Career Planning
Pro Bono and Preparing for Work

Skills

  • Advocacy/Communication
  • Social Welfare

Skills

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Advocacy/Communication
  • Social Welfare

Skills

  • Advocacy/Communication
  • Social Welfare

Skills

  • Teaching & Supervision
  • Advocacy/Communication
  • Social Welfare

Skills

  • Teaching & Supervision
  • Advocacy/Communication
  • Social Welfare

Skills

  • Advocacy/Communication
  • Social Welfare

Skills

  • Teaching & Supervision
  • Advocacy/Communication
  • Social Welfare

Skills

  • Commercial Awareness
  • Advocacy/Communication

Training

Training is open to first year students only and runs in the Autumn and Spring terms, and after the exams.

  • 15 hours training in the Autumn term.
  • 2 all-day training sessions in the Spring Term.

Training

40 students - first and second year. 5 days across Autumn and Spring terms. Training takes place during University Week 6 activities week. Students must demonstrate their learning to assessors through group work and role play in order to take part in subsequent projects.

Training

Training is open to first year students only and runs in the second half of the Autumn term.

Typically there will be seven initial training sessions, each of 5-6 hours. If accepted, you will be expected to attend ongoing training from time to time.

Training

Only open to third year Family Law Students. One three hour training session is given at the beginning of the Autumn term.

Training

Brief training is given in the latter half of the Autumn term in any year.

Training

Training given at the end of the Autumn term in any year.

Training

Brief training for first or second year students given in the middle of the Autumn term.

Duties

Work in a bureau 1 day (or two half-days) per week in Autumn and Spring Terms, and also after exams.

Duties

To work on any available project currently run by Resolve or to help out in their office for at least the following year after completion of training.

Duties

Duties (whole morning) every four weeks in the Autumn and Spring Terms.

Duties

These are very flexible: some students volunteer every week, others perhaps twice in the term.

Duties

Duties are flexible - perhaps 5 to 10 sessions in a term.

Duties

Duties on the first Thursday of each month, 4:45 - 6:45, plus research, drafting letters, etc.

Students usually do duties in alternate months.

Project

First Year

sum vac

Second Year

sum vac

Final Year

sum vac

Mediation Project Work

-- or --

Optionally continue one of these into Final Year.

Resolve Mediation

Charity Admin Work

-- or --

Required for Pro Bono &
Mediate alongside Resolve Professional Practice LW3WPP

tel panel

tel panel

tel panel

Reading Youth
Offending Team

Duties:Spr/Sum

Duties: Aut/Spr/Sum

Duties: Aut/Spr/Sum

Flag DV

Family Law students only

Duties: Aut/Spr

Sessns: Aut/Spr

Sessions: Aut/Spr

Sessions: Aut/Spr

Streetlaw

Sessns: Aut/Spr

Sessions: Aut/Spr

Sessns: Aut/Spr

Sessns: Aut/Spr

Sessions: Aut/Spr

Sessions: Aut/Spr

Access to Law

Sessns: Aut/Spr

Sessions: Aut/Spr

Sessns: Aut/Spr

CommuniCare

Duties: A/S/S

Duties: Aut/Spr/Sum

Duties: Aut/Spr/Sum

Duties: A/S/S

Duties: Aut/Spr/Sum

Work Experience

 

Opportunities for 'Pro Bono' (voluntary legal work)

It is ironic that when the legal profession engages in the community it has chosen a Latin tag for it! 'Pro Bono' is short for 'pro bono publico' and refers to professional work which lawyers undertake without payment.

The Law School offers a wide range of Pro Bono activities - probably one of the widest of any law school in England and Wales - and is keen to support and encourage students who participate in pro bono work. As well as being rewarding in its own right, Pro Bono experience is something future employers (legal or otherwise) increasingly look to for evidence of the practical skills graduates need to develop very early in their careers. Around a half of undergraduate Law students are engaged in some form of Pro Bono activity. The wide range of activities means that students are able to participate in an activity which matches both their interests and their ability to make the necessary commitment in terms of time and effort.

Resolve - Community Mediation Skills

The Resolve 'Community Mediation Skills' training is designed to give selected students (40 1st and 2nd year students) an overview of how mediation works and to understand the role of a mediator. They are encouraged to develop a set of skills, knowledge and personal qualities that will be useful in all aspects of life and which will improve a student's overall employability.

The aim of this training is enable students to:

  • Explore what conflict is & understand people's different responses to conflict
  • Communicate clearly what mediation is and how it works
  • Understand how people in dispute think, feel and behave
  • Have self-awareness and self confidence
  • Deal with conflict more effectively
  • Practice the skills being taught
  • Be prepared for involvement in Resolve projects

Training is interactive and fund and includes a lot of student participation and it also counts towards the University's Red Award (a university initiative designed to assist with students' future employability).

By the end of the training students will be able to build on their newly acquired mediation skills by getting involved in the various pro-bono projects that Resolve offer throughout their remaining time at the University. These currently include:

  • Mediating with Young people and their Family - two projects:
    • Launchpad - young people at risk of being homeless;
    • Talk it Out - where families are just not getting on
  • Cyberbullying / use of Social Media and Mediation within Schools
  • Office Experience

Students who have completed the training say:

"The mediation training has vastly developed my communication skills, from public speaking to learning how to acquire necessary information by asking the relevant questions, and building client rapport."

"I completed training as a community mediator with Resolve Mediation in first year. The training was primarily group activities were incredibly useful to me. We learnt how important communication is in conflict situations, whilst developing our own communication skills. It has also helped me to develop my problem solving skills, enabling me to be able to think on feet, but most importantly it has increased my confidence."

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Reading Youth Offending Team

In 2014-15 and again in 2016-17 Reading Youth Offending Team have trained a number of first-year students to sit as members of the 'Referral Panels', members of the local community who deal with young offenders who are given a 'Referral Order' by the Youth Court. Each panel will typically meet with the offender and agree a plan of action designed to put right the harm already done and prevent future offending. The panel would reconvene later to assess progress, and could refer the offender back to the Youth Court for re-sentencing if the objectives have not been met.

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Flag DV

Flag DV is a Newbury-based charity which was launched in October 2013. It offers advice to the victims of domestic violence. A number of third year students studying Family Law assist by conducting preliminary interviews at their fortnightly clinics. They also have the opportunity to participate in subsequent interviews with the qualified volunteer advisers.

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Streetlaw

The Streetlaw project involves students visiting local schools to raise legal awareness by bringing aspects of law and the legal system into the community through providing lessons, assemblies, group sessions and presentations. The sessions run by student volunteers comprise part of the school citizenship curriculum. Each year students also coach pupils for a debating competition, with finals for various year groups. In terms of numbers, Streetlaw is the largest Pro Bono activity, and students find it both valuable and enjoyable.

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Access to Law

This is a project initiated and run by Reading law students. Volunteers visit local schools to encourage sixth-formers to consider Law as a degree course, and to offer information about it.

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CommuniCare

A number of students attend legal advice giving sessions at a local advice agency. They sit in with qualified solicitors at these evening sessions, and assist with legal research and letter writing as necessary. Most of the clients have problems relating to employment and housing. Students also have the opportunity to help with the more general 'drop in' advice sessions which CommuniCare offers every weekday.

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Other Pro Bono activities

Our students also volunteer with many different organisations, local and national. Each year the Law School holds a Pro Bono Fair which is attended by a number of organisations who offer voluntary experience for students and is a chance for students to find out more about the voluntary work available and to sign up for placements. The Law School is generally able to assist in the cost of undertaking this work by paying local travel expenses. Organisations that Reading students have volunteered with include

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Pro Bono module

In recognition of the sizeable commitment many students make to Pro Bono work, final year students involved in Pro Bono work are able to count their experience towards a full 20 credit Pro Bono and Professional Practice Module. Students taking the module are generally those who have volunteered with an approved organisation for a period of six to nine months; they then complete an online portfolio reflecting on various aspects of their experience and the organisation concerned. Students who make a substantial commitment to an approved voluntary organisation during the summer vacation preceding their final year may also be allowed to take this module.

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law@reading.ac.uk

Ph: +44 (0) 118 378 6568
Fx: +44 (0) 118 378 4543

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