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Citizenship Foundation

> Lawyers in Schools’ 15th Birthday – students’ speech Monday, 9th June 2014

Thursday 5th June saw us celebrate Lawyers in Schools 15th Birthday in style with a fantastic party hosted by Olswang. There was much to celebrate and plenty to eat, including a Lawyers in Schools cupcake or two.

Six students from Haggerston School, in Hackney, told the audience about their experience of the programme and why they think it’s important.

The students worked very hard on their speech and delivered it very well; below is what they had to say.

‘Since taking part in the Lawyers in School programme, I have learnt that the law is varied and interesting. I have been able to work with real lawyers who deal with real business cases, and real people, such as children and adults. I have also learnt that interacting with people is a big part of the job because you have to communicate with your client or clients. I have also learnt more about social media, and how to make a positive contribution to my community.’ Reece

‘The programme helped me to realise that debating and presenting is not only about expressing my views. It is also about listening to the opinions of others and keeping a calm composure throughout. I developed my ability to present and communicate my ideas clearly. I also learnt more about advocacy skills. During a debating task, I realised that my opposition could sense my nerves and use it against me as a way to strengthen their arguments. Therefore, I quickly learnt to listen carefully to identify flaws in their arguments. I also had to anticipate points that my opponents might say and plan possible responses so they could not catch me off guard.’ Dylan

‘I think it’s important for young people to learn about the law because it gives us a better understanding of the laws themselves and our rights as young people. This is good if you have career aspirations to do with the law for example police officer, lawyer, judge and many more. It’s also helpful because it helps develop good citizenship skills and other transferable skills that we could use in the future.’ Felix

‘I enjoyed the Lawyers in Schools programme because I was able to interact with professional lawyers who were experienced and pleasant to be around. I really enjoyed learning about human rights issues, and I now know what age I can legally get a job. I also liked the fact that the lawyers were very open minded, and supportive of my opinions- no matter how peculiar or bizarre some of my ideas were. The lawyers’ encouragement therefore helped me to develop my confidence. This is one of the reasons why I have been able to stand in front of you today.’ Tyanna

‘I enjoyed working with the lawyers because they were easy to communicate with and they helped me to learn more about the law. They were also willing to speak to me about whether to choose to study law in the future. I was expecting the lawyers to be harsh, serious, stuck up and snooty. I thought that they would mainly talk about money and themselves because that is what I was told about the lawyers and also because that was what I watched on television. However, when I met them they were different and now my opinion had changed.’ Hope

‘I would like more lawyers to participate in the Lawyers in Schools programme because my friends and I, as well as every young person in this room, could potentially be the lawyers of the future. But we need your help to develop our skills. We have really enjoyed working with people who are older and wiser than us. We have really enjoyed learning about our rights as young people, as well as our responsibilities. We appreciate the time that so many lawyers have invested in us. I would like more young people like myself, to be given the opportunity to learn about how to be a key part of a positive, responsible law abiding community. Thank you very much to the Citizenship Foundation, and the lawyers at Freshfields and Prudential for working with us.’ Shaniah