Cardiff-based law firm Geldards has become the first firm in Wales to deliver an innovative programme designed to enhance students’ understanding of the law and to encourage interest in careers in the legal profession.
Working with year 9 students from Cardiff West Community High School, lawyers from the firm delivered six sessions during the summer term that covered a range of topics including law and social media, family law, youth justice and applying the law. In the last session students considered legal scenarios and prepared and presented arguments for the claimants and defendants, with Geldards partners acting as judges for each case. Everyone was impressed with the quality of the legal arguments and the standard of the presentations.
The programme, which has been established for several years in England, is developed and coordinated by Young Citizens, a not-for-profit organisation. It facilitates professionals from the legal sector to share their skills and knowledge to enable young people to understand the law, their rights and responsibilities and to make a positive contribution.
Young Citizens currently partners with many of England’s leading law firms and approached Geldards to become the first firm to deliver the programme in Wales.
Jeff Pearson, Chief Executive of Geldards said:
“We were delighted to work with Young Citizens to deliver the inaugural session of this programme in Wales as part of our long-standing commitment to local schools. Our volunteers came from across the business and included senior partners, newly qualified and trainee solicitors and paralegals. The enthusiasm, engagement and maturity shown by the students was outstanding and it has created a real sense of excitement in our Cardiff office and across the firm.”
Therri Tait, Partnerships Manager at Young Citizens, added:
“Young Citizen are pleased to have partnered with Geldards who have blazed the way in Wales, delivering the Lawyers in Schools programme for the first time. We believe that every child in the UK deserves to grow up understanding their rights and responsibilities as a citizen and learning about the law is a key step in this process.”
Speaking on behalf of Cardiff West Community High School, Nicola Wilkinson, KS4 Progress Leader, said:
“This has been a fantastic learning opportunity for Year 9 students at Cardiff West Community High School. This excellent experience has allowed our students to create links with future employers and provided a forum in which they developed confidence in discussing law and how it applies to their world. Our core values as a school are ambition, resilience and trust and the sessions that the students were fortunate to be part of allowed them to explore these from a legal perspective.”