The Big Legal Lesson™️ is a national campaign by Young Citizens to get young people engaged with the law throughout March 2022 and beyond.
We have designed a brand-new pack of free classroom resources, sponsored by international law firm Mishcon de Reya, to help learners understand how the legal system affects every part of their lives. It is expected to be the biggest public legal education event of its kind, with tens of thousands of young people taking part across the UK.
From KS1 to post-16, schools can access a full suite of age-appropriate resources covering the fundamentals of law. Older students will explore the laws surrounding social media usage, asking what is acceptable to be posted online and how we can make social networking safe for all in an era of unrivalled free speech.
Last year over 57,000 young people and 1000 teachers took part, and Young Citizens hopes to match this in 2022. 83% of students said that taking part improved their understanding of the rule of law and why it is important.
“The best thing about the resource was that is gave my students an understanding that their views are important and they have the voice to change things. It helped them to understand that they are part of a community and have a responsibility towards it.” Secondary school teacher, 2021
Young Citizens’ history in law
We have a proud history of supporting Public Legal Education. Founded in 1989 as The Citizenship Foundation by former solicitor Baron Philips of Sudbury, Young Citizens delivers the National Mock Trials Competitions every year. These events provide thousands of students with the chance to experience a courtroom case. We also work closely with The Bar Council and the Law Society to increase legal literacy in schools.
Our CEO, Ashley Hodges, said:
“To build a fairer society, students and pupils need to have positive encounters with the legal system from an early age. The Big Legal Lesson is a special way to do this, equipping teachers across the UK to offer an engaging, accessible starting point on the law and justice, building young people’s understanding and confidence to engage with the subject.
“Every young person should understand their rights, responsibilities and the rule of law, whether or not they go on to practice it. In proud partnership with Mishcon de Reya, we hope The Big Legal Lesson 2022 will be a catalyst for youth-led interest in the justice system.”
Samantha Kakati, Partner at Mishcon de Reya and lead for the Education strand of Mishcon de Reya’s Access to Law Impact Aim said:
“The Big Legal Lesson is a critical campaign to help ensure that all of our young people have access to the knowledge and tools to understand and engage meaningfully with our legal, political and social systems. Through its free resources to support teachers, The Big Legal Lesson has a direct and powerful impact on legal literacy.
“It equips students to realise their personal potential and their potential wider contributions to their society. Now, more than ever, it is important that all of our young people are included and empowered by our inextricably linked systems and platforms. We are delighted to be supporting this important work.”
Stay in touch with us on socials @YoungCitizensUK using #TheBigLegalLesson.