Why does public legal education in schools matter? How do we help make this a priority within education? What’s working? What’s missing? And who is responsible for boosting legal literacy?
These were just a few of the questions put to our expert panel on 17 March 2022 as part of a special webinar for The Big Legal Lesson. Speaking from both professional experience and their personal journeys through the education system, our guests set out a mandate for better provision of public legal education.
Here are some key takeaways from the event:
- Every young learner should have a positive encounter with the law. Even a basic understanding of their rights and responsibilities will help prevent crime and support access to justice for the most disadvantaged communities.
- Early and universal legal education needs investment. A-Levels and employment schemes are incredibly important, but there is untapped potential to better reach children and young people during the fundamental stages of development.
- Public legal education is equally important in pro-bono work. Ensuring basic legal literacy will help build confidence, and, more young people who are able to seek legal advice and justice.
- Without education on the justice system in schools, the legal profession will continue to lack diversity. You can’t be what you cant see: greater prominence in classrooms is the first step to boosting social mobility and accessibility to careers in law.
- Sector collaboration is key to developing mass legal literacy. This agenda transcends politics or business if we focus on protecting the rule of law, leading to a fairer and more empowered society.
- Law firms can work with bridging organisations like Young Citizens to revolutionise and popularise public legal education. Our charity offers a range of meaningful channels for firms, chambers or individuals to share their expertise, or invest in ambitious impact work. This support helps protect legal education in schools, ensuring more young people are learning about the law and our legal sector.
You can watch the full hour’s discussion between I. Stephanie Boyce (The Law Society president), Samantha Kakati (Partner at Mishcon de Reya) and Priscilla Adu (Trainee Solicitor at IBB Law) above or via our Vimeo.