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Law Teacher of the Year announced at the Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching conference

Oxford University Press hosted its annual Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching Conference at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool on 20 June.

Playing a central role at the conference were the six Law Teacher of the Year Award finalists. Delegates learned what it was that makes them such exceptional teachers, and heard first–hand about their teaching methods, motivations, and philosophies. The conference concluded with current Law Teacher of the Year, Nick Clapham of the University of Surrey, naming Lydia Bleasdale of the University of Leeds as this year’s winner.

Lydia was thrilled, and admitted her desire to take home the accolade:

I wanted to win the award for three reasons… to show my seven-year-old daughter the positive impact that working parents, in particular, working mums can have. I also wanted to win it because of my students and for the law school as a whole – I can’t emphasize enough the support the law school at Leeds give those who want to excel at teaching.

Lydia also paid an emotional tribute to her colleague Nick Taylor, who was her personal tutor at university. Without his support, she said she would not be here.



The conference brought together over 70 law academics for a day of discussion, workshopping and celebration. Sessions included some of the hottest topics in higher education and legal education today:

· OUP editors shared findings of their market research and publishing plans ahead of the launch of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination

· Michael Fay hosted a panel session with students on student mental health, its impact on academics, and practical initiatives to employ

· Warren Barr of Liverpool University and part of the business and law TEF panel shared his insights from the TEF subject level pilots.

The other Law Teacher of the Year finalists were:

· Lana Ashby, Durham University

· Kevin Brown, Queen’s University Belfast

· Amy Ludlow, University of Cambridge

· Richard Owen, Swansea University

· Verona Ni Drisceoil, University of Sussex

We’d like to thank all speakers, delegates, students and everyone involved for helping to make Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching 2018 such a brilliant and inspiring occasion.

Image courtesy of Oxford University press and Natasha Ellis-Knight. 

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