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Can public legal education (PLE) really increase access to justice?

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Simmons & Simmons LLP

1 Ropemaker Street

London

EC2Y 9SS

United Kingdom

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The Legal Services Board (LSB) will present new insights from the public legal education PLE element of its Individual Legal Needs Survey as part of Justice Week 2020. This seminar will provide insight into the barriers that people with lower legal capability face when accessing our justice system and what practical steps can be undertaken to lower them. This event will be of interest to people delivering PLE initiatives, pro bono providers, policy makers and researchers.

The event will be chaired by Michael Smyth CBE QC, Board member of the Legal Services Board.

Speakers will include:

  • Tom May, Research Manager, Legal Services Board
  • Enver Solomon, CEO, Just for Kids Law
  • Katherine Briscoe, CEO, Legal Beagles
  • Michael Olatokun, Research Fellow in Citizenship and the Rule of Law; Head of Public and Youth Engagement, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law

Attendees will also hear from two participants from Simmons & Simmons’ Young Talent Programme, a social mobility initiative run in partnership with Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow, London.

Registration and coffee from 8:30AM with the event starting at 9AM.

Event closes 10:45AM

About the speakers

Michael Smyth CBE QC, Board member at the Legal Services Board

Michael Smyth has been a Board member of the Legal Services Board since 2016.

Michael has been a solicitor since 1982 with the majority of this time spent at Clifford Chance advising both business and private clients.

He sits on the Board of the Fundraising Regulator and is Chair of its Complaints Committee. He is also a member of the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives and of the Professional Advisory Board of the Wesleyan Assurance Society. He is a Freeman of the City of London.

Kate Briscoe, CEO, Legal Beagles

Kate Briscoe is the co-founder and CEO of LegalBeagles, the UK’s most popular free legal forum. LegalBeagles was founded in 2007 and has grown to a community of 120,000 consumers & SME’s accessing and generating 24/7 legal support. Kate formerly led corporate contracts for Brighton & Hove City Council and then went on to work as a Consumer Credit Litigator representing clients in dispute with lenders.

Michael Olatokun, Bingham Centre

Michael is a researcher and project manager focused on exploring the connection between rights, citizenship and education. He leads the Centre's strategic area of focus on Citizenship and the Rule of Law and is the Head of Public and Youth Engagement. He is the lead instructor of 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law', an online undergraduate law course run by BIICL in collaboration with the University of London. He is also the Coordinator of 'The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education', a nationwide programme in which young people are taught about the rule of law and human rights

Enver Soloman, CEO, Just for Kids Law

Enver is a respected and well known figure in the children’s voluntary sector, and has been the CEO of Just for Kids Law for over two years. Prior to joining Just for Kids Law, he was Director of External Affairs at the National Children’s Bureau. He has also worked in senior roles at the Children’s Society and Barnardo’s and chaired a range of sector coalitions. Enver has worked extensively on criminal justice policy and practice in his capacity as deputy director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and at the Prison Reform Trust. Enver has chaired the Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers, the End Child Poverty coalition and the Standing Committee for Youth Justice. He has been a member of various advisory boards and groups for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, the Department of Education, the Home Office and the HM Inspectorate of Prisons.

Simmons & Simmons’ Young Talent Programme

The Young Talent Programme is Simmons & Simmons’ core social mobility initiative in partnership with Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow, London. Each year a group of twelve Year 10 students is selected to be part of the programme. The programme was developed to raise students’ aspirations through a series of ongoing, longer term initiatives that provide access to the legal profession and wider work opportunities. We are committed to supporting each cohort of students for a seven-year period during which they return to the firm every year to participate in a range of activities including work experience; skills sessions; project work; presentations; paid internships; and group mentoring. All students who choose to go into higher education have the opportunity to apply for a university bursary from the Simmons & Simmons Charitable Foundation. To date, ten students have been awarded bursaries of £5,000 per annum whilst at university, to date.

Now in its eighth year, the programme currently has 100 students enrolled and eight cohorts. And we will recruit our ninth cohort in 2020. Frederick Bremer School was deliberately chosen as it is in one of the most deprived boroughs in London, Walthamstow. The student profile is particularly diverse: 24 different languages spoken; 28.5% eligibility for free school meals and approximately 50% pupil premium at any one point. In recent years, we have recruited our first permanent hire from the programme from Cohort 1, and made our first trainee offer to a student from Cohort 2 the following year. In 2020, we will run our inaugural recruitment open day for students from the Young Talent Programme to provide a glimpse of the career opportunities open to the students at Simmons & Simmons.

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Simmons & Simmons LLP

1 Ropemaker Street

London

EC2Y 9SS

United Kingdom

View Map

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