Wannabe legal eagles get taste of profession
3 July 2012
Pupils from schools in the Cardiff and Swansea valleys will be debating this week with Welsh Government's chief legal adviser whether Wales should have a separate legal jurisdiction.
While Assembly Members continue to debate issues around distinct legal jurisdiction issues, 20 Year 12 pupils from ten schools will be putting their views forward to Theodore Huckle QC, Counsel General on Wednesday 4 July, as part of a three-day Step up to Law Summer School initiative.
With the aim of giving young people firsthand experience of the study of law and the workings of the legal profession, the Summer School is run in collaboration with Swansea University and part of the Valleys Law Initiative. It is targeted at pupils attending schools without a strong tradition of progression to higher education but who have an interest in the possibility of pursuing a career in law.
Developed around this year's theme of 'Law and Government', the Summer School will also see the pupils tour the National Assembly for Wales in the Bay, learn more about the government in Wales, studying law at university, and other aspects of student life across the three-days. Other activities will include research, project work and practical workshops, and a presentation by each pupil of their work.
Cardiff Law Schools' Professor Norman Doe, who established the initiative in 2002, said: "The Valleys Law Initiative was originally set up to encourage pupils to consider the possibility of studying law at university. The Summer School is an integral part of this initiative, and each year the quality of the pupils, and their energy and enthusiasm, has been outstanding – they are a credit to their schools. At the event, the pupils explore the role of law in society, its pervasiveness in the life of individuals, and its fundamental place in seeking to secure social cohesion and justice".
Theodore Huckle QC said: "As someone fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity of going to university and pursuing a career in the legal profession, I am determined to do what I can to encourage pupils who may not have considered going to university, to consider doing so.
"For many of the pupils I had the pleasure of meeting, devolution has been a reality for most of their lives. In only a few weeks, we will witness a hugely significant event in our country's constitutional history, when the first Assembly Act passed under our new powers is granted Royal Assent by the Queen. It is a very exciting time to be a lawyer in Wales.
"I'm very pleased to have been given the opportunity to share my experiences of higher education, and to provide them with an insight into the legal profession – including my work as Counsel General for Wales. I wish them every success."
The Step up to Law Summer School is just one of a number being run by the University's Widening Access Team this week to encourage students without a strong tradition of progression to university education to consider professional careers. A further 60 pupils will attend a three-dayAccess to the Professions Summer School which aim to raise aspirations to a wider selection of professional careers including medicine, pharmacy, physiotherapy and business.
Also taking place this week is the Confident Futures Summer School, a unique scheme in Wales which sees young people spend two-days at the University getting an insight into making the transition from care to university life. The scheme, now in its fifth year, has been highly acclaimed by social work professionals across South Wales. It is backed by Looked After Children teams from Caerphilly, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Pembroke and Wrexham.
The University will also play host to pupils on the University's Discovery Summer School. Also unique in Wales, the scheme is designed to raise aspirations, build confidence and skills among young people aged 15–19 with Aspergers Syndrome. The two-day event provides experience of the first few days of student life in a safe, supported environment. Pupils take part in activities including overnight stays in halls of residence, using university facilities, handing in essays, navigating the campus, and planning social events.
Confident Futures and Discovery Summer School are funded by First Campus, a partnership of all further and higher education institutions in South East Wales.