1 March 2011

On Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th February, nineteen year twelve students from four Sixth Form Colleges across the Greater Merseyside area gave up two days from their half term to come to LJMU to participate in the ‘Law Factor’ a programme funded by Aimhigher. The ‘Law Factor’ is a programme created by two of LJMU’s BLW academics, Stuart Taylor and Ester Ragonese, in which year twelve students who are interested in studying Law at University had the opportunity to sample the subject area through various interactive discussions, activities and outings. The event was supported by five LJMU Student Advocates who currently study at the University and were able to give the participants a real insight in to what Student Life is actually like. The participating Sixth Forms were: • Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Wirral • Hugh Baird College, Sefton • Cowley International College, St Helens • Cronton Sixth Form College, Halton Day One consisted of the students learning about Law and its basic principles while testing their critical analysis and public speaking skills in areas such as Crime, Criminal Justice, Punishment and Sentencing. They debated past criminology cases and their rulings; developing their own sentences and punishments, justified through theoretical application of the concepts they were learning, based on Justice, Retribution and Morality. Day Two involved a morning trip to the Liverpool Crown Court to view criminal trials first hand; collectively they were able to see pleas being given, juries being sworn in, witness statements, verdicts and sentencing for a number of different offences such as theft, robbery, rape and murder. During the afternoon students were given access to real case documents from the probation services, to perform their own mock trial in LJMU’s Moot Room. For this they were given the opportunity to act as the Prosecution, Defence and Jury, comparing their trial results to the actual trial results. To mark their successful completion of the ‘Law Factor’ all participating students were awarded graduation trophy plaques as a sign of their achievement. Michael Monaghan, from LJMU’s Aimhigher team said: ‘All the students were very impressive and their feedback was extremely positive; not only has the ‘Law Factor’ gave them a real insight into how Law is taught at University and the kinds of careers it leads on to, but it has also inspired these young people to work harder in their studies and further motivated their passion for Law related subjects. These students will now have something very interesting to discuss on their University applications, which has developed their knowledge about Law and improved their critical analysis, team work, public speaking and debating skills.’