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Charity calls on legal professionals to inspire young minds with the big legal lesson

Charity calls on legal professionals to inspire young minds with the big legal lesson


National charity, with Law Society and Mishcon de Reya support, urges legal volunteers for school legal education

A national education charity, Young Citizens, is inviting legal professionals to contribute to the annual initiative called The Big Legal Lesson, which aims to bring legal education to classrooms across England and Wales. Supported by The Law Society and Mishcon de Reya, The Big Legal Lesson is part of a broader campaign to facilitate a conversation about the law among students of all ages.

Continuing until March 22, the campaign provides an opportunity for legal professionals to volunteer their time and expertise to deliver lessons at schools in their local areas. The lessons are tailored for students aged 5-18 and cover fundamental topics such as what the law is, who has the power to change it, and how legal changes impact our daily lives.

In addition to inviting legal professionals to volunteer, The Big Legal Lesson offers free teaching resources for educators. These resources include lesson plans, assembly ideas, and quick taster sessions, making it easier for teachers to incorporate legal education into their classrooms. The initiative provides a unique opportunity for students to gain insights into the legal profession and foster an understanding of the Rule of Law.

Since its inception in 2020, The Big Legal Lesson has reached over 200,000 children and young people across England and Wales. The campaign aims to address a gap in legal education, as a Young Citizens poll revealed that only 13% of students had received a lesson on the law by the time they reached A-Levels. Law for Life (Advice Now) also found that nearly two-thirds of the UK population lacks knowledge about their basic legal rights.

Sherine Krause, Interim Executive Director at Young Citizens, expressed delight at the return of The Big Legal Lesson in 2024. Krause emphasised the importance of ensuring that all children and young people understand their rights, responsibilities, and the rule of law, regardless of whether they pursue a legal career. With the support of volunteers from the legal profession, Krause believes that the campaign will once again contribute to legal literacy among thousands of learners.

Verity Taylor, Senior Pro Bono Manager at Mishcon de Reya, highlighted the significance of legal literacy for business, democracy, and justice. Taylor emphasised that very few children and young people encounter the law during school, and initiatives like The Big Legal Lesson are crucial in addressing this gap. By providing free and flexible resources, the campaign aims to help teachers introduce topics such as rights, responsibilities, and the rule of law.

Nick Emmerson, President of The Law Society, emphasised the importance of young learners understanding their rights and responsibilities while respecting the Rule of Law. He stated that The Big Legal Lesson offers a fantastic opportunity for pupils and students to comprehend how the justice system works, regardless of whether they go on to practice law. The Law Society is delighted to support the initiative, recognising its significant impact on young people, teachers, and legal professionals alike.

The Big Legal Lesson provides legal professionals with a chance to contribute to the community, fostering legal education and awareness among students. As the campaign runs from March 11 to 22, thousands of pupils from Key Stage 1 to Sixth Form are expected to participate, making it one of the largest public legal education events in the UK.

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