Recognition for his ability to construct convincing, legal arguments and winning his department’s mooting competition, mark the highlight of Lewis’ University of Leeds experience to date. Lewis also attributes his involvement in the mooting society to his growth in confidence, adaptability and responsiveness to other people’s views.
What do you hope to go on and do when you graduate?
To practise law as soon as I qualify and complete my professional training!
It’s a bit tough at the moment to get a training contract or a pupilage so you need every advantage you can get from your course and co-curricular activities at university.
What skills and qualifications do you think you have gained from your course?
Principally the ability to research and present legal arguments. I have also improved my analysis skills and my ability to pick out relevant points from a large body of information. Seminars have helped me develop communication and discussion skills.
Quite a lot of the work is independent and so I have learnt how to motivate myself and manage my time effectively. Where the work is in a more structured environment, I have learnt how to better stick to deadlines and prioritise work.
What skills and qualifications do you think you have gained from your co-curricular activities?
I’ve learnt real confidence in public speaking through the mooting society, where you’re one of a pair competing against another pair in making legal arguments.
The cases are usually difficult and I’ve learnt to identify the key arguments I have to present, often relying on my own opinions and convictions rather than any clear-cut case law.
I have also learnt to think on my feet, adapting my arguments in response to the judge and to the other competitors’ presentations.
Last year I was a mentor to a local A-level student through a law school pro bono scheme. This has improved my skills in listening to people and in finding solutions to their problems.
How will these skills and qualities help you achieve what you want to do when you graduate?
Obviously it’s critical to be able to analyse complex legal situations, to research them thoroughly and to present clear and cogent responses.
What has been your proudest moment whilst studying at Leeds?
Winning the second and third year mooting competition last year. It was judged by a panel of professional Leeds barristers who complimented me on style, preparation and delivery. I was really nervous so it was incredible to be announced the winner!
How do you think you have benefitted from studying at Leeds?
I have become much more focused on my studies and I’m really enjoying the course. I’ve had great support from my tutors; they have always been helpful and willing to answer any questions I might have.
Leeds has an excellent careers service who have helped me with my applications and also has great support available for students, such as myself, who suffer from dyslexia.
The social side of Leeds is amazing too, especially the music scene and the nights out!
What advice would you have for new students?
Engage with your topic and enjoy – throw yourself into your studies and into Leeds life. Never again will there be so many people trying to get you to join so many societies!