Yesterday, UKCLE launched its National Law Student Forum initiative with a pilot 36 hour event for invited law student representatives. The event aims were to:
- demonstrate how students can actively develop their contribution to the learnin g process
- increase the students’ skills base, e.g. from note taking in meetings and preparing reports to committees to communication and negotiation skills
- set up a network for law students
- increase the students awareness of approaches to learning & teaching
The event was facilitated by Patricia McKellar and Michael Bromby (UKCLE) and Adam Mannis (UKCME) from another HEA subject centre which has been running student-oriented events since 2001. Guest speakers included Ant Bagshaw, National Union for Students (NUS) and Rebecca Huxley-Binns, Law Teacher of the Year Winner 2010.
The success of the event was largely due to the students who attended! All UK law schools were invited to nominate a delegate who could represent their students - some attendees were class/year/school reps, others were law society presidents or had other similar roles - and 20 were invited on a first-come first-served basis. A range of second and third years attended from a range of institutions representing most geographic areas and types of law schools ranging from the well established to newly created LLB providers.
The staff running the event were extremely impressed at how quickly the delegates came together, socialised and integrated into a very productive group, having never met each other before. Clearly their roles as student representatives and the common ground of studying the same discipline helped to facilitate this cohesion.
During the event, students worked in teams to identify issues, solve problems, and share best practice and experiences with each other. Some of their outputs, ideas and suggestions will be reworked into posters, photo albums and short video clips which will be uploaded in due course.
Participating students will be producing a report containing what they have learned from the event for their home institution. UKCLE will be collating, evaluating and disseminating these reports and the process ourselves to take the initiative forward.