matthew Stubbins (left) and Stuart BarnesTwo budding barristers from the University of Greenwich are getting ready to state their case as they enter the semi-finals of a prestigious national legal contest.

Law students Matthew Stubbins and Stuart Barnes will be carrying Greenwich’s hopes in the OUP and BPP National Mooting Competition, which tests debating skills against an opposing counsel and before a judge. The annual event, competed for by universities across the country, is billed as being the closest experience a student can have to that of a lawyer working in a real court.

The Greenwich team has already battled its way through three earlier rounds for the right to meet fellow students from the University of Leicester in the semi-final stage, which is taking place at the Greenwich Campus on Friday 31 May. The national finals will take place in June at the BPP Law School in Holborn, London.

A moot is a mock legal hearing where students play the role of counsel – one team representing appellants, the other respondents – and present arguments on various points of law.

For final-year student Matthew, 21, victory in the competition would represent a fantastic double honour. The student was recently awarded a Major Scholarship, worth more than £15,000, from the Inner Temple, one of London’s Inns of Court. This will enable him to undertake his Bar Professional Training Course – the next step to becoming a barrister. He was also awarded a Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Scholarship from the Inner Temple.

Matthew says: “More than 3,000 people applied for a Major Scholarship, and around 50 were successful, so it is quite a feat. I’m thrilled to be among those chosen and this next step is hugely exciting.”

In between completing his final exams at Greenwich, Matthew is also preparing for the mooting semi-final. “To reach the final would be fantastic both for us and the university. Whatever I achieve in my career, I believe that Greenwich has laid some very good foundations and I would not swap my experience here for anything in the world.”

Sarah Greer, Dean of Law at Greenwich, says: “Everyone at the Law School is immensely proud of Matthew and Stuart for getting so far. It is a tribute to their consistent hard work over several months in the competition, and our staff and students will be supporting them all the way.

“We encourage all our students to gain some experience of mooting. It develops advocacy and legal research skills, both of which are essential for an aspiring lawyer.”

She adds: “Matthew’s scholarship is a tremendous honour for him and I’m sure it marks the start of a hugely successful legal career.”

Student lawyers from Greenwich also reached the national finals of another major contest, the National Client Interviewing Competition, in recent times.

Law at Greenwich notched up another success when it was ranked as the top university in the country for student satisfaction in the latest Complete University Guide. In the most recent National Student Survey, Greenwich ranked among the top five institutions nationally for students who are definitely or mostly satisfied with their course in Law.

To find out more about studying Law at the University of Greenwich: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/courses/ug/law

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Matthew Stubbins (left) and Stuart Barnes.