A Newcastle solicitor has returned to her law college to judge a competition that she previously took part in as a student.

Rebecca Weir was invited by the University of Law in Leeds to be a judge in the regional finals of CEDR National Student Negotiation Competition, an annual event which sees teams from higher education institutions across the country demonstrating the skills that they will eventually use during their legal careers.

Rebecca, who is now a solicitor with the construction team at Hay & Kilner Law Firm in Newcastle, took her Law Conversion Course and Legal Practice Course qualifications at the University of Law and reached the same stage of what eventually becomes an international competition that she was now judging back in 2015.

Pairs of competitors are briefed on a negotiation scenario of the type that they might come across in practice and are then each given confidential information about it that they can use to reach the best possible outcome for their ‘client.’

The team which is considered by the judges to have conducted the best negotiation is declared the winners.

Nine institutions were represented in Leeds, with the two home teams from the University of Law in Leeds itself coming out on top to go forward to the national finals in Cardiff at the end of March.

Rebecca Weir says: “This competition was one of the most useful parts of my legal training and really reflects the sort of work that I now do on a daily basis.

“The idea is to encourage positive, proactive negotiation skills on all sides which both demonstrate the students’ clear understanding of the legal matters at hand and how these can be applied to commercial situations in the way in which future employers will expect of them.

“The standard of competition was extremely high this year and everyone had clearly put a great deal of thought and preparation into getting ready for the event.

“The commercial awareness demonstrated by young people who are still at an early stage in their legal training was also extremely impressive, and that bodes very well for them as they move into practice.

“The fact that I’d taken part in the competition as a student gave me an additional perspective as a judge, and it was a very useful and interesting experience to see a different side of it.”