Nottingham Law School opens advocacy centre with unique LLB

Robson: little academic research into what makes an effective advocate

Nottingham Law School is to launch the first LLB with Advocacy next year as it creates the UK’s first centre devoted to academic study of advocacy.

Nottingham was the first university in the UK to award an LLM in Advocacy Skills and the LLB “will give students a unique chance to experience how the theory of law works in the courtroom and perfect their analytical and presentational skills”.

Led by senior lecturer and barrister Jeremy Robson, the Centre for Advocacy will examine what makes for effective advocacy and how lawyers can be trained to ensure that they present their cases accurately, ethically and persuasively.

Mr Robson said: “It is the duty of the advocate to ensure that their client’s interests are protected robustly. Despite the importance of this role there has been very little academic research conducted into what makes an effective advocate.

“Drawing on the expertise of many of the experienced advocates who teach at Nottingham Law School, and working in conjunction with our colleagues in the School of Psychology and School of Forensic Science we aim to change that.”

Mr Robson was called to the Bar in 1999 and practised in the Midlands until joining Nottingham in 2008.

Since that time he has taught and designed a number of different advocacy programmes, including leading the LLM in advocacy skills, a bespoke programme commissioned by the Attorney General of Malaysia.

He said: “The legal system is currently in a state of significant change and one of the consequences of this is that more and more bodies are able to offer advocacy services. It is vital for the preservation of the rule of law that the standard of advocacy is maintained.

“It is also a skill which, if students can demonstrate they can do well, opens up a whole host of opportunities in the jobs market.

“If they are good advocates, it means they can analyse a complicated set of facts, identify what is relevant and present an argument in a way which is engaging and persuasive. We will be exploring ways of ensuring that all our graduates possess these skills.”