Starting a Law Club for home ed teens

VHEAC Communique December 2020
January 4, 2021
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Starting a Law Club for home ed teens

If your teen is interested in legal studies, why not start your own law club?

Parents, or teens themselves, can organise groups, or even single activities, where the focus is on legal studies. Activities can include anything from an excursion to an activity held in a hired space weekly or fortnightly or monthly– the choice is yours.

You may wish to hire a venue, such as a library meeting room, and arrange for a facilitator to visit your group and talk to the kids about topics such as a child’s legal rights, what to say to the police, civil vs criminal law, jury service and more. Or you may prefer to have the group be excursions only. Again, the choice is yours.

For teens interested in the law, here are some options for planning a law club. Organisations and venues listed below are mostly Melbourne based (and in many cases free), however there are also resources online or education outreach programs for students around Victoria, so be sure to check the websites concerned for education resources.

Law Week takes place around mid May, so we recommend checking https://lawweek.net.au/

Excursions

Excursions are a great way for a group to learn about a topic, as well as having fun. You can arrange your own excursion group, or book in for a law related tour during Law Week or Open House Melbourne.

Parliament of Victoria
Behind the Scenes 90min tour https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/visit/behind-the-scenes-tour
Role play https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/visit/schooltours/parliament-role-play

Melbourne’s Legal Precinct Excursion
‘Students visit the Melbourne legal precinct and participate in an information-gathering race to solve the student challenge questions in this resource.’ https://victorialawfoundation.org.au/sites/default/files/resources/melbournes_legal_precinct_excursion.pdf

Supreme Court
School tours, and watching a case in action. https://www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au/for-students

Visit to the County Court and Magistrates Court (around Victoria)
School visits https://www.mcv.vic.gov.au/about_us/school-visits

Victoria Law Foundation
Metropolitan Law Talks (can sign up to attend as a school group). https://victorialawfoundation.org.au/for-teachers/metropolitan-law-talks/

Victoria Police Museum
Law and Order: Past and Present workshop https://www.policemuseum.vic.gov.au/law-order-past-present
Kelly Case Files workshop https://www.policemuseum.vic.gov.au/kelly-case-files

Old Melbourne Gaol
Court Room Drama session and Group Tour https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/educationprograms/court-room-dramas-2/

Lectures at universities
Universities such as Melbourne University often have free lectures open to the public on a variety of legal topics. It helps to subscribe to any newsletter or social media of the law schools concerned, and check regularly for events.

Incursions

You can also arrange incursions, where a speaker or activity facilitator comes out to speak to your group. In these cases, you can organise to hire a space such as a library or community meeting room, or you may have a member of the group willing to host at their house in order to lower potential costs.

Some incursion ideas include:

UN Youth Australia
Content based workshops and interactive problem solving group activity. Topics include The UN and International Justice, Human Rights and more. https://unyouth.org.au/event/school-programs/vic/

Victorian Electoral Commission
Passport to Democracy workshop https://passport.vec.vic.gov.au/
Mock elections

Victoria Law Foundation
Classroom Law Talks (can also be done in a court) https://victorialawfoundation.org.au/for-teachers/classroom-law-talks/

Victorian Law Reform Commission guest speaker
https://www.lawreform.vic.gov.au/teachers-and-students/request-speaker

Extra activities

How about something fun for your final law club session such as a party with a mystery based game and a movie with a legal theme? Or a walking tour in the city with a law and order theme, or the Old Melbourne Gaol Cluedo Experience? https://www.oldmelbournegaol.com.au/event/cluedo/

How to start your own club

HEN is very happy to help you with getting your group started. We have an article on Starting a Group which you can find here:

https://home-ed.vic.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/HEN_StartingAGroupAdvice.pdf

You might wish to brainstorm a list of activities that cover excursions and incursions mentioned above, and how often you will meet. Consider also the costs involved for participating families.

Whether it be law, or science, or any other topic of interest, we encourage you to organise a club, or some activities!

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