Advocacy and Communication Skills: What am I expected to know before starting?

  • Raphael Jucobin
  • Tuesday 07th December
  • 2 min read

As one of the compulsory core modules that make up the Professional Skills Course, Advocacy and Communication Skills takes place over three days of teaching, covering a range of content. With the PSC being the final step before you complete your training and qualify as a legal professional, you’ll be expected to have acquired specific knowledge over the course of your training period as well as the Legal Practice Course you will have passed previously.

Is there assumed knowledge for Advocacy and Communication Skills?

The Advocacy and Communication Skills module will see you put into practice both your textbook knowledge and work experience to work on a range of scenarios that will arise over the course of your future legal career. Because of this, it’s best to go over the topics you studied for the LPC as preparation before undertaking the PSC. 

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has set out the assumed knowledge trainees will have before beginning the module. This includes practical skills, such as being able to interview a client, developing a case presentation strategy, and preparing the facts of a case in a simple form.

In addition, you’ll be expected to have a general understanding of the ethics of advocacy and its conventions, in addition to a grasp on examination, cross-examination and re-examination techniques. This can also include advising a client on pre-trial procedures, as well as the preparation of these proceedings.

How will Advocacy and Communication Skills be structured?

The module is broken down into two elements. The first of these concentrates on developing communication skills in the context of advocacy - for example, observing and interpreting the behaviour of the different actors in a trial, using effective questioning methods, and presenting a concise submission persuasively. In the second element, you will learn about being able to react to any ethical issues that you might pick out over the course of a trial.

How else can I prepare for Advocacy and Communication Skills?

In a more general sense, you’ll be expected to appreciate the significance of commercial awareness as a legal professional, as well as understanding how IT can play a crucial role in the various aspects of your work. 

As much of the prior knowledge will also have been gained from practical experience as a trainee, it’s recommended that you take the module once you have spent a certain amount of time on your training contract. In any case, the firm you are with will ultimately organise for you to take the Professional Skills Course with an authorised provider - such as the University of Law - during your 24-month training contract.

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