When you think of performing a public service project, what typically comes to mind? Whether your affiliate performs public service projects on a large or small scale, you probably don’t think of leading a group of young lawyers into a developing country for two weeks. But this is exactly what the Junior Lawyers Division of The Law Society (United Kingdom) has done since 2009.
A Public Service Expedition
Each year, members of the Junior Lawyers Division can volunteer to take part in a two-week expedition to a developing country. This is done in joint partnership with Raleigh, a charity based in the United Kingdom focused on youth and sustainable development. Participants travel to remote areas, constructing and implementing various forms of infrastructure or improvements designed to benefit the local population. In 2009, the inaugural year for the program, the Junior Lawyers traveled to Malaysian Borneo where they spent 10 days living in a community and creating a gravity-fed water system. The following year, the Junior Lawyers volunteered in the rural village of Vellery in Tamil Nadu (India), where they spent 10 days working with local community members to construct and install two bio gas plants and cowsheds. While there, they also participated in the local women’s self-help group. In addition to the actual physical project they perform, the Junior Lawyers typically meet and run a workshop with local young lawyers.
This year’s project will take the Junior Lawyers down a familiar path, when 15 members will participate in a two week journey to Malaysian Borneo to construct a gravity-fed water system in a remote rural community.