Children should know their rights, says president I. Stephanie Boyce
The president of the Law Society is pushing for law to be part of the school curriculum so that children “know their rights”.
Speaking during a diversity event held at Dechert last week, I. Stephanie Boyce said the campaign would also help “break down barriers” as pupils start to think about a career in law during their primary and secondary education.
“Pupils might think law is an elitist profession, that lawyers don’t sound or look like them, or that they don’t belong,” said Boyce. “If we start to teach law in schools from a young age then they are able to move through the education system and start to think about a career in law earlier.”
“Some schools do — but not all — and my campaign is for all schools,” reiterated Boyce. “It could make a difference to those who think the solicitor profession is not for them and starts to break down barriers for those individuals.”
Boyce referenced statistics showing that nearly two-thirds of people do not know their legal rights.
The Society’s first black president, who began her tenure a year ago, has said previously it is her mission to leave the profession “more diverse and inclusive than the one I entered”.
She’s part of the City of London’s socio-economic diversity taskforce which aims to promote equity of progression in the UK’s financial and professional services. Boyce said the Law Society is seeking views from the legal profession to see what more can be done to boost socio-economic diversity.
It currently provides funding to education charity Young Citizens so that law can be taught in schools. “Our members also take part in Young Citizens’ Experts in Schools programme, where professionals engage with small groups of young people to teach young people about the power structures that make up our society,” she said.