- School/Institute/Department: qLegal, Centre for Commercial Law Studies
- Subjects: Law, Business, Entrepreneurship, Outreach
- Audience: School Groups
Teach Tech Law is a project that provides law and entrepreneurship education and public speaking experience to secondary school students. Postgraduate law student volunteers from the Centre for Commercial Law Studies provide classes to several London-area secondary schools, including Year 9 pupils from St Paul’s Way Trust School and St Gabriel’s College and 6th Form pupils from St Martin-in-the-Fields High School for Girls.
QMUL students provide classes to the secondary school pupils on a range of topics related to law and entrepreneurship, and work with volunteers from the local legal community to help the pupils work in teams to develop and present a business idea to a panel of judges drawn from industry, academics, and the legal community.
The Teach Tech Law curriculum is centered around business ideas developed by the pupils which relate to technology or enterprise. Past pupils have come up with a range of ideas, including phone applications to help manage and track blood sugar, VR applications to help professionals cope with stress, and new technology to help teenagers make fashion choices.
These business ideas are then used as case studies over a series of classes which discuss and highlight the following legal issues:
- What is a company- What is a company, how are companies structured, and do businesses need to form formal companies?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods involved in raising funds for a new business
- Intellectual property- What is IP and how can students protect their ideas?
- Advertising and use of social media- Online advertising, print advertising and the law
- Data protection- The storage and sharing of data
After the Queen Mary volunteers have taught the classes, they work in conjunction with attorneys from technology law firms Cooley LLP and Ropes and Gray LLP to help the pupils learn how to best present their business ideas. The pupils then participate in a Pitch-It Day at the Digital Catapult Centre, at which they participate in a Q&A with trainee solicitors, present their business idea to a panel of judges, and network with lawyers and staff.
The Queen Mary postgraduate students involved are part of qLegal, which provides free legal advice, workshops and resources to tech start-up companies and entrepreneurs. qLegal supports innovation by providing free access to legal and regulatory resources to new businesses, primarily in the technology sector.
This project received Small Award funding from the Centre for Public Engagement and additional support through Widening Participation and a Life Sciences Institute Community Engagement Grant.