Coventry University students take the law into the community to inspire and educate young people

A group of seven students standing outside of the entrance to a community centre
University news

Wednesday 22 June 2022

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Law students at Coventry University have joined forces with a community charity to raise young people’s awareness of the laws around knife crime and other subjects.

Streetlaw is a new project at Coventry University’s Faculty of Business and Law which sees students engage with the community to increase their understanding of the laws surrounding different topics.

The benefits are two-fold -– law students are given the opportunity to research a legal topic and present this information to an audience, while community groups get a better understanding of the topic and how it might relate to them.

Coventry University has linked up with Positive Youth Foundation for the project and seven law students recently held their first session with the charity’s Girls Group to discuss knife crime at Hillfields Young People’s Centre.

Positive Youth Foundation is dedicated to providing support to eight to-25-year-olds in Coventry to raise aspirations and life outcomes.

It was a really good experience and definitely something I’d do again, I certainly think it’s helped with our teamwork and presentation skills.

Knife crime is a problem so it is important to help pass on our legal knowledge to people. The group really engaged with the session.

Second year law student, Agnieszka Zegarlinska

The session went really well, and it was great to take our students outside of a university environment.

This project benefits them by getting them to research an area of law they may not have been familiar with and to share this newfound knowledge with the community in an engaging and accessible manner. Ultimately for those young people taking part, the sessions will hopefully help them to make informed and educated decisions.

It also has another role in inspiring young people to take a greater interest in the law and potentially to consider a career in law. I do think there can be a perception about the kind of backgrounds lawyers come from, but sessions like this aim to make the law more accessible to everyone.

Rebecca Gladwin-Geoghegan, Associate Head of School at Coventry Law School, Coventry University

This project is well organised and I’m so pleased that I was able to take part. Rebecca guided us right through the process, thinking about the subject, doing the research, and considering of the kind of questions people could ask. I’ve volunteered at the Positive Youth Foundation before, so I was aware of the organisation, but had we not had Rebecca helping us and offering reassurance, I think I would have found it a bit more nerve-wracking.

I think anyone who has the opportunity to take part in the Streetlaw project should certainly do it, I’m hoping there will be more sessions in the future.

Second year law student Lissa Dobson

Coventry University and Positive Youth Foundation are exploring further workshops on other legal areas.