On the 28th of November, ELSA LSE celebrated the UK’s 7th edition of ELSA Day. As this year’s focus was on the ‘right to education’, we collaborated with IntoUniversity to organise an opportunity for approximately 20 A-level students interested in studying law to come to LSE and participate in activities.
We began with an insightful talk from Dr. Tatiana Cutts, an Assistant Professor of Law at the LSE. She spoke on the transition from high school to university, explaining how student life drastically changes and providing key tips to best adjust to/keep up with the workload of a law degree. She also highlighted the importance of maintaining a work-life balance and being mindful of mental health throughout one’s studies. Finally, she opened it up for a question/answer session, which yielded a fruitful discussion between Dr. Cutts and the participants on overcoming challenges and managing stress effectively.
We then moved on to a moot court competition, centring on a scenario in which Harry Potter was expelled from Hogwarts and decided to launched a human rights claim against the state for violating his right to education. The participants were given an hour to formulate arguments, with the help of 6 LSE LLB student mentors who guided them through how analyse the facts of the case and to apply preceding case law to the case at hand. The participants then presented the arguments to their peers and the judges in an interesting and lively moot. To really challenge the participants to think on the spot about the legal issues involved, the judges asks them plenty of questions on the spot. Additionally, as this was quite an informal moot, the debate was extended to allow the participants to rebut the other side several times. This allowed the participants to slowly gain more confidence in their argumentation and in their public speaking skills.
In feedback, the participants said that they really enjoyed voicing their arguments in front of judges, getting to know people who share the same passion for law, and learned a lot about balancing university life and being mindful of one’s mental health.
Overall, this was a very positive experience for both the A-level student participants and the LSE LLB student mentors. The A-level students were able to engage with legal issues in a hands-on way, developing their legal thinking and public speaking skills. The LSE LLB student mentors learned how to better explain legal issues to non-law students and to engage a younger age group. It was a lot of fun, and the session passed by very quickly. ELSA LSE is now looking to make this collaboration with IntoUniversity an annual event, and is very thankful to IntoUniversity and ELSA UK for their role in making this event possible.
Gloria Schiavo is a second year LLB student at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, and is the ELSA LSE SU VP for Seminars and Conferences.