Your experience

Since it was established in 1992, our Law School has been passionate about real world learning: courses which challenge you intellectually and which also include vital practical experience and contributions from current legal professionals.

At Derby Law School, you will start building your professional skills from day one and will be able to enhance these at every stage of your academic career. You will have opportunities to take part in the following:

Judicial shadowing

Uniquely for a UK university, we have a formal judicial shadowing scheme, which allows you to sit in on cases with the judiciary for a week. This gives you the chance to observe the legal process in action and gain knowledge that will be essential for your own casework.

Pro bono legal work

You can undertake real casework through our law clinics, so as well as developing essential experience, you will also make a difference to the lives of local people. Clinics cover areas such as immigration and asylum, employment law, domestic violence and miscarriages of justice. Through Miscarriages of Justice at University of Derby (MOJ@UOD), we offer a pro-bono service to review cases of wrong conviction, primarily from the East Midlands area.


You will be guaranteed a placement, as long as you meet competence standards. Placements enable you to put your skills and knowledge into practice and learn more about yourself and the legal sector. We can offer clinical placements within most areas of law, from urban development through to criminal practice.

Professional mentoring

You will receive guidance from practitioners – normally partners in law firms – to help you develop your skills, networks and employability. Mentors also often provide work placements and part-time paralegal work. Sometimes they even offer students a permanent job once they have graduated.

Mooting and legal skills competitions

‘Mooting’ is when you verbally present a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel and before a judge in a mock court case. You will develop (and be tested on) your mooting skills in certain modules and have the opportunity to practise these and other legal skills further during competitions. For example, the annual Legal Skills Triathlon tests your advocacy, interview and negotiation skills. You work in teams with a recently qualified legal professional and compete for cash prizes.