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Law Teacher of the Year 2018
27 June 2018
Lydia Bleasdale of the University of Leeds has been named Law Teacher of the Year at our Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching conference, which brought together more than 70 law academics in June.
The announcement followed a rigorous judging process spanning several months, with six finalists assessed through campus visits, including filming of a teaching session as well as interviews with the candidates themselves, their students, and the heads of their departments. Other finalists included Lana Ashby (Durham University), Kevin Brown (Queen’s University Belfast), Amy Ludlow (University of Cambridge), Richard Owen (Swansea University), and Verona Ni Drisceoil (University of Sussex).
At the conference, attendees learned what made each of the finalists exceptional teachers, hearing about their teaching methods, motivations, and philosophies. There were also discussions on higher and legal education, and the impact of mental health on academics. The event concluded with outgoing Law Teacher of the Year, Nick Clapham of the University of Surrey, announcing Lydia Bleasdale as this year’s winner.
Speaking of her award, Lydia explained 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, stating that without his support she said she would not be here.