The Queen's deputy legal adviser turns attention to school students
The Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP - deputy legal adviser to the Queen and the Government - yesterday gave the benefit of his wisdom and experience to a class of London school students.
The Solicitor General was visiting the Burlington Danes Academy School in White City, whose pupils are being introduced to the law by lawyers from Olswang and BBC Worldwide as part of our Lawyers in Schools programme for secondary schools.
He saw two classes of year 10 students work in small groups with professional lawyers on intellectual property topic such as copyright, patents, trademarks and downloading music from the internet.
Lawyers in Schools reaches young people from all backgrounds. For many, public legal education initiatives such as this are their first, positive contacts with the legal system that governs their lives. Such initiatives are vital components in young people's development as effective citizens in the society they will shape.
'All citizens, in every part of the United Kingdom, need and deserve an understanding of the legal system, how it works, and their rights and responsibilities within it,' said the Solicitor General.
'Teaching citizenship, and particularly public legal education, in schools, through the curriculum, is essential: It gives everyone an equal opportunity to develop an understanding of the law.
'The legal system,' he said, 'is one of the key ways in which our society functions as a democracy. Understanding that link is essential for all young people to become confident, effective members of society. I’m really pleased to be visiting Burlington Danes Academy to see this project in action.'
Lawyers in Schools is the legal profession's largest skills-based volunteering scheme in Western Europe. It places legal professionals in the school classroom to work with young people on their awareness and understanding of the law and how it impacts their lives.
More than 40 law firms, in-house legal teams and chambers take part in Lawyers in Schools, working with more than 1,000 students across England.