Law Pathways Opportunity Programme Subject Specific Session
This year’s Law Pathways Opportunity Programme subject specific session looked a little different to normal. We were not gathered in the Moot Court at the School of Law as we had planned. Since the campus was closed due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the session was conducted online via Canvas conferences. Thanks to the participation and adaptability of students, tutors, and guests, the virtual session was a great success!
The day began with some teaching. First, Meghan Hoyt delivered a revision session focusing on the materials that the students had been working on as part of their online coursework. Then, Gillian Kane introduced the students to the Human Rights Act. These sessions provoked some great questions from participants.
The next part of the day took the form of a debate. Rebekah Corbett had designed a debate focused on the question of whether all prisoners should be allowed to vote. This debate required engagement with a case from the European Court of Human Rights where the issue of a blanket ban on prisoner voting in the UK was under consideration. Students worked together in smaller teams in virtual ‘breakout rooms’ to research and prepare their team position. The tutors were so impressed by how the teams worked together and participated so well, despite the limitations involved with meeting online.
After lunch, the group came back together for the debate, moderated by Rebekah. There were some fantastic, well- articulated contributions to the debate as well as some excellent questions from other participants. It is safe to say that the Law Pathway team is looking forward to hearing more from this motivated and dedicated group of students during the summer sessions!
The day ended with a careers session moderated by Martina Roulston and Gillian Kane. Students had the opportunity to hear from Mr Alan Hunter, former Chief Executive of the Law Society NI. Mr Hunter spoke to the students about his own career journey, detailing the various stages of his career, from his days at QUB to starting out in the field of law, right through to his involvement as Chief Executive of the Law society. Mr Hunter inspired the students by speaking about the combination of ‘determination, ambition, and opportunity’ in his own path. It was a real privilege for the students to hear from such an inspiring individual and Mr Hunter’s words instilled fresh confidence in many.
Following this, participants heard from three recent QUB LLB graduates: Max Brankin, Emily McGleenon, and Courtney Doherty. All three had been involved as academic guides on the Law Pathway during their studies. They shared about their experiences at QUB during their undergraduate studies and gave valuable advice to the students about all aspects of university life and studying law.
Thank you to all our guests and students for being willing to adapt to the online environment and enter into the spirit of the day – we look forward to the next event!
Here’s what some of our students had to say about the day:
“I enjoyed the conference from start to finish and look forward to our next session, whether it be in person or via conference.”
“These interviews also helped me to gain confidence in myself and what I am aiming to do and study.”
“It was great working with a team and sharing ideas within the break rooms and I hope to continue exciting teamwork such as this throughout my pathway experience.”
“From the opening information on “where do human rights come from” I learned something completely new.”
“The debate was by far my favourite part of the day and has definitely opened my eyes to the possibility of joining a debate club, something I now look forward to doing when school is back to normal.”