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Supreme Court President inspires University of Hull students


Law student Sebastian Palmer reports on the visit by Supreme Court judge Lady Hale to officially open the University’s mock court room. The new, state-of-the-art facility will help students develop the skills required for legal practice.

Hull University Law Society welcomed the President of the Supreme Court, Baroness Hale of Richmond, to showcase the University’s new facilities and demonstrate students’ legal skills. The Law Society would like to show its appreciation to President Adam Geele and Faculty of Business, Law and Politics Representative Lee Tilling for inviting Baroness Hale to The University of Hull. Without their initiative, this historic event would not have occurred!

Over 200 students along with lecturers and local legal firms came together to listen to an inspirational talk describing how she entered the legal profession and worked her way to becoming the most influential Judge in United Kingdom. Baroness Hale highlighted her career defining points, including being only the second female appointed in the Court of Appeal and first female to hold the position of President of the Supreme Court.

To start her official visit to the University, Baroness Hale cut the ribbon for the newly built mock court room. The state-of-the-art facility provides students with professional standard AV and live streaming in realistic surroundings, mirroring many court rooms. To inaugurate the facility, Baroness Hale resumed her position as a leading judge to hear a Moot Court, a competitive simulation of court proceedings used between University students and aspiring lawyers. Lee Tilling and Elizabeth Lee, who have both won University competitions and competed at national level, demonstrated their advocacy and drafting skills and stood well against the assertive manner of the leading Supreme Court judge.

The purpose of the visit was to inspire future lawyers and barristers, and Lady Hale led a talk where she covered growing up as a young girl in the Yorkshire town of Richmond, defying expectations and making her way to the Bar where she discussed the highlights of her extensive legal career. With an emphasis on the struggles of working through her career as woman from the North of England, Baroness Hale underlined that passion for the subject and determination can get the many students listening keenly to their desired career. The push for inclusivity in the legal field, that’s being led by Baroness Hale, was a key theme through the talk and provided optimism to the University of Hull students.

Baroness Hale drew her talk to an end as she discussed the pressures and impact on such a key role in the British judicial system. Emphasising the moral and precedential issues amongst the vast cases that have entered the Supreme Court, including the high-profile cases that have been reported on in recent years, Baroness Hale shared how she keeps her distance from social media and how she balances the stress of the monumental decisions in the knowledge that the key decisions are always implemented after a majority is reached amongst a panel of her Supreme Court colleagues.

Students were given the chance to ask Baroness Hale their questions, allowing them to gain a deeper, and unique, insight of the legal system and gain invaluable career advice that covered learning the steps taken to further their careers in the legal sector and emphasising the point of following their passion to achieve their career goals.

During her visit, Baroness Hale also enjoyed lunch with leading figures of the University of Hull and representatives from the Hull University Law Society where they conversed about the legal profession and the University's highly regarded law department. Friday’s visit follows Baroness Hale’s last visit to The University of Hull when she accepted an Honorary Doctorate of Law (LLD) in 2006.

Adam Geele, President of the Hull University Student Law Society, said: “It was a great honour to welcome Baroness Hale to the University of Hull. We were delighted to welcome such a motivated and passionate role model for the students. It has been a fantastic opportunity for both staff and students to interact with someone as inspirational as herself.”

Karen Harrison, Head of the Law School at the University of Hull, said: “We were all so pleased that Lady Hale took time out of her busy schedule to visit the University of Hull. We hold dear the generosity she has afforded the University and treasure the vast wealth of knowledge and experience she shared with those aspiring to join the legal profession in its different guises.

“On behalf of all the staff and students from the University of Hull, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks for allowing us to enjoy such a stimulating and uplifting day.”

The visit was well received by both students and staff who have claimed the event has offered great value to their learning experience and complemented a variety of modules and extra-curricular activities open to them. The day’s events are part of a wider celebration of the law students many achievements over the past twelve months which culminated with the annual Law Ball.

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