Simmons & Simmons has helped a North London charity stage a mock jury project for teenagers.
The international firm has worked closely with the Kings Corner Project to produce a mock trial, aimed at providing a group of GCSE students an introduction to the legal profession and the administration of justice.
The project, which formed part of the students' citizenship coursework, saw students in Years 10 and 11 from a number of North London schools take part in a series of workshops and court visits, as well as a mock trial, in which the students took part as jurors.
Several of Simmons' legal trainees, coordinated by Susannah Trafford and George Lusty, worked with Kings Corner and the students throughout the programme.
The firm provided two workshops in the firm's CityPoint offices to explain the basics of law, how to enter the legal profession, the process of criminal trials and the role of a jury.
Trainees also accompanied the student group to the Royal Courts of Justice for a tour. The trainees helped draft the mock trial script and facilitated the mock trial, which was acted out by drama students from the Young Actors' Theatre in Islington under the supervision of a Crown Court judge.
The mock jury project is due to end later this year with a viewing of a film of the project, which Kings Corner is set to produce. Trafford said the purpose of the project was to give students a flavour of what lawyers do in their day-to-day working lives.
"The partnership with the Kings Corner Project worked extremely well and all the trainees thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to interact with and encourage potential future lawyers," she said. "All trainees at Simmons & Simmons are encouraged to do pro bono work and this project was a fantastic opportunity for City lawyers to work with local students. One student revealed he had thought lawyers were boring, but not anymore. We're now offering similar workshops to schools."
Kings Corner is a free advice and resource centre providing services and projects to young people aged 15-21 in Islington and surrounding North London boroughs. It is a voluntary organisation and a registered charity, which was established in 1983.