Pupils' Advocacy Weekend

"This year’s advocacy training weekend at Wotton House was hard work and great fun in equal measure. The beautiful rural setting provided an idyllic backdrop to what was a highly intensive and rewarding course. Alastair Hodge and his team of trainers, members of the Inn who had selflessly given up their weekends for our benefit, led small groups of pupils for set-piece advocacy exercises, both criminal and civil. These sessions were interspersed with informative lectures and excellent advocacy demonstrations.

"Everyone got a great deal out of the course in terms of professional development, but it was also a welcome opportunity to catch up with old friends and to make new ones. It was helpful to be able to ask senior members of the Inn their advice on pupillage and on starting out in practice, but also to swap notes with fellow pupils on their pupillage experiences so far. Altogether it was a very rewarding weekend and a real highlight of Inner Temple’s pupillage training programme."

Alexander Riddiford, Pupil at South Square Chambers

60 - Wotton House

"The Advocacy Training weekend was an excellent way of bringing together all our studies and refining our advocacy techniques to prepare us for our second six.  We arrived at Wotton House and began with a drama exercise (which involved a lot of jumping!) and which helped to break the ice.  We then commenced the advocacy exercises.  We covered everything we need to know for our practice; closing speeches, examination in chief, cross examination.  We completed the exercises in small groups which provided for detailed feedback.  We then individually went with our recordings of the advocacy exercise to review it for further feedback.  It was a fantastic opportunity to observe yourself critically, see what you do well, what you need to improve and the constructive comments you receive are invaluable.

"The weekend also provided the opportunity to observe experienced barristers demonstrating advocacy techniques and giving their top tips.  A beautiful setting, an opportunity to learn and to receive unparalleled feedback, the pupils’ advocacy weekend was a hugely rewarding experience."

Adele Harrison, Pupil at Old Bailey Chambers

"The Pupil Advocacy Course was an invaluable opportunity for pupils to hone case preparation and advocacy skills before commencing “second six”. The highlight of the course was the residential weekend at Wotton House Conference Centre in Surrey. I had been warned about the drunkenness and debauchery which occurs on these weekends. In fact, the weekend was organised with military precision and packed full of practical and relevant sessions run by experienced and dedicated practitioners and Judges. The advocacy exercises were carried out in small groups with two or three trainers. Whilst these sessions were challenging and initially a little daunting, they allowed the trainers to give detailed and constructive feedback. By the end of the course all the pupils felt far better equipped to face the perils of second six. As for drunkenness and debauchery; this stretched to a glass of wine and a game of giant “Jenga” before collapsing into bed!"

Fenella Cooil, Pupil at 1 Gray's Inn Square