Originally developed in Georgetown University in the United States, the Law Society set up Street Law in Ireland in 2013. Professor of law at Georgetown University, Richard Roe, a renowned pioneer of Street Law, attended the launch and weekend-long orientation in Blackhall Place.
Prof Roe said: “This training programme is designed to coach trainee solicitors on the learner-centred teaching methods used in Street Law. These ensure that both the trainee and the student gain a deeper understanding of the law by allowing the student to take a more active role in their learning.
“Once the trainees have completed the orientation they will visit local secondary schools to teach students about the law. Street Law aims to encourage civic engagement and break down barriers to legal education from a young age.”
The Law Society director of education, TP Kennedy, said: “As the first institution to bring Street Law to Ireland we are pleased to see it flourishing in its third year. Demand from trainee solicitors to participate in the programme has grown year on year. Street Law is a great way to enable our incoming solicitors to engage with young people in the community and help them see how law affects their everyday lives.”
Street Law will be taught in 12 schools across Dublin, most of which are in the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) scheme.
The course will be taught over a six-week period by 40 trainee solicitors. The Law Society has also recently expanded the programme to Wheatfield Prison to educate young offenders in order to help break the cycle of re-offending.