The Law Society actively supports our members' public legal education (PLE) projects through a series of initiatives, ongoing consultation and engagement with our members and their CSR teams.
We have provided advice for solicitors on how to help the public understand and protect their rights.
Public legal education can include:
Public legal education is not legal advice. It's about developing capacity, not answering specific legal problems, and firms have engaged with it in different ways. We'll be providing case studies showing how firms have taken up the PLE challenge.
The Law Society is a major funder of the Citizenship Foundation.
We support the work our members engage in through their Lawyers in Schools programme, which connects lawyers with local schools that are seeking legal education for their students. It's a unique, skills-based employee volunteering opportunity designed to increase young people's awareness and understanding of the law.
The results for both student and lawyer have been superb.
You can find out more about the scheme on the Lawyers in Schools website.
The Law Society is a member of the Solicitor General's newly established PLE Panel (established in the summer of 2017). The panel, formed of key organisations, will promote the importance of teaching people about the law and their basic civil and criminal rights - from knowing if you’re entitled to a refund in a shop or whether you’ve been a victim of discrimination.
The panel, which will meet bi-annually, is formed of key PLE representatives including those from the following organisations: Citizenship Foundation, Legal Education Foundation, The Law Society, Bar Council, CILEX, Magistrates’ Association, Ministry of Justice, Judicial Office, Solicitors Regulation Authority, Citizens Advice, Law for Life, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, Youth Access and Law Centres Federation.
Other participants may be invited to attend meetings on an ad hoc or permanent basis with the agreement of the panel.
Find out more about the panel
The Law Society sat on the PLE Working Group, which was set up by the attorney general's Pro Bono Coordinating Committee in late 2012.
The group had a single term of reference:
To make recommendations to the attorney general's Pro Bono Coordinating Committee for facilitating the further development of Public Legal Education.
The report produced by the Working Group can be found on the Law for Life website (PDF).
For further information, please contact our Pro Bono and Public Legal Education Policy Officer, Rebecca Wilkinson.
Tel: 020 7316 5662 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Law Society endorses the view that:
'Public Legal Education provides people with awareness, knowledge and understanding of rights and legal issues, together with the confidence and skills they need to deal with disputes and gain access to justice.
'Equally important, it helps people recognise when they may need support, what sort of advice is available, and how to go about getting it.
'PLE has a further key role in helping citizens to better understand everyday life issues, making better decisions and anticipating and avoiding problems'
The definition agreed by the 2007 Public Legal Education Task Force.