Over 40 PPC I trainees have volunteered to be part of this year’s Street Law programme run by the Law Society’s Diploma Centre.
Street Law is an initiative which places forty trainee solicitors studying at the Law Society of Ireland into local schools, prisons and community settings to teach about the law.
Trainees are placed in a number of Dublin-based Delivering Equality of Opportunity (DEIS) schools where they teach a Street Law course to Transition Year students.
The volunteers recently took part in an orientation weekend as part of the preparation to share their legal knowledge with transition year students and other groups.
Using best practice in civic education, the programme taps into people’s inherent interest in the law and aims to promote legal literacy, equality, access to law, and to teach high cognitive and social skills that enhance participants' effectiveness in legal matters.
The Street Law Clinic invites Professional Practice Course 1 (PPC I) trainee solicitors to volunteer every year at the beginning of their training in autumn.
The Law Society has run an annual Street Law schools initiative since the launch in 2013.
Experts from Georgetown University (where Street Law originated) provide training to participating trainee solicitors.
This training method has become so successful that it is now a model for launching Street Law programmes internationally.
The schools programme culminates in a mock trial hearing sponsored by the LSI at the Criminal Courts of Justice.
Students are also invited to the Law School at the Law Society to experience first-hand what it might be like to train and study to be a solicitor
Over 600 Transition Year students now participate in the programme annually. Street Law allows secondary school students to see how the law affects their daily lives and promotes lifelong civic engagement.
Research in the US has found that high school students’ critical thinking skills improved by almost 25 per cent after one year in a Street Law course.
For more images of the Street Law orientation weekend, click here