Two large scale law-related campaigns were held on campus last week; Law Soc ran its annual Law Week and UCD’s Student Legal Service organised a ‘Know Your Rights’ week which was aimed to inform students about their entitlements.
Law Soc organised a variety of events during the week, which included Christopher Lee’s talk on Wednesday evening, during which the eighty-nine year old actor spoke to a full theatre and answered students’ questions, and a gig, with the band Responsible Looking Freaks performing an acoustic set.
According to the week’s organiser, Aidan Forde, the high point of the week was the 11-a-side soccer tournament hosted on Tuesday. Out of the seven teams competing, three were made up of first year students, a great achievement according to Forde as the purpose of the week was to involve more first years in the society. He was “delighted with the response,’’ deeming it a great way of “showing the first years what Law Soc actually does”.
The Student Legal Service (SLS) also hosted many events throughout the week to inform students of their rights. The Service believes that the main impediment to students learning about their rights is due to complications in legislation, or the law not being accessible to students. Chairperson of the Student Legal Service, Sarah O’Meara, stated that the SLS is “there as a buffer, as a bridge between complicated legislation and what affects you”.
According to O’Meara, there were a number of first years interested in the talks about volunteering overseas, which she attributed to SLS’s involvement in orientation week.
O’Meara considered the talk highlighting students’ rights from a Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC) representative, Noleen Blackwell, to be the high point of the week. Prior to this, FLAC and the SLS had been very closely linked, “our relationship with FLAC is really good these days; we base ourselves on what they do, they give free legal advice in centres all around the country so working with them is really great, seeing that relationship be so harmonious and having a lot of good feedback was probably my highpoint”.
Both societies received positive feedback on their weeks, and both of the organisers were pleased with student involvement.