As I come to the end of a busy training period I have been reflecting on the value of employee volunteering and specifically the willingness of the lawyers that sign up for our Lawyers in Schools programme.
Over 230 volunteers have been trained so far since September 2011 on how to engage young people in discussions about the law. The training also covers how to manage potentially challenging behaviour, child protection and many other aspects of the programme.
Before I visit each firm or in-house legal team, I can’t help but wonder if the lawyers that I am about to train are participating because they want to or if they have been coerced/bribed/threatened with expulsion off the ‘good corporate citizen’ island.
Needless to say I have been delighted, enthused and inspired by the volunteers that I have trained to take part in Lawyers in Schools. They have been positively animated and earnest about going into their partner schools. A Slaughter and May volunteer commented:
‘When I was at state school I received absolutely no legal teaching whatsoever and, with hindsight I feel that this was a serious shortcoming of my education. I believe that all young people should be given the opportunity to learn about the law.’
I am really looking forward to what I know will be another successful year of Lawyers in Schools – safe in the knowledge that there are over 400 fantastic people out there doing the legal profession proud volunteering in local schools to raise young people’s awareness of the law.