Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos of the University of Westminster was named Law Teacher of the Year in 2011.
On receiving the award Andreas said:
"It feels unreal! I’d like to thank the judging committee and OUP - I’d also like to express my gratitude and happiness about being here and being short listed alongside these five wonderful people - theorists, researchers and dedicated teachers - for the award. It’s an immense privilege. Also, a great thanks to the University of Westminster for allowing me to research and teach in interdisciplinary, research-led and sometimes unorthodox ways. Above all, I would like to thank my students across the years.
When the nomination by my students came through, I was actually in Barcelona and it came through on my iPhone - to be honest I was extremely emotional! We never really know the impact we have on our students - or perhaps we know and we forget about it over time. Then suddenly something like this happens (being nominated) - people start coming to see you and it’s an inspiration. The more you inspire your students, the more you are inspired - it’s an inspirational experience. Thank you!"
See below for more information about all six finalists from 2011.
Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos - winner
Nine students collaborated to put together a nomination in support of Andreas. His nomination touched on his ability to “engage” his students with the subjects he teaches, paying particular tribute to his “inspiring and passionate” approach. His teaching support was also noted: “despite the difficulty of the subjects at hand, we were never lost; for our guide and guardian, Andreas, has an incredible ability of explaining difficult concepts using ordinary language.” The variety of his methods was also praised, including the introduction of “student presentations, presentations by subject specialists, group discussions, games, movies, art, poetry, and excursions to galleries” - all in a “continuous effort to avoid classroom monotony.” As director of the Westminster Law & Theory Lab, Andreas often organizes lectures, conferences and other events for staff and students.
Since his win in 2011, Andreas has continued to develop the Westminster Law & Theory Lab as well as writing, teaching, speaking, and researching across his wide range of teaching and research interests, which span subjects from art to psychoanalysis. He has written and edited books on environmental law and theoretical takes on the law. He joined the Law Teacher of the Year judging panel in 2012 and will continue to act as a judge for the 2016 award.
A colleague and a student put James forward for the Law Teacher of the Year Award 2011. The nomination described James as an “inspirational figure,” emphasising the ways in which James manages to “capture his students’ imagination, and describing his course is “much more than just a course on contract – it is an introduction in how to think like a lawyer.” The nomination also highlights James’ dedication to his role as a teacher and a colleague: “Despite being one of the busiest members of the department, James is an unfailing source of support, good sense and wisdom. With James you feel that no problem is too big or too small.”
A colleague and a student nominated Liz for the Law Teacher of the Year Award 2011, highlighting her ability to instil in students “a real love of the subjects she teaches”. Her support for her students was also emphasised: “knowing that she is willing to listen and help in any way she can is an important life preserver, particularly when as a student you struggle to stay afloat.” Her style of teaching was also praised, focusing on a “constant flow of dialogue between Liz and her students - this interactive setting encouraged positive discussion, debate with fellow students, and personal reflection during and after classes.”
Following her nomination in 2011, Liz has stayed at the University of Oxford, becoming a Professor in their Recognition of Distinction Exercise in 2014. She is serving as Vice Dean of the Law Faculty until 2016. She contributes regularly to journals, with a particular focus on environmental law, and has co-authored an environmental law textbook for OUP (Environmental Law: Text, Cases, and Materials with Bettina Lange and Eloise Scotford). In 2013 she became General Editor of the Journal of Environmental Law.
A colleague and two students nominated Sarah for the Law Teacher of the Year Award 2011, describing her as a “dedicated and enthusiastic teacher with a strong belief in and commitment to widening participation,” and an“all-rounder who goes the extra mile for her students to make learning a thing of joy.” Sarah’s nomination also highlighted her “tireless” efforts in supporting her students, including setting up an “employer’s forum” from which a range of activities have evolved, including “mentoring schemes, essay competitions, work placements, mini-marshalling and internships.”
Sarah was nominated for the award while head of the law department at the University of Greenwich. In early 2015 she moved to the University of Worcester to become Pro Vice Chancellor, with responsibility for leading the university's academic development and research strategies. In 2011 Sarah became a National Teaching Fellow. She is now the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Worcester, and continues to enjoy teaching second year law students at the University of Worcester School of Law.
Stewart was nominated for the Law Teacher of the Year Award 2011 by a colleague and three students, highlighting Stewart’s role in providing “invaluable intellectual contributions to the success of the rejuvenation of the curriculum.” The popularity of Stewart’s teaching style was also emphasised, particularly with regard to his “vision for the intellectual development of his students,” lectures “peppered with humour,” and his ability to “empathise with the sometimes far-reaching scope of legal thinking, making him a favourite among students.”
Two colleagues and two students put Zoe forward for the Law Teacher of the Year Award 2011, highlighting her “natural ability to communicate and interact effectively with diverse groups of students.” Zoe’s commitment to providing students with advice on how to improve was highlighted in the nomination: “integral to Zoe’s teaching is her fundamental belief that detailed written and verbal feedback is essential to the development of all students… Students always know what they have done well and what they will need to do to develop.” From the students’ perspective, this was clearly translated: “She demonstrated a genuine interest in each and every student and was keen to know our plans for the future.”
Now Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader of the LLB at the University of Greenwich, Zoe continues to take an active role in developing and supporting her students, organising regular wellbeing sessions and coordinating the Greenwich Law Alumni Network. Zoe is a leader in the use of flipped learning, presenting regularly on the subject and the ways this method of teaching can benefit students. She was a finalist in the Routledge/ALT Teaching Law with Technology Prize in 2015 and has recently been nominated for a National Teaching Fellowship.