The Future of Legal Education


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Posted on 05 October 2017

The Future of Legal Education

Fiona Cownie port 051017 Professor Fiona Cownie, Professor of Law, gave a plenary address on September 26th at a national conference on ‘The Future of Legal Education’ held at the Open University. Professor Cownie’s talk was entitled “The Future(s) of Legal Education: policy, politics and the university law school”. It examined the effects of recent changes in higher education, such as the introduction of the TEF, the establishment of the Office for Students and U.K. Research & Innovation on law schools, legal academics and law students.

Professor Cownie was able to draw on her recent experience as a Pro Vice Chancellor, as well as her academic expertise in the area, concluding that since higher education is in a perpetual state of flux, it is particularly important for law teachers to offer their students an education incorporating critical thinking and creativity, in order to equip them for an uncertain and unpredictable future. She also discussed the forthcoming introduction of the new Solicitors’ Qualifying Examination in 2020, which is currently the subject of much discussion among members of the legal profession and legal academics. Professor Cownie is involved in national discussions about the new examination in her role as Chair of the Legal Education Committee of the Society of Legal Scholars, though the views she expressed on this important issue were her own. Her conclusion was that overall, the introduction of the new examination will not affect the curriculum in many university law schools, and that this was the preferable outcome, though since the sector is so diverse, reactions will vary greatly across the sector.

 


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