Pinsent Masons Debating Competition

 In Education, News

For several years international law firm Pinsent Masons has joined up with ELBA to run the Pinsent Masons Schools Debating Competition. In 2018, we had 8 school teams across east London taking part in our most successful final to date.

Student teams are made up of Year 10 students who are then matched to a volunteer team, made up of Pinsent Masons employees and client volunteers, including from Veolia and Google.

This year’s participating schools came from all over east London. Taking part were Cardinal Pole, Holy Family School, Little Ilford School, Norlington School, Rokeby School, Sarah Bonnell School, Valentines School and Walthamstow School for Girls. The students did spectacularly well, debating one of several motions on issues that affect young people, including the topic the flying of private drones in the UK should be subject to tighter regulation, which is more relevant than ever.

The judging panel was chaired by The Rt Hon Lord Justice Peter Jackson along with Kendra James, senior legal counsel at the Financial Times and Pinsent Masons Senior Partner Richard Foley. They sent the reigning champions, Rokeby School, through to the final against Holy Family School. They debated the final motion of social media companies should be prohibited from trading your personal data. With the argument of targeted advertising being used for more nefarious means than just shopping, such as its role in the leave campaign of Brexit, Holy Family won the trophy in their inaugural year of the competition.

A student from Walthamstow School for Girls shared her experience of the day:

“As part of the visit we were also given a tour of the building itself. Together we found this experience to be a real eye-opener, exposing us to the work life of lawyers which was interesting. As a result of this trip many of us are considering taking up a career in law. It was an amazing and enriching experience and if given the chance to partake in a debate again we would accept wholeheartedly.”

We look forward to 2019 and meeting another round of incredibly talented students.

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