Victoria Honan is an in-house lawyer at Rio Tinto. Rio Tinto and Baker McKenzie have come on board the Lawyers in Schools scheme this year joining forces to deliver sessions at Sion Manning Roman Catholic School.
Earlier this month Victoria underwent a training session for the programme and kindly wrote the following about her experience:
The training was very informative and interesting. It covered what the Citizenship Foundation is about, what Lawyers in Schools is trying to achieve and how the sessions would run. The presenter made it very interactive so we were asking questions all the time and you never felt like you were asking a silly question.
Probably the most useful section was how to deal with certain behaviours in the classroom as this is the most daunting prospect. The presenter gave us loads of helpful hints and guidance for dealing with different behaviours and I think it put all our minds at ease.
The training was extremely useful as it addressed all the key concerns I had around the content of the course and how to approach the topics and the students.
I am now excited about getting started as this has been in the pipeline for a quite a number of months. Visiting the school and meeting the teacher has enhanced that excitement as it makes it very real what we are trying to achieve and the impact we will have.
My response when asked why I wanted to get involved in the scheme was and still is that whilst I was in private practice I participated in the Lawyers in Schools programme and I found it very rewarding, although utterly exhausting (one hour with a group of 15 year olds is much more tiring that one hour with a client). I was keen to get involved in a community project and this is so worthwhile as it makes a real impact on the students. If we manage to inspire just one student (even a small amount), to go to college and work hard to achieve their goals, that would be amazing.