Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Legal Aid Orientation

A component of pupilage is Legal Aid. As the same suggests, Legal Aid involves free legal services for people who are not able to afford representation.

This evening I attended a briefing on Legal Aid and the programmes offered. As pupils we are required to render 14 days of service.

Among the ice breaking games included one where the floor was divided into three sections - AGREE, NOT SURE and DISAGREE. Statements were flashed on the OHP and we had to decide where we stand on the issues and move into the sections accordingly. We are then called to give our reasons. It was an interesting game with no right or wrong answers but it does get the juices going, not to mention firey retorts ricocheting off the walls.

It is a typical trait to sit on the fence when it comes to difficult issues, especially when it does not really encroach on our everyday lives. Have a look at these statements that were given to use and consider your stand on them. They may be clear cut to you but you would be quite surprised to discover how opinions differ, as I did today. Here are some of the statements givens to us.

1. The death penalty should be abolished.
2. Illegal immigrants should be arrested, jailed and caned.
3. These is no need for the ISA.
4. Homosexuality should be made a criminal offence.
5. To slow the spread of HIV/AIDS, free condoms and clean needles should be given to drug addicts.
6. Everyone should have the freedom to convert into the religion of their choice.
7. Migrant workers should be given the same rights as local workers.

I have volunteered to work at the women's clinic and I do hope it is approved. Sometimes if a programme is oversubscribed, people will be shifted to other programmes.

But really, it is a bid sad that there is little enthusiasm for volunteering among the pupils. Priviledged bunch. My social service experience have taught me the world and I am keen to start. Being able to make a difference is a fantastic buzz.

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