During National Pro Bono Week 2017 (6 to 10 November) London teenagers spent time learning about the legal implications of what they say and do online. The session was hosted by lawyers from the Government Legal Department as part of the Citizenship Foundation’s Lawyers in Schools programme.
The workshop focused on the law on social media, and helped 30 students from the Ark Academy schools and the London Nautical School to understand the balance between freedom of expression and when the law has been broken.
National Pro Bono Week highlights the legal community’s work of providing free legal support and advice.
The Lawyers in Schools programme is made up of a series of legal workshops facilitated by legal professionals. It is aimed at increasing young people’s awareness and understanding of the law, developing listening and communication skills and raising aspirations and confidence.
Speaking after the event, Stephen Braviner Roman, GLD’s Director General who sponsors pro bono activities, said:
The Citizenship Foundation’s Lawyers in Schools programme gives students practical support so they are more aware of their rights and responsibilities. Today’s session helped these young people navigate the complexities of what they can and can’t say online.
I’m really pleased that GLD lawyers can be involved in projects like this. It gives them the opportunity to give back to their local communities and help teach young people about their rights and responsibilities.
Tom Franklin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation, said:
It’s fantastic that GLD is volunteering to help young people understand a crucial element of the law that affects them.
Like many thousands of legal professionals who volunteer on our programmes, they are helping young people become active, informed young citizens.
GLD also launched its Pro Bono Strategy this week. As a founding signatory to the Law Society’s pro bono charter, GLD committed to developing a pro bono strategy to support and encourage pro bono activity across the organisation. The new strategy demonstrates GLD’s ongoing commitment to the pro bono work carried out by its lawyers and aims to increase awareness of the opportunities and benefits of getting involved in pro bono work and develop a strong pro bono culture across the department.