Over the past few months, I have been interning with the legal team at the Citizenship Foundation. In November, I attended a Lawyers in Schools training session at Slaughter and May.
Here, the lawyers were given instructions on how to teach the students about the law and how to run the various activities that would help the students think more deeply about the topics. The lawyers who attended the training session all wished to devote their time to their partner school that they would be working with for the next few months.
Aside from learning about how to run the programme in the schools, the lawyers participated in one of the activities that the students would be doing in the Human Rights session. The lawyers were really involved with the activity and there was much debate over some of the issues and questions posed. The lawyers were enthusiastic and excited about the programme and were eager to volunteer their time in the schools.
I also had the opportunity to observe a Lawyers in Schools session at both The Urswick School in Hackney and Central Foundation Girls’ School in Tower Hamlets. The students were very excited to have the lawyers in their classroom and were engaged with the topics discussed. In fact, the students and the lawyers were so engaged with one particular issue that they spent the entire allotted time on one activity.
The students seemed to have learned a lot about what was being covered and were thrilled to share their beliefs on the topic. I remember one of the students at the Urswick School talked about how one should be responsible regarding the driving age. Listening in, I overheard one of the students list some of differences between the laws in the U.K. compared to the laws in the U.S.
Each of the volunteers who participated in these sessions appeared to have enjoyed their time working in the classroom. The lawyers were excited for the subsequent Lawyers in Schools sessions and getting to know their students better.
It was entertaining to watch these sessions because I liked to hear what the student’s opinions were. I also liked watching the lawyers interact with them as well. The lawyers and the students seemed as if they had learned a lot from each other and were looking forward to spending the next few months working together.
Erin is studying Business Management at Siena College in New York and has been helping us out while studying in London on a placement scheme. She has been interning at the Citizenship Foundation, helping out on the Lawyers in Schools programme, Magistrates Court Mock Trial Competition and Bar National Mock Trial Competition.