Skip to main content
BPP University BPP Professional Education probono@bpp.com

Justice Week 2020 – Day 2

Streetlaw Student Director, Rebecca Paterson, shares her experience of what life on the Streetlaw project is like as part of Justice Week 2020 articles.

 

As a Student Director for the Streetlaw project I have supervised and taken part in several presentations in the short time I have been at BPP University. A Student Director’s job is to watch the volunteers perform a dress rehearsal; give feedback to the volunteers on their presenting and sometimes to present themselves. Thus, my time on Streetlaw has helped me with my communication skills and with managing relationships with a vast range of people, including peers.

The first project I became involved in was at the Employment Tribunal where we have teamed up with Salford University to produce presentations for members of the public in need of more information about Tribunal proceedings. The presentations so far have seen large audiences and welcomed many questions. It has been particularly rewarding to receive feedback from audience members that have found the information helpful in summarising a new and complicated process. Our work in the Employment Tribunal is also seen as vital by tribunal staff in helping to relieve pressure on services overloaded with general queries from Litigants in Person about procedure and processes.

 

During parliament week, I had the opportunity to go to a primary school to deliver a presentation on The Peterloo Massacre. This was a more simplified, fast-paced experience as we encouraged lots of student participation with activities such as a class debate and quiz. Having previously studied the topic earlier in the week, the students seemed extremely engaged and offered their personal opinions with confidence. It was rewarding to see how far they had developed their knowledge of Parliament and Law in a fun and practical way. It was valuable for us as presenters to see how the information we were giving helped the students to get engaged in democracy, to form their own opinions and ultimately to become interested in careers in Law and Politics.

Police Powers of Stop and Search has been my favourite topic to deliver so far, speaking both at a Sixth Form College and a centre for Young Offenders. Learning about this topic has been particularly interesting and highlighted personal rights that I wasn’t previously aware of. I therefore enjoyed sharing this information with the different groups as well as my friends and family! Speaking to the students, I hoped to further encourage their interest in the law and we were happy to offer information about our various paths into the different stages of study. Speaking to the Young Offenders about their experiences of Stop and Search was particularly eye-opening and as a group we hoped that they would take away useful knowledge about personal rights that they may not have previously been aware of.

All the groups I have worked with have taught me something different and have gained something different from the Streetlaw project. Whether it is a greater awareness of what the law is, or sparking an interest in a future career, working on a PLE project has huge benefits for Volunteers and Clients alike. Streetlaw has been both rewarding and informative. It has helped put into use my love of presenting and furthered my knowledge of the law in areas that I have not yet covered in academic study. I would recommend the project to anyone looking to improve their public speaking, team-work skills and anyone interested in learning more about particularly interesting areas of the law.

.