Demystifying Law - Legal Experience Programme
At SSLP we do not believe we should all be subject to a justice system that only a few of us are familiar with, so we have put together a week long legal experience programme for young people, targeted at (but not exclusively for) those currently not in employment, education or training.
The aim is to ‘demystify law’ – by the end of the programme we aim to have provided our students with the answers to the most common questions about the legal profession and the justice system and given them a genuine understanding of how it works and the confidence that comes from familiarity.
Students are introduced to nice, friendly lawyers who are with them throughout the day, explaining every step of the legal process to them and introducing them to clients and judges.
Pic: Sam Adesanya with Juliet Lyon, Director of Prison Reform Trust
We are delighted to be supported in this part of our project by lawyers from:
We are extremely grateful to Jonathan Black at firm BSB law for sponsoring this part of the project, thereby enabling us to offer the equivalent of (the sadly no longer existing) Education Maintenance Allowance to each participant - £30 per week or £40 per week for those leaving the care system.
If you’re a lawyer and would like to host Demystifying Law students please contact us. This is not your average work experience programme so please think carefully before committing! It is not about young people doing the photocopying or making the tea, it is about providing them with a genuine shadowing experience, accompanying lawyers to Court, prison visits, client interviews, and having the process explained to them along the way.
If you / your family member / client / student would like to take part in this, please contact us with ‘Demystifying Law’ as the subject and request application information. If you have caring or other responsibilities that mean you require flexibility in when you can attend, for example being available only during school hours, or needing help with childcare costs, please don’t be put off applying – we are very happy to try to accommodate your individual circumstances.
Two of the people involved in SSLP were teenage Mums, and remember well the difficulties of trying to juggle childcare with work experience, studying and having enough money to live on. There is therefore a special place in SSLP’s heart for teenage parents – if you’d like to get involved or apply for a place on Demystifying Law – we would LOVE to hear from you.
In July 2012 three young people from Lambeth College spent 2 days with solicitors from Hodge Jones & Allen, 2 days with a barrister from 2 Dr Johnson's Buildings and 1 day at the Court of Appeal. Read about the experience in the words Stella Omoniyi, Patrese Foster and Twahid Rahman. Students' experiences
In November 2012 two young people spent two days with solicitors from BSB law at Highbury Magistrates Court, two days with barristers from Doughty Street chambers at Westminster Magistrates Court and a day at the Court of Appeal, where they met the newly appointed Master of the Rolls, Richard Dyson and spent time in Court listening to oral argument between a barrister representing the government and a barrister representing a Somali immigrant.
The students also attended the annual lecture of the Prison Reform Trust, given by Dame Eilish Anglioni on Reforming Women’s Justice
And they attended a public debate at the Institute of Education entitled ‘This house believes we should extradite criminals and terrorists’ hosted by the Society of Black Lawyers