"I’m involved in the ‘Lawyers and Schools’ programme, which involves a number of lawyers from the firm going into a local boys’ school and holding workshops, loosely based on legal issues that might be relevant to the students. So, recent examples have included intellectual property law in the context of internet downloads and also employment law to the extent that it might relate to the students in their work experience schemes or part-time jobs. While we try to give the students something of an understanding of the law in each area, it’s really as much about promoting discussion and debate among students. It also gives them a chance to consider topics that they would not otherwise cover as part of their curriculum and they can engage with us as lawyers and people that perhaps they wouldn’t normally get to interact with. It’s very interesting, it’s quite good fun. I think it’s quite rewarding to see the students start a session having no idea about the subject matter and then an hour later you have them discussing, debating and arguing, getting their point of view across."
"There are a massive amount of pro bono activities that people get involved with and they can be legal and non-legal. From the non-legal side, people, for example, go and spend time reading to primary school kids and helping them improve their reading. But on the other side you’ve got legal opportunities where people go to law centres and speak to people about real issues, about real problems that they’re facing, and try to help them out and provide them with legal advice. People from all backgrounds in the firm get involved."
"At Slaughters, we get to do either legal volunteering or non-legal volunteering and I’ve tried to do a bit of both just to see what’s on offer. On the legal side, I volunteer at the Islington Law Centre, which is a once-a-month commitment where you go to a free legal advice clinic and work directly with a client whose case you listen to and see what sort of advice you can give. It’s really useful because you’re getting skills out of the process which you could use in your day job, as well as you’re interviewing and advising. It’s also really enjoyable because you get to meet new people across the firm and you get to work on things that you wouldn’t see on a day-to-day basis in a City firm. On the non-legal side, I’ve done ad hoc volunteering like a street collection for the Greater London Fund for the Blind, and I’ve worked on a project called "Lawyers in Schools", where you go to a school and teach GCSE students about a certain legal topic, like Consumer law or Employment law, for an hour."
"I’ve got involved in sports coaching here, helping out with our primary school partners, which are local primary schools around the area, and actually spent a day doing some sports coaching at the Honourable Artillery Company sports ground across the road from here at Bunhill Row. And that involved supervising 90 children for an entire day from two different primary schools and we ended up playing lots of different sports and doing various different activities."
"I’ve been involved in a project for sports volunteering where we go to a local school called St Luke’s primary school, which is just up in Old Street, so it’s actually very close to the firm.
It’s not something that you’d expect if you come to train at a law firm, that you can go out and do sports coaching with kids – it’s certainly something that I was quite surprised to find myself doing, but it’s fantastic. It’s a really nice way to either chat to colleagues that you haven’t met before or just go along and work with someone doing something completely different.
I think if you walk into a primary school playground with 200 kids in it with a bag of footballs, then (laughs) there’s a, sort of, general hysteria – everyone gets very excited.
But it’s not for the faint-hearted – it can be quite hectic."
"I’m currently sitting in Dispute Resolution, and my supervisor is very keen on pro bono work. She likes to take on cases that are a bit different to the normal Slaughter and May work, so I get to help her with these cases. At the moment we’re currently representing a couple of Jamaican guys who’ve been convicted of murder in Jamaica, who then appealed to Privy... sorry... the Court of Appeal in Jamaica, and are now doing their final appeal to the London Privy Council, and we’re representing them in this appeal. It’s totally different to what we usually do day-to-day at Slaughter and May. I think it’s helped me gain extra skills, so I’m happy to work on it and I find it very interesting."