Carson McDowell leads Lawyers in Schools NI pilot

Priory College student Matthew Barrow with Jacqueline McAleese of Carson McDowell, Dr Anne Rice and Priory principal Jacqueline Magennis

Priory College student Matthew Barrow with Jacqueline McAleese of Carson McDowell, Dr Anne Rice and Priory principal Jacqueline Magennis

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Carson McDowell has become the first law firm to deliver the Lawyers in Schools programme to young people in Northern Ireland.

The partnership with the Citizenship Foundation, funded by the Legal Education Foundation, will see nine solicitors from the firm volunteer their time to help young people learn about their rights and responsibilities across a number of areas including: social media, employment law, intellectual property and police powers.

The series of 12 sessions will run from September until December. Last year more than 1,200 students in the UK and Australia were involved in the programme, receiving mentoring from 500 legal volunteers.

As specialists in Northern Irish legislation, Carson McDowell volunteered it’s time and expertise to adapt the programme to the jurisdiction and is supporting the pilot delivery at Priory Integrated College in Holywood, County Down.

“Volunteering and the legal profession go hand in hand,” said managing partner Michael Johnston.

“This initiative is the perfect example of how solicitors should be engaging with young people and encouraging them to discuss current affairs and learn about their rights.”

Dr Anne Rice, NI co-ordinator for the Citizenship Foundation said: “Bringing this Lawyers in Schools pilot to Priory Integrated College is a positive step forward for Northern Ireland. Carson McDowell’s support in the delivery of the programme is an essential part of our aim to promote citizenship among young people.”