Victoria is an LLB Director, and Lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London teaching contract law and constitutional and administrative law.
“My teaching approach is responsive… I am always learning through teaching and learning from my students.”
Victoria’s colleague and Dean opened her nomination by calling her ‘one of the unsung heroes of Birkbeck’ going on to praise her ‘initiative, dedication and extreme capability as a law teacher’.
The accessibility and skills-focused nature of her teaching boosts the confidence of students, which is important particularly as many are returning to education after decades. Victoria’s teaching approach, involving close readings of judgments in lectures, allows students to go from the big picture to the fine details without feeling lost.
Victoria has introduced a new course to the LLB curriculum; co-taught with a legal practice specialist; it’s called Legal Argument and Language in Law, and gives students a chance to pick apart the language of judgments, analysing them for structure, rhetorical techniques and intertextual references: key skills in virtually any profession.
One way in which Victoria’s student-focused approach is exemplified is through her willingness to have one-to-one meetings on a scale not managed by other convenors. It is appreciated by her students who ‘find her easy to talk to and feel supported and listened to’.
Outside the classroom, Victoria has ‘paved the way for good practice around assessment feedback’. Typically, students don’t receive much feedback on exams, however, Victoria publishes an extensive written analysis (typically around seven pages) of the assessment for all students to view, and has done for several years.
Her sponsors highlight how Victoria has constantly pushed the law faculty to think critically about assessments; regularly presenting her ideas, and holding a teaching workshop last year.
Victoria was instrumental in developing a research outlet for postgraduate students, co-ordinating and hosting the first London Conference on Critical Thought; several years on this is now a successful annual conference.