Law Firm Teams Up With Personal Support Unit For Annual Contest
Two aspiring lawyers have won a week’s work experience at leading law firm Irwin Mitchell after beating off stiff competition.
Sheffield students Fox Ferguson and Joshua Ackroyd were victorious in the second annual Litigant in Person Interviewing Competition which Irwin Mitchell organised in conjunction with the city’s Personal Support Unit.
Contestants were presented with two scenarios involving a family law and money dispute. They were then given 20 minutes to interview a person who acted as though they would be representing themselves in the civil and family courts.
Entrants from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University had to find out details of their case in order to advise them about the legal process and what to expect in court.
Fox, 21, from Sheffield Hallam University, and Joshua, 22, from Sheffield Hallam University, were the winning pair on the day.
The judging panel included His Honour Judge Graham Robinson, District Judge Rachel Roebuck, Irwin Mitchell lawyers Katrina Bishell, James Henshall and Sinead Rollinson-Hayes, as well as Jo Wardle from Sheffield’s Personal Support Unit.
Expert Opinion“The judging panel was really impressed with all those who entered and had a really difficult task in choosing the winners.
“It was clear from the submissions that there is a great deal of talent within the next generation of lawyers, which as a company is something we are extremely keen on promoting.
“We look forward to welcoming Fox and Joshua on their placements and hope that the experience proves invaluable to them, helping to shape the formative stages of their legal careers.” Sinead Rollinson-Hayes - Associate Solicitor
Emily Gilbourne, manager of the PSU in Sheffield, added: “To many people the court process can be a daunting experience so we are here to help as we believe that no person should face court alone.
“The standard of entries was incredibly high and all the entrants showcased a great deal of skill and knowledge whilst working under pressure.
“We are really thankful to both the universities and Irwin Mitchell for their continued support and look forward to working with them in the future. “
Sheffield’s PSU is based at The Law Courts in West Bar where volunteers provide
help and support for people who find out they must represent themselves in civil and family cases surrounding issues such as housing, money claims, debt, children and divorce.
The competition was held at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office on Friday, March 22.