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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Streetlaw Initiative

Published: 21 February 2017

As part of the Employability Skills Programme, second year students are offered the opportunity to work in teams of four to deliver an interactive presentation on an area of law of 40 – 60 minutes to local schools and colleges. The students they are presenting to range in age from fourteen to eighteen.

Streetlaw has been running since 2006 and involves students’ working together to design a relevant and age appropriate presentation for use at one of the schools or colleges that have agreed to host a Streetlaw team.

In November 2016, second year law students were invited to apply to participate in teams of four. It soon became apparent however that there were individuals who wanted to participate but could not form a team. The initiative was widened to allow individual applications resulting in many more students applying than could be accommodated. Students were chosen on a first come first served basis.

Seven teams of four were organised, an academic supervisor was appointed and the groups met for their first planning meeting in late November/early December. The students were given guidance from their academic supervisors but were then expected to design a presentation that would be reviewed at the beginning of January with their academic supervisor.

The teams worked diligently over the Christmas period on their slides and a plan of how they would work together on the day of the presentation. In early January, the teams met with their academic supervisor to rehearse. It was obvious that all of the teams had worked creatively to develop innovative ways of teaching to inspire their audiences using various different medium, for example – video clips; voting buttons; and participative exercises.

Over two weeks, the students presented to the various colleges and schools: Kings School, Winchester; Taunton’s College, Southampton; Itchen College, Southampton; St Swithun’s, Winchester and Peter Symond’s Winchester. Without exception the students were praised on their innovative presentations, the question and answer sessions and their general conduct. There were many requests for copies of the slides and various commendations as to how our students performed.

An example from Richard Taunton’s College:

Dear Sharon,

Please pass on our thanks to the Streetlaw students. Our A Level groups enjoyed the presentations very much and I have posted the PowerPoint onto Moodle for them to refer back to as we cover the content in more detail over the next few weeks.

Can I also take this opportunity to wish the students continued success with their studies and in the future.

I will hope to be able to work with you again in the next academic year.

Kind regards


All of the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feedback was very positive about the initiative:

Dear Sharon,

Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this great program and team. It was a wonderful learning experience!

Initially I didn't like the topic on non-fatal offences since it suddenly changed from "How is it decided how someone who has been charged is trialled (Procedures and Processes)". However, working with such a great team and supervisor helped me enjoy preparing this presentation over time.

I very much look forward to participating in more pro bono projects like Streetlaw and wish you a lovely day!


To Anna and Sharon,

Thank you both for your kind words, it was our pleasure to represent the Law School and University on this Pro Bono initiative. It was so rewarding to use our time and knowledge to benefit the local community by giving the audience a better understanding of this relevant and interesting topic.

I would recommend future second year students take advantage of this opportunity, as it has developed our researching, organisation and teamwork skills. Furthermore, it was not too time consuming, which was important as it meant it did not detract from our studies.

I am extremely grateful that we were able to apply to take part as individuals, as we would have missed out on this experience had that not been the case. Thank you both for all your help and feedback throughout, we have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Street Law initiative.

I have also copied in Dr Adrian Viens to thank him for the initial idea that set us off in the right direction, and for the support he gave us at the beginning. We are equally appreciative of his help too.

Jan and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following academic members of staff who gave their time, advice and support to the students during the Streetlaw initiative:

  • Anna Anderson – a very special thanks to Anna who picked up a couple of groups at the last minute
  • Alice Harrison
  • Emma Laurie
  • Ida Petretta – a very special thanks to Ida who worked with her team over the weekend to rewrite their presentation due to a change of subject at the last minute
  • Hedvig Schmidt
  • Adrian Viens

This programme is a wonderful way of demonstrating to the schools and colleges the opportunities that are afforded to our students and during the question and answer sessions, gives potential students of the University of Southampton, a good insight to life at the Law School.

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