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High Tide Foundation Law Experience Week, Day 1 – Jacksons Law Firm– Student blog No 3

Posted on 16th August, 2019

We are delighted to announce the 1st prize of High Tide Foundation Law Experience week at Jacksons student blog, goes to George Agar.  Congratulations George, your prize is on its way to you! 

Beyond all reasonable doubt, it was an exceptional day……….When High Tide visited Jacksons Law Firm

I arrived at Jacksons Law Firm on the morning of August 5th, wet behind the ears and with an ever expanding knot of nerves in my stomach. A career in the legal field certainly piqued my interest, but being so young, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was out of my depth. Yet, as soon as I stepped through the doors, any fears I had were immediately quashed.

The legal team we would be working with introduced themselves to our group, explaining their role at the company and the steps they’d taken on their career paths. It became apparent that it wasn’t a one size fits all, and there were so many routes into this field of work: apprenticeships, paid study and, of course, the traditional university pathway.

Then we split up into small groups and put our knowledge of absurd laws to the test. That was enlightening. For instance, did you know that due to the Salmon Act of 1986 it is illegal to ‘handle salmon in suspicious circumstances’? It’s certainly something I’ll be on my guard about in the future! However, it was just the kind of icebreaker we needed. After this, we were given a research activity where we had to work under the pressure of a time constraint, mimicking the real world of the legal profession. The focus was on recent contentious issues in the news, such as violence, sexism and homelessness.

After a short break, we were swiftly moved on to the next activity and what we’d be doing for the rest of the day. We were presented with a case: a woman had called the police after being threatened and grabbed by her husband. She later awakened with a bloodied pot in her hand and a man dead on the floor of her home.

It was the ultimate crime thriller. Members from Jacksons’ legal team took on various roles, such as witnesses and even the accused, proving they were prepared to go that extra mile in developing the immersive experience for us, and we were instructed to get familiar with the information from the case and develop some ideas on a potential course of legal action, but then… the court was in recess.

However, not for long, and after a buffet lunch, it was back to work where we were split into two teams: Defence and Prosecution.

I was to be a part of the team acting in favour of the defendant, and we were given the opportunity to roleplay a police interview, instructing the defendant when to respond to questions and when to hold her silence. We were determined to build a case to prove our client’s innocence. When the time came to interview witnesses, both sides unleashed a hail of questions, desperate to uncover a new piece of vital information. It was intense, but after much note-taking, both teams felt they had consolidated enough details to prepare a strong defence and prosecution. Even so, which team would get the verdict they were after?

Soon the time arrived – our day in court – and Toby Joel, Partner and Head of Commercial Litigation, was presiding as judge.

Witnesses were called, one by one, and questions were once again fired. It was a hard fought battle, but, eventually, the defence came out on top, proving the defendant was neither guilty of murder nor manslaughter. We’d done it. We’d actually got an acquittal on the basis of self-defence. The whole day had certainly been an experience.

Now, looking back, I’d walked into Jacksons that morning feeling anxious about the day ahead but eager to learn, and I think I can say, beyond reasonable doubt, that I certainly did that. The team have given me a tremendous sense of direction, and I left determined to follow in their footsteps and make a difference in the legal field.

I know I speak for all members of the group supported by the High Tide Foundation when I thank the wonderful staff at Jacksons Law Firm for giving us this opportunity.

George Agar

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