The very first Law Fair entitled “Become a Lawyer for a day” was held in the Moot Courtroom of UCLan Cyprus on the 16th of September 2016. Prominent lawyers were invited aiming to show the students a glimpse of what it feels like to be a lawyer and to give them guidance regarding their future careers.
The first part of the event consisted of a role play of criminal proceedings in court with the title “What is it like to be a judge? A prosecutor? An advocate?”. Mr.Dimitris Sizinos, Managing Partner of D. Sizinos & Associates LLC acted as the judge; Mr. Constantinos Keravlos, Partner at Constantinos Keravlos LLC acted as the prosecutor; and Ms.Gloria Chrysafi, Partner at G. Chrysafi Law Firm as the defence lawyer. One of the things highlighted by our guests was the attire required in court. A lawyer should wear a gown, bands, white shirt and a dark coloured suit.
The case itself concerned a bad cheque worth 2000 euros, which was given by the defendant to the owner of an electronics shop. The trial started with the defendant pledging an oath to tell the truth in court, as it happens with everyone that gives testimony before the court. Then the prosecutor read the charges to the Defendant, which he did not accept. Afterwards, the complaint was called as a witness and was asked questions from both the prosecution and the defence. The defence tried through the questions to create doubts to the court about the witness’ reliability. Then the defendant’s lawyer asked for a five minutes break in order to consult with her client, which was granted by the judge. When the trial restarted, the defendant pleaded guilty to all charges. Before the judge announced his ruling on the sentence, the defence referred to mitigating factors the judge should take into consideration. These included the defendant’s clear criminal record, his family situation and the fact that he had paid the debt during the break. The judge delivered his ruling, and considering the mitigating factors, decided not to impose imprisonment, but a fine of 5000 euros and the costs of the procedure. This concluded the first part of the event, and the audience was allowed to ask any questions they had.
The second part of the event was entitled “Contentious and non-contentious work as a lawyer and alternative careers for a law graduate”. Three lawyers, Ms.Celia Kourouzidou, Associate Lawyer at Harris Kyriakides LLC, Ms. Yiolanda Zachariou, Partner at Andreas V. Zachariou & Co LLC and Mr. Tasos Coucounis, Executive Managing Partner at Andreas Coucounis & Co LLC gave speeches regarding the everyday work of a lawyer based on their own experiences. Ms.Celia Kourouzidou referred to contentious work of a lawyer, in other words, taking a case to court. She gave an account of how a laywer should deal with his client and prepare for court proceedings. Mr. Tasos Coucounis focused his speech on non-contentious work, which is work done by a lawyer outside of the court. Such activities include drafting of leases, real estate agreements, company administration and advisory work. Finally, Ms. Yiolanda Zachariou spoke of alternate careers in law. She said that a law degree is very powerful and useful degree since the soft skills acquired by LLB holders can open many doors for them. A law student may follow a career in research, politics and the public service or in the police. Also a law graduate can pursue a career in banking and the academia. Enquires followed from the audience, which were mainly focused on what future career a lawyer can take, such as what law Master’s Degree is most relevant and useful today.
The evening was concluded with a reception.
Written by Constantinos Alexandrou