A project spearheaded by law firm Eversheds and the Birmingham College of Law has given school pupils from the city first hand experience of how employment tribunals work.

Pupils from Great Barr School were given an overview of the system ahead of taking part in a mock negotiation under the watchful eyes of College of Law students and trainee lawyers from Eversheds.

It was the final of three challenges in the Your Day in Court programme and followed previous Magistrates' Court and Crown Court Challenges.

The programme, run as part of the citizenship module under the national curriculum, involves the study of the criminal and civil legal systems brought alive by case studies in which the pupils take up roles as jurors, lawyers, witnesses, claimants and defendants. The programme has involved mock trials at Birmingham Magistrates' Court and in a specially adapted courtroom classroom at Great Barr School.

The most recent challenge involved a visit to the Birmingham Employment Tribunal and a talk by the regional chairman, Douglas Crump, followed by an exercise to negotiate a settlement for a mock unfair dismissal claim.

Amanda Cross, a trainee solicitor at Eversheds' Birmingham office, who co-ordinated the firm's involvement in conjunction with fellow trainees Caroline Delaney and Sophie Atkinson, said: "Everybody who participated really enjoyed the experience and the pupils certainly benefited a great deal from it.

"They learned about aspects of both criminal and civil law and have had a genuine hands-on experience of the legal system."

Rebecca Parker, pro bono coordinator at the College of Law, said: "The programme has provided a real 'hands-on' experience for our students during their legal training and a beneficial and exciting learning opportunity for Great Barr School and the pupils taking part - we have been delighted to be involved."