School Students Participate In ‘Law Springboard’

July 12, 2012

Seven students completed the Bermuda Education Network’s first ever Law Springboard last week. Following a similar format to BEN’s Math Springboard, the Law Springboard is a one week programme aimed at Berkeley and CedarBridge S2 and S3 students and provides teenagers with insight into Bermuda’s legal profession

CedarBridge student, Marcus H. Bean was awarded the Cox Hallett Wilkinson debating award for best speech proposing: “This House Believes that Conscription should be Abolished.”

Berkeley Institute students Alana Bean and Glenn Simmons also distinguished themselves winning the Conyers Dill and Pearman prize for Overall Participation and the Sedgwich Chudleigh prize for Advocacy.

Students were individually assigned to a law firm or legal department where they spent mornings under the supervision of a lawyer and received a $100 stipend from Conyers Dill & Pearman for participation in the programme.

Participating firms and organizations included: Allied World Assurance, Cox Hallett Wilkinson, Christopher’s Chambers, Charter Chambers, Conyers Dill & Pearman, Department of Public Prosecutions, the Ministry of Justice and PartnerRe.

The seven students shadowed lawyers, completed self-study modules and attended workshops held at the Bermuda Insurance Institute. They started the week with an Induction Workshop at Cox Hallett Wilkinson and during the week attended court with their mentors and had a tour of the House of Assembly with Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Cathryn Swain.

On Friday the students participated in a Mock Trial devised and run by Alex Potts, a barrister and Special Counsel at Sedgwick Chudleigh. Mr. Potts, who also played the role of Magistrate, said that all the students gave excellent performances during the mock trial, both as witnesses and as prosecution and defence counsel.

“Even though it’s a mock-trial, there’s a large amount of preparation that is required on the part of the students. They have to consider the relevant facts and the law, adduce the evidence and then challenge it under cross-examination, and finally make closing arguments to the Court based upon that evidence.

:They have been introduced to important principles of evidence and legal reasoning, including analysis of the burden and standard of proof, the hearsay rule, and the weight to be placed on circumstantial and inconsistent evidence. The students really rose to the challenge, both individually and working as teams, and we’ve seen some great potential for the long-term future of Bermuda’s legal profession.”

Jonathan Betts, Senior Associate at Cox Hallett Wilkinson added: “CHW is very pleased to be closely involved with the launch of the Law Springboard programme. We have been impressed both by the standard of students and their enthusiasm about studying law. The feedback from the mentors is that a great deal has been achieved in just one week by placing students in the work place and providing relevant training.”

The Bermuda Education Network [Charity Reg. # 899] is a registered charity that provides support to students in the public school system by helping them access summer programs, experiential learning opportunities and expeditions, which provide them with global perspectives and 21st century skills.

For more information on BEN, the Law Springboard, Math Springboard or other upcoming Springboard programmes, please call Tracy Astwood at 505-7935 or tracy.astwood@ben.bm.

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Comments (4)

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  1. andrene says:

    Great job to the Bermuda Education Network’s group for putting this on for our young people.

  2. Bermudianstudent says:

    Hmmmm…. I wonder if this is the reason I couldn’t obtain a position as a summer student at a law firm this summer. Why were the Private School students not invited to partake? Or is this apart of the Governments scheme to promote their “schools”

    • This is a high school programme to encourage students at Public Schools to consider the legal profession. I believe the legal profession should be commended for this first initiative to promote access to students from lower socio-economic status backgrounds. Several major law firms in London and New York are involved in similar outreach initiatives. All of the Bermuda firms involved also offer places to students who are enrolled in Law Degree programmes. It is organised by an independent, NGO, Bermuda Education Network and we do not accept funding from the government.

    • Louise says:

      A one week programme for high school students would not have prevented you from obtaining a position as a summer law student. Perhaps it’s because you can’t read.