Streetlaw legal capability micro-pilot
Recent research on legal capability and work on self-help materials reveals that a majority of the population lack the practical problem-solving skills and confidence required to deal with legal problems. Advicenow have taken up this challenge and have piloted incorporating problem solving know-how into Streetlaw workshops – supervised workshops on legal issues run by law students in several colleges.
Read the report: Streetlaw legal capability micro-pilot (59 KB)
Advicenow ran two workshops with Streetlaw at Bloomsbury, based at the College of Law in London. The first was with young people from the New Horizon Youth Centre and the second with Luton Young Leaders Academy. The workshops suggested that:
- With assistance, law students can successfully deliver workshops aimed at improving young people’s legal capability.
- The young people displayed a real interest in learning about how to deal with legal issues and said that they felt more empowered.
- Skill materials work well in the context of a problem that participants relate to and find appealing.
- Participants appreciate having interactive and interesting sessions.
- Role play was very successful which can help young people to develop negotiation skills.
- Participants value being given a handout as a way to remember what they have learned.
A variety of methods were used to develop skills: discussion, games and quizzes as well as role play. The group at the Youth Centre received a credit-card sized handout designed by the law students, reminding them of the steps to solving the problem they had covered in the workshop. The law students also gave a short presentation on skills – 7 steps to getting the result you want and were given a copy of Advicenow’s Seven steps to solving a problem (291 KB).
‘It was the truth. It was really useful for young people to know’
Feedback from the participants suggested that they found the sessions not only helpful, but empowering. Incorporating the skill element also helped the law students as it encouraged them to think about the law as a process.
Advicenow want to expand this project so that they can test a suite of resources and evaluate the effectiveness of this approach.