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The Circuit undertakes education and training for all members, from pupils through to Silks.

Head of Education & Training

  • Michelle took Silk in 2017 and is currently the youngest criminal Silk in the country. Michelle is Deputy Head of the Crime Group, and also the Head of Advocacy Training for the Midland Circuit. Michelle sits as a Recorder and holds a Serious Sexual Offences Certificate.

Pupils attend a residential course where they are trained by Silks and Circuit Judges in all aspects of advocacy, from Opening speeches and cross examination, to making applications in the High Court. All pupils must pass this course before undertaking their second six. Circuit follows up this training with further courses regarding ethics and practice management.

Circuit then trains New Practitioners, all advocates must attend this residential course within 3 years of completing pupillage. The course is designed to build upon the skills already learned, and ensure that members are developing as advocates. The course offers different training elements, focusing on crime, civil or family, depending on each member’s specialism. As well as offering residential courses the Circuit offers lectures throughout the year, aimed at assisting members in staying up to date with case law developments and sentencing guidelines. There is now a requirement that any barrister wishing to undertake a case involving a vulnerable witness has completed the Vulnerable Witness Training Course. Circuit has offered training for all of its 150 members to ensure they are complying with BSB requirements.

Circuit education does not end in the lecture theatre, we pride ourselves on being a friendly circuit, and hope that any member with a legal issue can approach any senior member to discuss and debate the topic.Michelle Heeley QC

Upcoming Education & Training Events