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Street Law: Dr Lydia Bracken

Street Law is an approach to legal education where law students teach law at grassroots level. As part of the Street Law Advanced Lawyering Project, four  final  year  Law  Plus  students  (Emmet Collopy, Clodagh Dunne, Nicole Cumiskey and Niamh Kennedy) taught  law  at  a  local  DEIS  secondary  school,  CBS  Sexton  Street,  over  the  Spring  semester  2017/18. 

Before  commencing  their  teaching,  the  law  students  were  provided  with  training  in  the  learner-centred,  non-directional  teaching  methods  used  in  Street  Law.  The  training  was  provided  by  Dr  Lydia  Bracken who  organised  and  supervised  the  Project.  After  their  training,  the  law  students  subsequently  worked  in  pairs  to  deliver  Street  Law  classes  at  the  secondary  school  over  a  five-week  period.  Each  student  delivered  one  x  40  minute  teaching  session  that  they  had  devised  themselves  according  to  Street  Law  teaching  methodology.  During  the  final  week  of  the  programme,  the  secondary  school  students  visited  the  UL  campus  for  their  final  class,  which  was  delivered  by  all  of  the  law  students  working  together  to  prepare  the  secondary  school  students  to  undertake  the  roles  of  lawyers,  judges,  jury  and  witnesses  as  part  of  a  hypothetical  court  case,  known  as  a  “mock  trial”.  The  secondary  school  students  subsequently  ran  their  mock  trial  in  UL’s  purpose-built  moot  court  room.  This  exercise  allowed  the  secondary  school  students  to  apply  the  skills  they  had  learned  over  the  course  of  the  programme  in  a  practical  and  realistic  manner. The  law  students  were  assessed  based  on  submission  of  written  lesson  plans  (40%  of  final  grade),  their  teaching  and  participation  (20%),  and  submission  of  reflective  essays  (40%). The project was supported by funding from the AHSS Faculty Teaching Board Fund.

Further information about the project can be found here: https://www.ul.ie/engage/sites/default/files/2018%20No%2041%20Street%20Law.pdf