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

Released on June 20, 2018

Lydia Bleasdale of the University of Leeds, UK has been named Law Teacher of the Year at the Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching conference held today.

OUP’s Higher Education department hosted the conference on 20 June 2018 at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool; bringing together over 70 law academics under the umbrella of celebrating teaching excellence.

At the heart of the conference were the six finalists of our Law Teacher of the Year Award; 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 outgoing Law Teacher of the Year, Nick Clapham of the University of Surrey announcing Lydia Bleasdale as this year’s winner.

Lydia was thrilled, and admitted her desire to take home the accolade:
“I wanted to win the award for a couple of 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 gives 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 announcement came at the end of a rigorous and demanding judging process spanning several months. All six finalists were assessed through campus visits involving the observation and filming of a teaching session, interviews with the candidates, their students, and heads of departments. 

The other 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

The conference sessions included some of the hottest topics in UK 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 of Keele University hosted a panel session with students on student mental health, its impact on academics, and practical initiatives law schools can employ; and Warren Barr of Liverpool University, and part of the business and law Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) panel shared his insights from the TEF subject level pilots.

For additional photos and further information about the Law Teacher of the Year Award or the Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching conference contact:
Clare Weaver, Senior Marketing Manager, Oxford University Press

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