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SRA Higher Rights of Audience Summer School

LLB Law
  • Level(s) of study: Practitioner
  • Study mode(s): Short course
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: June 2020

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This summer the NLS Centre for Advocacy will be offering a Higher Rights of Audience Summer School. This is your opportunity to return to law school to enhance and develop your skills both as a litigator and as an advocate.

The NLS Summer School approach

The NLS Summer School approach is simple. Advocacy is a skill that is developed over time, with support and constant feedback from fellow advocates. Our HRA programmes have been developed with that approach in mind.

NLS is committed to the “learning by doing” approach to legal education and we want you to make the most of your time with us. We want to ensure that you will feel confident to use your rights to conduct advocacy and develop as a practitioner. For that reason, we have designed this course to ensure that you have the space and time to develop your skills alongside work in the office over a period of three months from enrolment to assessment. The course starts from first enrolment as your prepare for attendance at the summer school training.

The training will include:

  • Online pre course study with directed reading, short form exercises to consolidate knowledge, case study preparation, directed reading, film clips, and short “how to” talks from distinguished lawyers via the NLS online learning portal, NOW;
  • Practical training from practising advocates and litigators supported by academic expertise in course design, teaching and assessment;
  • Use of state of the art courtroom facilities during the Advocacy training;
  • Post course Mock Assessment with one to one written and oral feedback prior to assessment
  • Opportunity to complete both the criminal and civil assessments in September 2020 after completion of the summer school.

This is a practical and comprehensive course designed for solicitors who wish to deepen their knowledge and skills in High Court and Crown Court litigation and advocacy. It focuses not just on the Higher Right of Audience assessments, but also on supporting its graduates as they chart a trajectory as a practising advocate.

A flexible course

The training has been designed to allow maximum flexibility for those candidates who wish to undertake some training sessions prior to taking the HRA Assessments. Candidates can chose from the following, depending on their level of expertise and the qualification chosen:

Evidence, Procedure and Ethics Course (Criminal or Civil)Advocacy Skills (Criminal or Civil)
Online pre and post course preparation
1 day course

Online pre and post course preparation
3 day course
Generic advocacy (2 days) specialist advocacy in a criminal or civil context (1 day)

Both the Criminal and Civil courses require engagement with extensive online materials prior to the Summer School study days in June and July 2020.

Summer School Schedule 2020

Online enrolment Monday 1 June 2020
EPE Criminal Wednesday 17 June 2020
EPE Civil Thursday 18 June 2020
Advocacy day 1 Tuesday 30 June 2020
Advocacy day 2 Wednesday 1 July 2020
Advocacy day 3 Thursday 2 July 2020

Provisional assessment dates

EPE assessment day Monday 7 September 2020
Advocacy assessment day Tuesday 8 September 2020

What you'll study

The course and the assessment strategy is driven by the SRA Statement of Standards for Solicitor Higher Court Advocates and the associated performance indicators.

Under the current SRA Higher Rights of Audience Regulations, there are two, distinct qualifications: the Higher Courts (Civil Advocacy) Qualification and Higher Courts (Criminal Advocacy) Qualification. In order to qualify with the equivalent rights as a barrister to appear before all courts and in all divisions, it is necessary to complete both the criminal and civil assessments.

There are three distinct elements relevant to the study of each of the Higher Rights of Audience qualifications: Ethics and Professional Conduct, Evidence and Procedure and Advocacy.

Ethics and Professional Conduct

The course in Evidence, Procedure and Ethics has been updated to take account of the new SRA Standards and Regulations 2019 the digital court.

*Procedure and Evidence (Criminal or Civil)

Procedural rules and law of evidence relevant to each qualification

Advocacy

  • Case Preparation including Trial Strategy Plans
  • Interim Applications
  • Evidential and Legal Submissions
  • Opening Speeches
  • Examination in Chief
  • Cross-examination
  • Re-examination
  • Closing Speeches
  • Handling Experts and Vulnerable Witnesses

Online pre course study with directed reading, short form exercises to consolidate knowledge, case study preparation, directed reading, film clips, and short “how to” talks from experienced practising lawyers via the NLS online learning portal, NOW;

How you’re taught

In common with all post qualification training provided by Nottingham Law School, this programme is based on “learning by doing”, together with directed reading, exercises and online self-test questions.

  • the emphasis is on the use of case study facilitation throughout;
  • face to face teaching sessions are supplemented by pre and post module work delivered online via the NTU NOW portal, which facilitates the online delivery of introductory pre-recorded lectures and opinion pieces on aspects of procedure and advocacy from experienced practitioners.

Assessment methods

There are two assessments. Full details of the assessment process and logistics will be provided on enrolment, but, in brief, the assessment strategy is as follows:

  • Written Paper in Evidence, Procedure and Ethics (Civil or Criminal) (2.5 hours) comprising a number of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and short case study based questions
  • Advocacy Assessment (Civil or Criminal). (60 minutes maximum)
    You will receive an Assessment Case Study Brief five days before the date of the assessment and will be required to prepare for what is, in effect, a mini trial of the case. You will prepare
    • A short interim application accompanied by a Skeleton Argument which must be submitted, via the NOW learning portal, 24 hours before the time of your assessment.
    • A Trial Strategy Plan for the entire trial, which must be submitted, via the NOW learning portal, 24 hours before the time of your assessment.
    • A trial based exercise, which could be an opening speech, witness examination or closing, as directed in the Assessment Case Study Brief.

The Pass Mark is 60% in aggregate across both assessments.

The use of the summer school format replicates the law school experience, and allows you to develop skills and knowledge over an eight-week period, from enrolment to assessment, supported by one to one feedback both during the study days and online. We also understand that those candidates who are experienced practitioners but who may not have taken assessments for some time benefit from additional support in assessment technique, and this

A candidate wishing to qualify with rights to appear in all courts must, therefore, complete four assessments. A student wishing to qualify for either the criminal or the civil qualification must just take both the relevant Written Paper and Advocacy Assessment.

The SRA does not require delegates to complete a training course in order to sit the Higher Rights of Audience assessment.

Why study at Nottingham Law School?

  • NLS is accredited by the SRA to administer assessments under the SRA Higher Rights of Audience Regulations 2011.
  • This course is provided by the NLS Centre for Advocacy, which focuses on developing excellence in advocacy and the teaching of advocacy. NLS also provides advocacy training and assessment for barristers and also qualification in litigation and advocacy for chartered patent and trade mark attorneys.
  • NLS was one of the first providers of Higher Rights of Audience for Solicitors in England and Wales, from the inception of the scheme in 1994. Since that date, it has provided Higher Rights of Audience training and assessment to a variety of international law firms and individual solicitors in both criminal and civil advocacy.
  • Access to NTU facilities as a student on enrolment, including all library facilities, both on site and online for the duration of the course.

Access to NTU facilities as a student on enrolment, including all library facilities, both on site and online for the duration of the course.

Careers and employability

On passing the assessment you may make an application to the SRA to be recognised as a Solicitor Advocate (Civil) or Solicitor Advocate (Criminal). Patent and registered Trade Mark Attorneys may make an appropriate application to their regulator, the Intellectual Property Regulation Board.

Entry requirements

This course has been designed for solicitors and trainee solicitors who wish to obtain Higher Rights of Audience (Civil) and/or Higher Rights of Audience (Criminal) designation. If you wish to undertake both the Higher Rights of Audience (Civil) and Higher Rights of Audience (Criminal) assessments as part of the summer school, please contact the course leader.

The Higher Rights of Audience (Civil) route is also open to patent attorneys and registered trade mark attorneys who wish to obtain rights of audience under the IPREG Rights to Conduct Litigation and Rights of Audience and Other Reserved Activities Certification Rules 2012.

Trainee solicitors should note that whilst they may take the HRA Assessments as a trainee, they cannot apply to be registered as a Solicitor Advocate until after Admission to the Roll.

This course has been designed for solicitors and trainee solicitors who wish to obtain Higher Rights of Audience (Civil) and/or Higher Rights of Audience (Criminal) designation. If you wish to undertake both the Higher Rights of Audience (Civil) and Higher Rights of Audience (Criminal) assessments as part of the summer school, please contact the course leader.

The Higher Rights of Audience (Civil) route is also open to patent attorneys and registered trade mark attorneys who wish to obtain rights of audience under the IPREG Rights to Conduct Litigation and Rights of Audience and Other Reserved Activities Certification Rules 2012.

Trainee solicitors should note that whilst they may take the HRA Assessments as a trainee, they cannot apply to be registered as a Solicitor Advocate until after Admission to the Roll.

How to apply

Apply directly to the University online using the NTU online application portal.

If you have any questions about this course please contact the course Director, Jane Jarman either by email, jane.jarman@ntu.ac.uk or phone +44 (0)115 848 6096.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Apply directly to the University online using the NTU online application portal.

If you have  any questions about this course please contact the course Director, Jane Jarman either by email, jane.jarman@ntu.ac.uk or phone +44 (0)115 848 6096.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Cost per route: £1,345 + VAT (including assessments)

Cost per route: £1,345 + VAT (including assessments)

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418