Legal Ambitions nurtured during lockdown: Law Society of Ireland provides free legal education to 1,500 secondary school students

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The future of the solicitors’ profession is bright after 1,500 secondary school students learned legal fundamentals through the Law Society of Ireland’s inaugural Legal Ambitions Summer School this summer.

Legal Ambitions was specially designed for Transition and fifth year students. It was launched by the Law Society of Ireland’s Law School in July,” explains Law Society of Ireland Director of Education T P Kennedy. “At such a challenging time for students and parents, the Summer School provided four weeks of free, highly-engaging, online legal education.”

“We are proud to have been able to channel our world-leading educational IT facilities and breadth of legal expertise into an accessible, inspiring, and age-appropriate resource for so many students across Ireland.”

Law as a career and in daily life

16-year-old Emma Kelly from Dublin, one of the Legal Ambitions’ students, says the Summer School broadened her vision of law both as a career and in her daily life. “Every week I looked forward to taking some time to learn more about law and the different aspects of law.”

“I have always been interested in law as my mum works in law. Legal Ambitions gave me the opportunity to hear from experienced solicitors and learn about career areas that are available after studying law in college.”

“I would definitely consider studying law after school because of everything I learned at the Summer School.”

Emma’s mum, Sinead Kelly, said Legal Ambitions gave her daughter an “invaluable insight into the legal landscape in Ireland.”

“As a solicitor myself, it was so encouraging to see how she was beginning to grasp some legal concepts and we had some interesting conversations about various concepts such as mens rea and actus reus – the “guilty mind” and “guilty act” elements of criminal law.

“This is a great initiative by the Law Society to encourage young people who have legal ambitions to explore some aspects of the profession in more depth. The modules were very easy to navigate and the whole summer school was very user-friendly and innovative.”

Legal Ambitions 2021

Due to exceptional demand for places on the 2020 Legal Ambitions Summer School, the Law Society plans to run the programme again in July 2021.

More information, and feedback from participants, can be accessed at https://www.lawsociety.ie/summerschool

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