Aishat AdegboyegaThere have been many remarkable moments throughout all Qualifying Sessions (QS) I attended, the first of which is the welcoming aura of the Inn. I vividly remember Master Brian Leveson as Treasurer of the Inn, stating on my very first online QS experience/attendance that: ‘The Inn is a Community of Professionals and you are now part of the Community’; no truer words have been spoken.

As hard as it may be to single out one QS (because all QS were remarkable), the most profound for me was the Residential Advocacy Weekend at Cumberland Lodge. This weekend was richly educative, insightful and thorough in its training of Advocacy Essentials. So profoundly remarkable was this experience for me, that it remains one to be remembered for a lifetime.
David BilbeI attended the criminal trial masterclass QS. It was invaluable over two hours to see and hear experienced barristers play differing and critical roles in the mini trial and see theory really put into practice. Each of the students had a chance to challenge evidence facts and statements and test ones understanding of reasonable doubt. It was a unique first class (master class) learning experience. The humour was also epic. One senior barrister played the part of a vulnerable/unreliable witness and insisted on addressing the judge as ‘your majesty’. Hilarious. 
Elizabeth AtkinsonI attended the QS on the ‘Essentials of practical legal research’ last summer. The session was delivered online, meaning that we students were able to watch the Middle Temple librarians deftly navigating the online databases via screenshare, and could see the impact of the techniques they were teaching us in real time. Of all the 18 QS I have attended (fortunately I was able to attend many more than I would have been able to otherwise since they were online last year) this was the most practical and immediately useful. As I did not read law at undergraduate level, many legal databases and texts were new to me. Not only did the librarians suggest which sources to use in different situations, but also how to use them most efficiently. I attended the session immediately prior to starting a busy Bar Course year, and I am extremely grateful for the invaluable training provided by the Middle Temple librarians.
Hoda Hashem What I recall being the most interesting QS was the conversation between Frederick Wilmot-Smith and Master Shami Chakrabarti on why public interest in protecting access to justice is limited. There seemed to be an acknowledgement that this partly a political issue. As the Human Rights Act 1998 was introduced during a rhetoric of ‘tough of crime’, this may have contributed to public weariness of human rights, for example. 

I thought that both guests were happy to take on a high number of questions, and that answers were candid. The choice of speakers meant that there were legal, political, practical and scholarly views presented on the matter. 

Despite the QS being online, it was effectively chaired and student members had ample opportunity to engage. 
Ike EfobiThe online session I enjoyed most was the Cumberland online session.

I was privileged to attend both the online and the physical at Cumberland lodge and will confidently affirm that there was no difference in the quality of the sessions in terms of the advocacy training and tutelage from the instructors for both.

Each has got its pros and cons being that the physical had the advantage of the personal networking between us students and the trainers while the online session had the advantage of allowing students to attend from any part of the world they were situated in.

From the above it will seem fair to assume that since the physical session have limited places available, the online session trumped the physical in that it allowed more students to attend than would have been possible with the physical.

Therefore I hope that online sessions should become part of the tools that the Inn use in conducting QS for students post the pandemic.
Jack FelvusAll QS that are run by the Inn provide a great opportunity to learn from distinguished legal professionals and notable individuals. An online QS that I found particularly interesting was the one delivered by Master Eleanor Sharpston in 2020. The international context to this QS was particularly intriguing. Whilst speaking online from Luxembourg, AG Sharpston gave an interesting and informative insight into her role at the CJEU. She shared some of her first-hand experiences and thoughts on the Court and on Opinions that she wrote. It was a great opportunity to be able to ask questions and learn more about the role of the Advocates General within the EU
Jennifer MillsThe QS which I have enjoyed the most, was the Virtual Advocacy on Saturday 16 January 2021. I was pleasantly surprised as I thought that being a virtual session would take away from the experience, especially after hearing about how wonderful Cumberland Lodge was.  This was not the case at all. Master Louise McCullough was a brilliant facilitator who was extremely encouraging.  She made us all feel completely confident and comfortable to be able to perform our various roles. Our group dynamic was amazing as a result, and we all enjoyed the day thoroughly.
Joseph BarlowI attended a QS in February 2021 run by Professor Paul Baker on ‘Cross-Cultural Practice and Communication’. The session was absolutely fantastic! Whilst Professor Baker provided numerous examples and case studies from his own experience of cross-cultural communication in legal practice, the session was extremely interactive and other members of the audience were invited to add to the discussion and share their experiences of cross-cultural communication. Despite being online, the discussion was facilitated extremely well, making the session as good as any in-person seminar I’ve ever attended, and Professor Baker was all too happy to follow up on post-session queries by email.  
Sharon BloomfieldMiddle Temple should know that I think it has done a truly remarkable job of providing the QS that they have considering the pandemic.  I have met the required number of Sessions yet continue to attend events simply because they have been so varied, interesting and insightful.  Kudos to the Inn for persevering via video teleconferencing and despite Covid.

Particularly enriching was any QS that featured speakers from ‘non-traditional’ backgrounds – those who were the first to enter law in their families, who were considered write-offs in their youth, who were actively discouraged from pursuing a career at the Bar, or who were otherwise viewed as too ‘different’.  Such Sessions remain hugely inspirational in terms of the Bar being for everyone, and I really do applaud Middle Temple for presenting these.
Charley WeldrickOne QS that I particularly enjoyed was a ‘Criminal Law Round Table’. Before it took place, we were asked to research some scenarios and collect our thoughts on them. In doing so I learned about the issues that criminal practitioners are currently reckoning with, such as when to make use of the Modern Slavery Act as defence counsel. I appreciated that this QS provided both the impetus to study material that doesn’t appear on the BPC syllabus and that it created a space in which I could discuss that material with students from all over the country.
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