English Language students Georgia Juckes and Asha Karia-Briggs have been working on a project set by Barrister Adam Pipe who works for No. 8 Chambers, one of the top Barrister sets in the Midlands:
Our project was called ‘Making the UK Immigration Rules More Accessible’, and explored how the wording of current Immigration Rules impact the applications made by people seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain. This is an important area, as the complexity of the Immigration Rules has led to a sharp rise in the number of appeal cases. Our aim was to recommend ways to make the rules easier to read. To do this, we analysed reports published by the Law Commission, conducted primary research, and completed wider academic reading.
As English Language students, this project was particularly interesting because we study language use in context. We knew it was essential for applicants relying on these Rules to understand them; so we made this the focus of our research. We identified migrant women experiencing domestic violence as a particular group lacking support and produced a booklet to guide them through the tricky process of applying for citizenship as Victims of Domestic Violence. This leaflet is a transferable style-model for the remaining sections of the Rules.
In our research, we designed a questionnaire to gain the perspectives from legal professionals and immigration charities. We contacted over 140 people, gaining valuable experience in email writing and networking. We were able to draw on the insights from people working on the front line of supporting people applying for leave to remain in the UK.
We gained many skills from working on this project: analysing our data using specialist software and navigating hundreds of pages of complex legal documentation. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we conducted our meetings and collaborative work remotely, helping improve our skills in communication, delegation, and teamwork.
This module’s focus on professional skills encouraged us to consider our career progression by creating engaging LinkedIn profiles. After we completed our project, we were elated to receive positive feedback from Adam via a LinkedIn recommendation:
‘I was very impressed by the quality of the work produced [...] This is a complex legal area which they have navigated well. Very impressive indeed!’
This project has been valuable to both our personal and professional development, and we are excited to attend a tribunal in court at Adam’s kind invitation to see the Rules being applied first-hand. Most significantly, the project gave us a fantastic opportunity to acquire real world experience in a sector that was new to both of us, and we hope will make a tangible difference in the process.