DMU Street Law
What is Street Law?
Street Law is an extra-curricular activity in which students provide presentations for practical legal issues for schools, colleges and community groups. Our Street Law project began in 2002, inspired by a visit of four DMU students and one lecturer to the original Street Law project at Georgetown University in Washington DC. In addition to providing presentations on legal issues, we run mock trials to inform and entertain young people visiting DMU for a taste of university life. We also raise funds for charities and have social events. Any DMU student who would like to take part in our activities is welcome to join us.
How does Street Law provide ‘pro bono’ legal help for the community?
We have run presentations on issues such as responding to cyber-bullying for young people, legal issues around youth events for youth workers and housing law for homeless people. By informing people about their legal rights and responsibilities, Street Law students make a positive difference in the local community. A law lecturer provides support and supervision for Street Law activities, ensuring that our presentations are accurate and appropriate for their audience. Through fundraising activities such as cake sales, we raise money for charities. In 2012/13, we raised £230 for Cancer Research UK with our cake sale.
How will participating in Street Law help me academically?
Street Law is based on a simple idea: a great way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. In Street Law, students learn together by researching legal principles and thinking about the legal rights and responsibilities that they generate. Street Law students develop the skill of explaining complex legal ideas in clear and accessible language. Street Law is about ‘learning by doing’. Through taking part in mock trials and presentations, Street Law students grow in confidence and express their creativity. Street Law students enhance skills that are valued by employers. Street Law is run by a student committee together with a law lecturer who provides supervision and support for Street Law activities. Participation in the committee gives students experience of leadership and positions of responsibility; it also provides opportunities to develop new initiatives such as new presentations and fundraising activities. When applying for postgraduate study and jobs after graduation, Street Law students can show how they have developed the skills of research, communication, problem-solving and team-work.
How will Street Law help me to with employability?
Employers prefer to recruit people who can work well with others, solve problems and communicate with confidence. Taking part in Street Law helps students to enhance their skills and demonstrate vital qualities such as commitment, enthusiasm and creativity in the face of challenges. Street Law helps its members to discover in themselves resources that they will need in their future professional lives, such as confidence, leadership and the ability to motivate and inspire others. The work of Street Law is recognised every year at the volunteering awards ceremony held by our Students’ Union. At this ceremony, Street Law students receive a certificate, recognising the voluntary work that they have done. In 2012, Street Law won the De Montfort Students' Union award for ‘Best Volunteering Group’.