This year's Legal London trip was as enthusiastically received as ever by first-year Bucerius students.
We touched down in London on a Sunday, and students spent the first day of the trip exploring the city. Such delights as Oxford Street, the Tate Modern, Foyles bookshop, the "Walkie-Talkie" building, and a pint down the pub were the order of the day.
On Monday, the students were in court mode. First up was a visit to the Old Bailey, where they watched a criminal trial. Later that day, students toured the Royal Courts of Justice, and even caught a glimpse of courtroom drama when they sat in on an immigration hearing. The day was rounded off by a talk on alternatives to litigation at the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.
On Tuesday, students visited Clifford Chance at their vast Canary Wharf offices, where they were given an insight into working life at the firm by trainee solicitors and more senior lawyers. This visit contrasted nicely with one later in the week to a more boutique firm, McDermott Will & Emery, where students were exposed to a more relaxed corporate vibe.
London is best explored on foot, so students were taken on a walking tour of the City by their whimsical guide Molly, who entranced them with tales of London’s legal scene past and present.
Other highlights of the trip included a tour of the UK Supreme Court in Parliament Square and a visit to the Houses of Parliament. During the latter event, students were able to observe seasoned lawmakers holding forth on the issues of the day.
With Brexit fever in the air, it was fitting that Tom Brake, a Liberal Democrat MP and the party’s spokesman on Brexit, was able to address students on the prospect of a "People’s Vote" to reverse the results of the 2016 referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU.
Perhaps the standout event of the trip was the tour of and visit to Middle Temple, one of London’s four historic Inns of Court, where students ate a sumptuous buffet lunch in the Elizabethan dining hall among the barristers.
There was also plenty of downtime during the week, with students managing to catch the uplifting West End musical 9 to 5, have dinner at trendy Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Islington, and scoff down traditional British fish and chips at a local "greasy spoon" café.
After a jam-packed week, the 20 students who boarded the plane back to Hamburg undoubtedly left London greatly inspired and enriched by all they had seen and heard during their time abroad.