Women in law

Pollie Shorthouse, 26.04.2016
Galleries of Justice, Nottingham
Women in Law was the first adult workshop to be developed and piloted at the Galleries of Justice Museum on 29 February 2016.

The National Centre for Citizenship & the Law (NCCL) delivers a schools programme at the Galleries of Justice Museum, Nottingham, at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, and in the North West of England, but it doesn’t offer a learning programme for adults.

The project aimed to:

• create a space in the museum where legal literacy sessions can take place
• identify community groups to engage with legal literacy sessions and engage with them
• deliver legal literacy pilot
• create a legal literacy programme for adults.

The Transformers Room was created in the museum (with the support of the Museums Association’s Transformers programme) and the Women in Law session was delivered there to six women (none of the six had visited the museum before).

The workshop was promoted through a newly-formed relationship with Nottingham Women’s Centre.

Partnerships were also developed with legal firms and professionals to discuss their support through pro bono work or funding, and with the deputy police and crime commissioner for Nottinghamshire to engage with other community groups, discuss how sessions could link to their priorities, and potential funding for future work. The Women’s Centre introduced NTU Law School to help with the programme.

The pilot session was evaluated on whether participants had visited the museum before, what types of other sessions they would like to attend, any recommendations to the workshop they took part in and if they would be willing to work with us again.

The legal literacy programme for adults will be created over the next few months in consultation with user groups and stakeholders.

A programme of interactive, kinaesthetic events and workshops using the museum’s collection will be offered to a range of adults from parents of learners on our early intervention programme, to ESOL learners, through to offering drop in lunchtime sessions for adults working in the city.

All activities will be measured against the following key learning statements (created to show the impact of our work measured against the trust’s aims and linked to the five generic learning outcomes):

• I know about the law, how it is made and how it can be changed
• I can be an active citizen by taking an interest in my rights and responsibilities
• I can reflect on what is right and wrong and can communicate this to others
• I can enjoy connecting with new spaces, objects and ideas
• I can feel empowered to live and work within the law.

Sessions will not only teach about the law but improve literacy skills, encourage debate and explore ideas about right and wrong and empowerment.

The museum will be not only be offering public legal education but participants will learn and build on skills they can use in their lives such as literacy or forming and articulating an argument.

Participants will be sign-posted to places of further interest or guidance and support if needed. The sessions offered will increase participants’ wellbeing and they will be inspired to learn about the law and to change their lives.

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