Moot court to make “huge” difference

undefinedA former graduate has returned to University Centre at Blackburn College to inspire current Law students with her own career journey and officially open the University Centre’s new moot court.

Alison Ashworth, from Rossendale, graduated in 2010 aged 24 with a First Class Honours degree in LLB (Hons) Law and returned to Blackburn with her mum, solicitor Colette Ashworth, who also studied her law degree at Blackburn College.

Now, aged 30, Alison has set up her own Law firm, Ashworth Motoring Law, with offices in Rossendale and Spinningfields in Manchester.

The new moot court at University Centre at Blackburn College will allow students studying Law to take part in simulated court proceedings.

Alison said: “Having the moot court when I was a student would have made such a huge difference. When you leave University you don’t always have a feel for the court room – acting out proceedings is much more like real life and is an experience you can’t get from a book.”

She added: “In court no one teaches you where to stand, or about body language, so having this facility helps you hone these skills – it allows you to make mistakes in a mock court room environment, rather than in front of a real-life client.”

Alison spoke to the students about her own career journey which has led to her specialising in the niche area of motoring law.

She said: “Motoring law is a very specialist area and we deal with a range of criminal proceedings from everything through to drivers with too many penalty points, drink and drug driving offences through to death by dangerous driving proceedings.”

Alison completed her Legal Practice course after completing her degree. She went on to join Geoffrey Miller Solicitors before leaving to head up a motoring department at Forster Dean Solicitors in Rochdale.

Returning to University Centre at Blackburn College was a trip down memory lane for Alison. In her second year of her LLB (Hons) Law degree, Alison found out the happy news that she was pregnant with her first child. Pregnant throughout her second year exams and assessments, Alison also worked full time in a betting shop as a deputy manager in tandem with her studies.

However, when baby Lexie arrived, doctors discovered she had severe heart problems and she spent three months in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

At the time Alison said: “It’s been a tough and trying three years. Everything that could have possibly happened to me has happened and I can honestly say I’m exhausted. Receiving a First Class Honours couldn’t have come at a better time – it’s really given me the lift that I needed!”

“I left school at 18 and at that time I didn’t fancy University. When I decided I was ready, I fancied a real challenge and I knew a law degree would give me that.”

“My mum’s a solicitor and I wanted to follow in her footsteps.  She also studied at Blackburn College and told me what an amazing time she’d had there. It seemed an obvious choice.”

Photo: (Left to right) Law student Aksah Ijaz, Colette Ashworth, Alison Ashworth and students Dale Gallagher and Megan McDonough in the new moot court.

11 Oct 2016, 15:56 PM