Lots of students across the school volunteer in their spare time. Our next few blog posts are specifically from students in the LSE Law Department. Last week we published some amazing quotes showcasing their work and this week we’re hearing from Maria Nefeli Skotori about her experience volunteering in her first year.

I volunteered for the Centre for Criminal Appeals from February to June of 2018; it was a unique experience that allowed me to learn and contribute through their work to people who are incarcerated and in need of legal assistance, yet without the means to pursue it.

During my time volunteering for their Women’s Justice Initiative, I was able to witness the particular issues women face during their journey in the criminal justice system. While contributing to solicitors’ work by way of examining possible grounds of appeal, I engaged with the sentencing guidelines and the work of the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) in a way that was meaningful for my studies this year.

When researching the background of each case, it was surprising to see how common it was to lack access to legal representation, to be pressured to plead guilty early in the process, to be involved in situations of domestic abuse before or diagnosed with mental illness after being incarcerated for an offence.

All in all, it was a highly rewarding experience, helping me view the criminal justice system in perspective while being in touch with the individuals’ personal quest for justice.

If Maria has inspired you to volunteer, check out one of our other 200+ ongoing opportunities or book a one-to-one with David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager if you have more questions. If you are short on time, then take a look at the one-off opportunities taking place in Lent Term organised by the LSE Volunteer Centre. And why not follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with our events and opportunities and read our blog for more volunteering tips and stories.