School 21: We are into our fifth year working with School 21 on their Real World Learning Project (RWLP). Every student in Year 10 is required to successfully complete an RWLP which is the school’s alternative to work experience. As part of the Urban Lawyers RWLP (which is consistently one of the most popular projects) the School 21 students participate in a weekly experience at the designated company for a period of 10-12 weeks.
Urban Lawyers has designed their programme around workshops looking in detail at certain criminal law topics as well as the state of the UK and US criminal justice systems. The programme opens with an excursion to the Royal Courts of Justice and the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) in central London and culminates in a mock trial led by a qualified barrister. Many of the students return for work experience and become interested in a career in law. During the pandemic, we completed the workshops remotely and offered a mentoring programme for the students throughout Summer 2020 and beyond. In 2023, post pandemic, workshops are back to being delivered in-person.
As well as criminal law topics, the workshops will include topics on commercial law and other areas to expand the students’ knowledge and explore their interests. Valuable skills are also focused on in the workshops such as how to effectively communicate, which the Year 10 students can implement in their future studies and potential future legal careers. The workshops are delivered by City Law School students as part of their pro-bono commitment and are supervised by members of the Urban Lawyers team. The law school students receive training from Urban Lawyers to help deliver the workshops effectively and appropriately in-turn strengthening their own skill set. The law school students can share their enthusiasm for law with the school students which has inspired many to pursue a career in law.