Throughout my schooling I have not encountered any law education programs that target young people, providing them with knowledge about their legal rights, responsibilities and obligations within contemporary society. As a law student, it worries me how little young people know about a system that is there to protect them and enforce our society's social values. I have found that my peers continue to make ill-informed and misguided decisions that often have the ability of affecting their futures and I believe that legal ignorance should be an excuse no longer. I have been inspired by many a tale of my peers being exploited by employers, not knowing what to do with excessive phone bills and getting reprimanded by the law for things they didn't know were illegal. Young people need to be informed about the legal landscape and be able to engage and access legal resources in an active and positive way.
My idea, with the help of my friend Alex Butters, is to create a legal education program, JustLaw Education, for Year 10-12 high school students that teach them their legal rights, responsibilities and obligations. I hope to create peer-to-peer law education workshops, with law students donating their time to deliver one-off 1-2 hour workshops at high schools. The premise of this program is that high school students will engage better with law students, as they are contemporaries, with greater understanding of the challenges facing young people. Furthermore, the program would go directly to high school students, providing a proactive way for them to access the law. I would hope to implement this program locally and then through the national law school network, to ensure that all high school students in metropolitan and rural areas are legally savvy. JustLaw Education's principal aims are to create legally conscious and responsive teenagers within Australia.