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Two new competitions for schools, being run by Sheffield Hallam University, are aiming to capture the imaginations of budding lawyers and potential poets.

The University's Schools and Colleges Liaison team is running mock trial and poetry competitions for schools in South Yorkshire. The Inter-School Mock Trial Competition 2012 will offer eight schools the chance to take part in debating heats at the University. The best two teams will then take part in a final at the Sheffield Law Courts.

Law students at Sheffield Hallam will mentor the teams and the finalists will receive help from legal professionals, such as the Sheffield Law Society and Bhayani Bracewell, who are supporting the competition.

The final will be overseen by a professional judge, with a jury made up of representatives from Sheffield Hallam, the Sheffield Law Society and other legal professionals.

Registration for the competition closes on Friday 24 February and more details can be found at

Aspiring young wordsmiths can enter the Uni Verse for Schools Poetry Competition 2012, which is sponsored by Waterstone's. 

Schools can take part in writing workshops at the University and receive feedback on entries from competition judges. 

Three winning poems will receive a printed canvas of their work, which will be displayed at Waterstone’s Orchard Square branch in Sheffield before being displayed at their school or college.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 24 February and more information can be found

Sarah Jenkins, schools and colleges liaison manager at Sheffield Hallam, said: "These competitions are fantastic opportunities for young people to gain practical experience of creative writing and debating.

"With the young people working with students and staff at the University, as well as industry professionals, I am sure we will find the poets and lawyers of the future."

For press information: contact Tess Humphrys in the University’s press office on 0114 225 4025 or email