The University of Law offers two Higher Rights of Audience components as an alternative to the usual four elective modules that form part of the Professional Skills Course. These would cover the same amount of time as the one-day electives - taking up two days of training sessions each.
These are aimed at trainees who are looking to take up a career later on in litigation, equipping you with the tools needed in order to represent clients in the capacity of a solicitor-advocate.
This course is split into two components - Written Advocacy Training and Practical Advocacy Training - which act as preparation sessions for the two exams that make up the HRA.
Although the HRA assessments formally don’t require any preparation, The University of Law will look to provide you with training in both civil and criminal advocacy before the exam.
The exams will be tailored to the discipline you chose, whether that’s civil or criminal law. There is a 2.5 hour written advocacy paper, which concentrates on evidence, ethics, particular advocacy issues, and equality and diversity. This is followed by a 90-minute practical advocacy exam, which assesses generic advocacy skills as well as particular advocacy issues, for which the assessment documents are given to you a week in advance.
Completion of the assessment will allow you to exercise rights of audience at the Higher Courts of England and Wales, by applying for accreditation once you have qualified as a solicitor.
The University of Law’s course can also be beneficial to solicitors who don’t carry out advocacy in Higher Courts, but want to improve their skills as litigators and have an increased understanding of the process.