The Summer Scheme
The LEDLET and Legal Wales summer schemes usually take place in the last or penultimate week of July, during the school summer holidays. The Summer Schemes kick off with all of the students travelling by train to their summer scheme location (either London or Cardiff). The timetable generally follows the same format every year, with talks and tours varying from year to year.
"There is no other scheme which can provide opportunities, guidance and experience to the next generation of lawyers in the way LEDLET can"
"LEDLET is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I encourage anyone with an interest in a career in the law to apply for"
London Summer Scheme
On the first day of the London summer scheme the 10 successful candidates will arrive in London around noon and will be escorted by a trustee or chaperone (often one of LEDLET’s alumni) to their accommodation at Gray’s Inn. Once at Gray’s Inn, the students will all be introduced to one another and will participate in a debate. Students will be given a couple of hours to prepare with the help of mentors from Gray’s Inn before doing the debate in front of a small audience in one of the debating halls at Gray’s. This is followed by a short reception for the students and those who attended the debate; after this the students get checked into their accommodation and have dinner.
The next two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) involve the students shadowing a practicing solicitor and barrister (a day with each). After the placements on both days the students are taken for a legal talk or tour (in 2022, this was a tour of the Law Society, in 2023 it was an informal meeting with Lord Justice Lewis, a Welsh Court of Appeal Judge in the High Court of Justice and also a talk at a set of specialist family law chambers, 29 Bedford Row). In the evenings on both days the students are taken for an evening meal with trustees and associates of LEDLET so that they can get to know each other and learn more about the different options for a career in the law.
On the Thursday, the students may be taken to the UK Supreme Court, where they will have a tour and an informal talk from our President, Lord Lloyd Jones, the only Welsh Judge in the Supreme Court. Either before or ater this talk, the students are then taken to see some of London's courts (in 2023, students visited the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey), where they will hopefully have the opportunity to watch a court trial in action and get some insight from a sitting Judge. In the evening, students are taken to a commercial law firm for a formal celebratory end of week dinner.
On the final day, students are taken on another tour of London's legal centres - 2023 saw students taken to the Law Commission for a tour and a talk. Following the morning tour, students are then given a talk on university admissions by one of the UK's top universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge or UCL to show that they are accessible for LEDLET students; a talk on the SQE (how to qualify as a solicitor) by a representative from the University of Law and a talk from the Gray's Inn Educational Department on becoming a barrister. There is also usually a work shop on personal statements to help with university applications. We also then ask you to fill in your feedback Questionnaires so that we can see what we did well and what we can improve on in the future.
The students are then escorted back to the train station where they make their way home by train.
It is a packed, well organised week which allows the 10 successful candidates the opportunity to learn about different areas of law, different aspects of the legal profession, to get to know lots of very friendly Welsh lawyers who practice in London and to realise that by aiming high, you can succeed in the legal profession in London.
Cardiff Summer Scheme
If you gain a place on the Cardiff Summer Scheme, you'll arrive in the Welsh capital by early afternoon on the Monday. The afternoon will be mainly devoted to activities helping you to get know each other and work together - expect some law-related research or debating tasks, plus some light-hearted ice-breakers. You'll also have the opportunity to learn about different ways to become a lawyer - studying Law or other subjects at university, or studying while you earn - and to hear from some current students, including those who'll be chaperoning you throughout the Week. At the end of the afternoon, we'll take you to check in to your accommodation (typically, a university hall of residence) and then to dinner in a relaxed Cardiff eatery.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, you will shadow practising solicitors/chartered legal executives and barristers (a day with each).
On the Thursday, you'll typically spend the day at Cardiff Crown Court, where you will have the opportunity to watch trials in action, as well as hearing from a judge, a court clerk and other key players in the world of the criminal law. Normally, you will also take part in a live-streamed session from the UK Supreme Court, where the LEDLET President, Lord Lloyd Jones, the only Welsh judge in the Supreme Court, will talk and answer your questions.
On two evenings of the week, you'll get the chance to chat informally to a wider range of lawyers and trainee lawyers, of different ages and specialising in different areas of law, at one of the Cardiff legal firms, with food provided. The lawyers who attend are friendly and approachable, and these events have proved some of the most popular activities of the week with our students.
Dinner on the final evening (Thursday) tends to be a relaxed affair, with just you students and your Scheme chaperones, who are usually past Scheme students.
You will also go on at least one law-related talk or tour during the week (in 2023, the students had two tours - one of Senedd Cymru, the Welsh Parliament, with a talk from the Head of the Legal Service there about how the law is made, and another of BBC Cymru Wales, with a presentation from two of their staff working on legal issues such as contracts and copyright).
On the final day (Friday), you will try your hands at advocacy - putting forward a legal case to a real-life judge - drawing on what you have seen and heard during the week. It may sound scary but don't worry - the judge's feedback will be constructive, and no one is marking you! You'll also have more talks on university-related matters, like personal statements, admissions and student finance, to complement what you learned on Monday.
Over lunch, we'll want to hear your feedback on the Scheme - what you liked and anything you think could be improved. We take this very seriously and make changes every year in the light of the students' comments. Then it'll be goodbyes, and we will escort you back to the train/coach station, or to your parents' cars, for you to make your way home.
"Initially beforehand I was a bit apprehensive about the Scheme but from the moment the Scheme began I knew it wasn't going to be what I expected - I had an amazing time and there was a good mix of more formal activities and fun things such as the BBC tour"
"A brilliant week communicating with different people across Wales with the same interests as myself"