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Welsh law summer scheme gives pupils a taste of legal life

7 October 2022

Photo credit: Danni Graham
Photo credit: Danni Graham

A group of Welsh school pupils were given a taste of the legal profession this July in a summer scheme held at the School of Law and Politics.

The school teamed up with independent charity, The Lord Edmund Davies Legal Education Trust (LEDLET) and legal forum, Legal Wales to host a number of sessions in a summer scheme which provides young people from Wales with an opportunity to see, first-hand, what a career in law might be like.

During the one-week programme, participants visited several law firms in Cardiff and shadowed barristers and judges. They met Lord David Lloyd-Jones, Justice of the UK Supreme Court and during their trip to the School of Law and Politics, took part in a bail application session with Judge Claire Sharp, Employment Judge of the Employment Tribunal. The group also attended talks and workshops on studying law, legal careers and learned about legal skills.

Coordinator of the summer scheme, Elisabeth Jones of Legal Wales said, "The summer scheme has two key aims: to give young people from Wales, with no connections in the law, the confidence to aim high in a legal career; and to support them to achieve those aims, with information, mentoring and experiences. Students who come on the scheme don't have an Old Boys' network to fall back on - we want to help them build their own networks, built solely on merit and determination.”

The annual summer scheme, held in London and Cardiff, is aimed at any young people from Wales who have no connections to the law sectorbut pupils facing particular challenges, e.g. who receive free school meals; are from economically disadvantaged areas; have a disability, are in care or who care for others are given priority. The scheme is completely free of charge with LEDLET and Legal Wales covering expenses.

Current LLB Law and Welsh student, Nansi Eccott participated in the summer scheme in 2019 and helped coordinate it this year, “I had the invaluable experience of attending the summer scheme and it opened my eyes to the legal sector. The opportunity gave me the confidence to venture into the world of law and I am about to start my final year studying law and Welsh. This year, I had the opportunity to assist, plan and run the summer scheme in Cardiff. It was an absolutely fantastic experience, encouraging and helping year 12 students to gain an interest in law. The scheme opens doors to Welsh legal possibilities and enables the legal community to grow from strength to strength. I am extremely grateful to be part of this community which continues to offer me opportunities, advice and inspiration."

The next round of applications for the 2023 summer scheme will open in February 2023 on the LEDLET and the Legal Wales websites.

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