Law students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been successful at an international mediation competition. Alex Jenkinson, Sophie Piper and Nathalie Speakman recently represented Lancashire Law School in the International Law School Mediation Tournament in London, where they won the trophy for ‘Outstanding Mediation Programme’.
Senior Lecturer Emma McCandry supported the team through the competition and her passion for mediation led them to success.
Commenting on the achievement, she said: “Any sort of competition like this gives real life application to study and is fantastic for employability. It will look great on the student’s CVs as it shows that they have engaged in a practice as current as mediation, which is likely to impress employers.”
Following the event, Emma was invited to join the Association of Mediation Assessors, Trainers and Instructors (AMATI) who are the leading professional body for those who train future mediators. She will attend one of their upcoming conferences.
There was also individual success for Nathalie, who was presented with the ‘Fourth Best Mediator’ award, which means she can be considered as one of the best student mediators in the world. Nathalie has been offered a potential exchange opportunity by two professors from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, who invited her to participate in their mediation research.
She said: “It is without a doubt my greatest achievement. Not only was the competition an amazing experience but I now know that mediation is what I want to pursue in my career.”
Consisting of three initial rounds, students were given opportunity to play the role of the mediator, the advocate and the client, in different scenarios. The team progressed all the way to the semi-final, just missing out on a place in the final round.
Sophie added: “It’s fantastic to acknowledge where we are in the world. People either have a perception of Preston as a small town or they haven’t even heard of us but now we are getting positive recognition in the world arena.”
The event was also an excellent opportunity for the team to network notable legal figures and international law students. Prior to the competition, there was a two day training session which included speeches from mediators across the globe. Students heard from Queen’s Counsel Sir Alan Ward; Andrew Goodman, who wrote the Mediation and Advocacy book using in UCLan mediation modules; and Dick Calkins who founded the International Academy for Dispute Resolution (INADR), which sponsored the event.
Alex praised this opportunity: “We were given the opportunity not only to expand our mediation knowledge and experience but we made some incredible contacts with students all over the world, some of which we are still in contact with.”
UCLan Mediation has been going from strength to strength in recent months with the opening of a funded mediation clinic which will be run by students. There have also been two successful mediation training courses in the last six months and in September 2014 UCLan launched the first Bachelor of Law (LLB) with Mediation undergraduate degree programme.