Law in the Community

The law course at the University of Suffolk has strong ties with a number of schools across Suffolk and Norfolk.

We work with children as young as primary school age to encourage broad thinking about career options and higher education.  We continue to work with schools through to Year 13 to discover the law, whether with an eye towards long term study or just to share our love of all things legal!

The Community Legal Education undergraduate module

In their final year, our students have the chance to take our Community Legal Education module which is modelled on the Street Law programme originating in the US.  In this optional module, students learn some basic tenets of interactive learning and teaching and then spend time working with schools in the area to teach secondary school students about a particular area of the law.  If you are a school in Suffolk (and potentially Norfolk) and would like to discuss having law students teach a few sessions for you, please do get in touch with course and module leader Dr Stephen Colman..

Schools Outreach

Our staff also value these connections with younger students and enjoy spending time in school classrooms.  See below for a selection of our school sessions which should give you a good idea of what knowledge we love sharing, and if you are from a school in the area please do get in touch if you would like to run one of these session.

Our most popular outreach session, a deeply immersive activity where students learn about human rights through the eyes of those who’s rights might be denied or violated.  Students engage in deep discussion about these issues, and most important what we can do about it.  All participating students are given a special human rights passport at the end of the session to take home.  This session runs for approximately 1 hour and is suitable for small groups (25 max) of students Year 10+.  This session is often jointly run by Dr Reilly Willis (an expert in International Human Rights with many years’ experience working at the UN) and third year students taking the Community Legal Education module.

Using her experience in strategic litigation for women’s rights, Dr Willis shares the very powerful stories of three women whose tragedies led to landmark legal cases in the UK, the EU, and internationally.  Students spend approximately 1 hour learning about how the law was used to ensure that women’s human rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled.  This session was first launched at the ‘Liberate and Educate’ conference for sixth formers on International Women’s Day 2022.  It is suitable for students aged 16 and over as sensitive topics are discussed

This session uses the lens of youth activism to understand more about international environmental law, the challenges, and the successes of using the law to make change.  Students then engage in a guided hands-on activity to design their very own youth action lawsuit against the government.  This one-hour session is suitable for any size group, Year 10+.  This session is run by Dr Reilly Willis and a third year student taking Community Legal Education.

Dr Willis draws upon her many years working for and with the UN to run a mini Model UN simulation exploring climate change.  This session is suitable for smaller groups of Year 10+ students and can be offered alongside the above session to create a longer, more immersive experience.  It can also be offered as a stand-alone session, and can be tailored to run from 1-2 hours.

Dr Willis is also a bit of an expert when it comes to zombies in the classroom.  She has recently run an excellence in learning and teaching webinar exploring the use of pop culture scenarios in problem-based learning. Dr Willis can bring the zombies to your school in a mini Model UN simulation where students represent governments responding to a zombie outbreak.  This model is also the basis for an extended case study used in the optional module Public International Law. 

University of Suffolk’s Lesson in a Box are aimed at Year 12 students and the boxes are designed to be used during school time to introduce different courses on offer at the University of Suffolk. The boxes are designed to be used with groups of up to 20 students.  From summer 2022, a Lesson in a Box for Law will be available where students learn about and debate the death penalty.

This session is specially designed for KS2 children to introduce basic ideas and concepts around human rights.  Children learn about why we have human rights and what they mean.  They then have the chance to make their very own human rights snakes and ladders game, which can be left in the classroom to play at any time.

Our team also has expertise in criminal law, evidence and procedure (Dr Stephen Colman and Ms Eleanor Scarlett) and can deliver a variety of sessions for a wide range of groups.  Criminal law is also a popular topic for our Community Legal Education students working on a more long-term basis in schools. We have also arranged mock trials for local schools that take place in our mock courtroom in the Waterfront Building.

We think the best way to show you what our programme is like is to have students share their knowledge and experience.  As part of Community Legal Education, third year students have the opportunity to run taster sessions for law at various Open Days and Applicant Visit Days throughout the year.