Mooting and Debating

LLB (Hons), graduated 2009

When Graham Caldwell returned to the UK from the USA, where he had lived for 13 years, he wanted to retrain as a barrister.

He chose Birmingham City University to study for the LLB (Hons) because of the flexibility.

“It offered a very convenient, flexible programme and allowed me to do the degree I had always wanted to do,” he says.

Graham, who went on to complete his Bar Vocational Course (now renamed the Bar Professional Training Course), praises the academic staff at the School of Law for their “incredible” accessibility.

“I’ve never come across a place where you can walk into a lecturer’s or professor’s office and have a chat at almost any time. I got an awful lot of help by being able to pop in and see them; it was very valuable,” says Graham, who attained undergraduate and graduate degrees in the USA before launching a chiropractic clinic there.

A champion mooter – Graham won Mooter of the Year and was a member of the Mooting Team of the Year when it was runner-up in the ICLR 2009 finals at Gray’s Inn, London – he recommends any law student to take an active part in the successful Mooting Society.

Graham continues:

“I really enjoyed mooting as it is a chance to practice all the skills you are going to need as an advocate,” he says. “It is especially important if you want to do the Bar course because you are expected to speak in front of your tutorial group straight away. If you don’t moot, you can expect to be two steps behind those who have.

The LLB’s practice-based focus is also of huge benefit to students. I learned a lot, from court etiquette, filling in bail applications, pleas and mitigations to specific skills such as advising business clients, all of which were extremely helpful. It was a very good programme. There was nothing negative to say about it at all.”