The Urban Lawyers Education Programme is a scheme which facilitates the provision of workshops on careers in law, the UK legal system, various offences, legal rights and advice on other aspects following one’s interaction with the criminal justice system in schools, youth clubs, prisons and other community groups
With increasing numbers of young people becoming involved in the criminal justice system, this scheme is a resource to advise young people on possible career options and the impact and consequences of crime.
There is a heavy focus on working with young people (aged 10-18), however we also provide bespoke sessions for community groups and organisations of all ages.
The scheme has operated in its current form since early 2015 and has delivered over 100 sessions to numerous organisations.
The aims of the programme are to:
- Provide access to legal knowledge
- Educate young people about their legal rights (i.e. Stop & Search)
- Break down the elements of criminal offences and principles, especially the doctrine of joint enterprise, with the intention of preventing young people from unknowingly committing crime
- Educate young people about the consequences of crime (i.e. impact on society, life after prison, what goes on a DBS check, what is a ‘spent conviction’ and getting employment following a criminal record); and
- Providing law students with a valid volunteering opportunity in which they contribute to local communities before they embark on legal careers.
Urban Lawyers offers a programme of up to 6 interactive sessions delivered at the school/youth club/community organisation and selected by the organisation based upon need or preference. They are usually delivered once a week over a set period agreed between the organisations.
Each interactive session is delivered by one or two trained volunteers, who will usually be law students or young legal professionals. They will all be DBS checked and have great legal knowledge.
The scheme currently offers sessions on all of the following subjects:
- Becoming a lawyer
- Introduction to the UK courts system
- Introduction to the UK Criminal Justice System and common criminal offences
- Joint Enterprise
- Drugs and Weapons
- Human Rights
- Offences against the person
- Domestic Violence
- Cyber Bullying
- Offensive weapons (including knives)
- Sexual Offences
- Mock Trial
Each session will explain the elements which make up a specific offence, instances where this crime has been committed, potential prison sentences related to the crime and activities and discussions to engage the students.
The final session of the programme will be a mock trial. This will be an interactive session in which the young people will play the role of the judge, witnesses, counsel, defendants and jurors.
Final session – mock trial Each interactive session will be led by two volunteers and should last between 45-90 minutes including breaks and activities. The sessions are PowerPoint based.
Child Protection and Training
Our volunteers are DBS checked and undertake comprehensive Urban Lawyers presentation training before delivering sessions to ensure that quality service and accurate legal knowledge is delivered.
We currently have very good relationships with a number of organisations in South and East London.
We also partner with local law schools, such as the University of Law, where many of our Education team volunteers have studied.
What’s in it for you?
By offering this service, we hope to do our part in helping the wider community. Through delivering the presentations at your school/youth club/community centre, we believe that this will increase student awareness, participation and citizenship.
You will benefit from a programme that seeks to promote student aspirations and achievements. By meeting young professionals, it may inspire your young people to pursue a career in the law or any other profession they may not have thought they could enter because of circumstances of lack of access.
Organisations we have worked with (some are still current):
- SE1 United
- Haringey Girls School
- University of Law
- SOAS University
- London Met University
- Preston Manor
- Urban Synergy
- Westminster TBAP
- A Women’s Refuge [unnamed for confidentiality]
- British Transport Police
- And many more
The Education team of Urban Lawyers is headed up by a Ruth Reid, Criminal Barrister and Bianca Stewart, Commercial Solicitor.
For further information please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find a full ‘PACK’ and ‘flyer’ to download regarding our Education Programme on our Resources Page.