Volunteering for the Experts in Law programme
I volunteered to be part of the Experts in Law programme, facilitated by Young Citizens. The programme provides us with an opportunity to engage with local school children about the legal system and the profession.
I was first part of a pre-recorded video chat with a few other colleagues, where Young Citizens presented us with a series of topical scenarios that focused on legal debate around issues such as human rights and privacy. The programme shows these to schools in advance to give students the opportunity to talk through the scenarios and their interaction with the law. The debate was framed by our pre-recorded videos where we discussed how matters of the law are often not clear-cut and the difficulties with making blanket statements such as “killing is wrong”. (What about war? Self-defence?)
We then had the opportunity to speak to students at a local East London school directly by video chat during a lesson where the students had talked through the debates framed by the pre-recorded video. They were given the opportunity to ask us questions about the issues they had discussed, the law generally and the legal profession.
The students posed some incredibly insightful and challenging questions! We were asked about the different maximum sentences for drug crimes compared with sexual offences, our firm and the profession’s attitude to diversity and inclusion as well as about the profession’s ethics, for example our obligation to act with integrity and overriding duty to the Court.
The Legal Experts in Law programme felt extremely beneficial in informing students as to the application of the law to topical issues in today’s society. As well as promoting the legal industry by encouraging students to debate the necessity and scope of the law, the programme also provided an opportunity for students to ask us questions on the realities of the legal profession.
It felt invaluable to be able to discuss the practicalities of being a legal professional today to students who may not otherwise be aware of the possibilities of pursuing a legal career or have the opportunity to speak to employees of a law firm. I hope that the programme will encourage the students to be empowered to seek out a legal career, if this interests them, and shows the students that the industry is friendly and welcoming to all.