Professor Fiona Cownie

Title: Professor of Law
Phone: +44(0)1782 734130
Email: f.cownie@keele.ac.uk
Location: Chancellor's Building, room CBC 2.026
Role: PVC Education and Student Experience
Module Leader Legal Skills
Contacting me: Office hours - Friday 12-1pm.
Please email to make an appointment

Fiona Cownie studied English Language and Literature at Bristol University, graduating with 2.1 honours, after which she trained to be a primary school teacher at the College of Ripon and York St John, gaining a Merit in her teaching diploma. She taught in Nottinghamshire for three years before leaving to read Law at Leicester University. She graduated with First Class Honours and gained a scholarship to read for an LL.M. at the LSE. After graduating from the LSE, she trained as a barrister and was called to Lincoln’s Inn. She did 18 months’ pupillage, 12 months in Chancery chambers (11 Old Square and 12 New Square) and 6 months at Brick Court Chambers, one of the leading commercial sets in London. In 1987  Fiona Cownie was appointed to a lectureship at Leicester University. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1997 and left in 2003 to take up the Hugh Bevan Chair of Law at the University of Hull. She was appointed to a Chair in Law at Keele in 2006, and became Pro Vice Chancellor (Education and Student Experience) in September 2013.

 

Fiona Cownie’s research interests centre on legal education and the legal system. Her work covers all areas of legal education. It includes analysis of the ways in which law is taught, especially arguments about the importance of educational theory and philosophy to legal education. It also includes work on the purpose of the law school and on relationships between the academic study of law and vocational training as required by the legal professions. Professor Cownie has also made a major contribution to debates about the academic staff who work in law schools; she has carried out extensive empirical research in this area, both in the U.K. and in Canada, and has written a monograph and a series of articles exploring different aspects of legal academic life.

Professor Cownie is the co-author of one of the leading textbooks on the English legal system. Her interest in this area led her to carry out an extended anthroplogical study of dispute resolution among Quakers, which was published as a monograph. She has also carried out empirical research relating to victims of crime for the Ministry of Justice.

Professor Cownie is happy to supervise postgraduate research in the areas of legal education, the legal profession and civil justice.

Selected Publications

  • Cownie F and Bradney A. 2017. An Examined Life: Research into University Legal Education in the United Kingdom and the Journal of Law and Society. JOURNAL OF LAW AND SOCIETY, vol. 44, S129-S143. link> doi> full text>
  • Bradney AGD, Cownie F, Masson J, Neal A, Newell D. 2017. How to Study Law. (8th ed.). London: Sweet and Maxwell.
  • Bradney AGD and Cownie F. 2017. Socio-legal studies: A Challenge to the doctrinal approach. In Research Methods in Law. Watkins D and Burton M (Eds.). (10 vols.). Routledge.
  • Cownie FC. 2015. The United Kingdom's First Woman Law Professor: An Archerian Analysis. Journal of Law and Society, vol. 42(1), 127-149. doi> full text>
  • Bradney AGD and Cownie F. 2014. “Access to Justice?: The European Small Claims Procedure in the United Kingdom”. In “The European Small Claims Procedure and the Philosophy of Small Change”. Neuwahl N and Hammamoun S (Eds.). (13 vols.). Montreal: Les Editions Thémis.

Full Publications List show

Books

  • Bradney AGD, Cownie F, Masson J, Neal A, Newell D. 2017. How to Study Law. (8th ed.). London: Sweet and Maxwell.
  • Cownie F, Bradney A, Burton M. 2010. English Legal System in Context. (5th ed.). Oxford University Press.
  • Bradney A, Cownie F, Masson J, Neal A, Newell D. 2010. How to Study Law. (6th ed.). London: Sweet & Maxwell.
  • Cocks R and Cownie F. 2009. A great and noble occupation! The History of the Society of Legal Scholars. Hart Publishing.
  • Cownie F. Cownie F (Ed.). 2009. Stakeholders in Legal Education. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • Cownie F, Bradney A, Burton M. 2007. English legal system in context. (4th ed.). Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Bradney A, Cownie F, Masson J, Neal A, Newell D. 2005. How to study law. (5th ed.). Sweet & Maxwell.
  • COWNIE FC. 2004. Legal Academics: Culture and Identities. Hart Publishing.
  • Cownie F, Bradney A, Burton M. 2003. English legal system in context. (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press, USA.
  • Cownie FC and Bradney AGD. 2000. English Legal System in Context. (2nd ed.). London: Butterworths.
  • Cownie FC, Bradney A, Masson J, Neal AC, Newell D. 2000. How to Study Law. (4th ed.). Sweet and Maxwell.
  • Cownie FC and Bradney A. 2000. Living Without Law - An Ethnography of Dispute Avoidance and Resolution in the Religious Society of Friends. Ashgate.
  • Cownie FC and Bradney A. 1999. Teaching Legal System. Warwick: National Centre for Legal Education.
  • Cownie FC. Cownie FC (Ed.). 1999. The Law School: Global Questions, Local Issues. Ashgate.
  • Cownie FC and Bradney AGD. 1996. English Legal System in Context. (1st ed.). London: Butterworths.
  • Cownie FC, Bradney A, Masson J, Neal AC, Newell D. 1995. How to Study Law. (3rd ed.). London: Sweet and Maxwell.
  • Bradney AGD, Cownie F, Masson J, Neal A, Newell D. How to Study Law. Sweet and Maxwell.

Journal Articles

  • Cownie F and Bradney A. 2017. An Examined Life: Research into University Legal Education in the United Kingdom and the Journal of Law and Society. JOURNAL OF LAW AND SOCIETY, vol. 44, S129-S143. link> doi> full text>
  • Cownie FC. 2015. The United Kingdom's First Woman Law Professor: An Archerian Analysis. Journal of Law and Society, vol. 42(1), 127-149. doi> full text>
  • Cownie FC. 2011. Twining, Teachers of Law and Law Teaching. International Journal of the Legal Profession, vol. 18(1-2), 121-138. doi>
  • COWNIE FC and BRADNEY A. 2009. In Search of Justice. International Journal of the Legal Profession, vol. 16(2), 33-41. doi>
  • Cownie FC. 2009. Teaching, professional identity and academic lawyers: Canada and England - a comparative perspective. Canadian Legal Education Annual Review, 37-54.
  • COWNIE FC. 2008. (Re)evaluating values: a response to Burridge and Webb. The Law Teacher, vol. 42(3), 302-311. doi>
  • Cownie FC. 2007. Feminist Perspectives on Contract Law edited by L Mulcahy & S Wheeler. Feminist Theory: an international interdisciplinary journal, vol. 8, 360-362.
  • COWNIE FC. 2006. Dressing the Part: gender, performance and the culture of law schools. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, vol. 57(3), 557-576.
  • Cownie F. 2006. ARE WE WITNESSING THE DEATH OF THE TEXTBOOK TRADITION IN THE UK?. European Journal of Legal Education, vol. 3(1), 79-82. doi>
  • Cownie F and Bradney A. 2005. Gothic horror? A response to Margaret Thornton. SOCIAL & LEGAL STUDIES, vol. 14(2), 277-285. link> doi>
  • COWNIE FC. 2003. Alternative Values in Legal Education. Legal Ethics, vol. 6(2), 159-174.
  • COWNIE FC and Bradney A. 2003. Divided justice, different voices: inheritance and family provision. Legal Studies, vol. 23(4), 566-586. doi>
  • Cownie F. 2002. Postgraduate legal education in the EU: difference and diversity. International Journal of the Legal Profession, vol. 9(2), 187-203. doi>
  • Cownie F. 2001. The Bologna Declaration - Harmonisation by Stealth?. The Law Teacher, vol. 35(3), 375-381.
  • Cownie FC. 2000. The Empire Strikes Back: Outsiders and the Struggle Over Legal Education by A Austin. Social and Legal Studies: an international journal, vol. 9(4), 592-594.
  • Cownie FC. 2000. The Importance of Theory in Law Teaching. International Journal of the Legal Profession, vol. 7(3), 225-238. doi>
  • Cownie FC. 1998. The Legal Profession in the New Europe by A Tyrell QC & Z Yaqub. Anglo-American Law Review, 263-264.
  • Cownie FC. 1998. Women Legal Academics: a new research agenda?. Journal of Law and Society, 102-115.
  • Cownie FC and Addison W. 1996. International students and Language Support: A New Survey. Studies in Higher Education, 221-231.
  • Cownie FC and Bradney A. 1996. Working on the Chain Gang?. Contemporary Issues in Law, 15-30.
  • Cownie FC. 1993. A Strategy for Justice. Civil Justice Quarterly, 232-235.
  • Cownie FC. 1993. Lawyers' Professional Liability by R Midgley. Professional Negligence, 46.
  • Cownie FC and Addison W. 1992. Overseas Law Students: Language Support and Responsible Recruitment. Journal of Law and Society, 467-482.
  • Cownie FC. 1989. Damages for Loss of a Chance in Tort. Professional Negligence, 194-198.
  • Cownie FC. 1987. Commercial Agreements and Competition Law by N Green. European Law Review, vol. 12, 482.
  • Cownie FC. 1987. Medical Negligence - A Question of Policy?. Professional Negligence, 95-97.
  • Cownie FC. 1987. State Aid in the Eighties. European Law Review, 247-267.

Chapters

  • Bradney AGD and Cownie F. 2017. Socio-legal studies: A Challenge to the doctrinal approach. In Research Methods in Law. Watkins D and Burton M (Eds.). (10 vols.). Routledge.
  • Bradney AGD and Cownie F. 2014. “Access to Justice?: The European Small Claims Procedure in the United Kingdom”. In “The European Small Claims Procedure and the Philosophy of Small Change”. Neuwahl N and Hammamoun S (Eds.). (13 vols.). Montreal: Les Editions Thémis.
  • Cownie FC. 2012. Law, Research and the Academy. In Tribes and Territories in the 21st Century: rethinking the significance of disciplines in higher education. Trowler P, Saunders M, Bamber V (Eds.). London: Routledge.
  • Cownie F. 2010. Introduction: Contextualising Stakeholders in the Law School. In Stakeholders in the Law School. Cownie F (Ed.). Hart Publishing.
  • Cownie FC. 2010. Contextualising Stakeholders in the Law School. In Stakeholders in the Law School. Cownie FC (Ed.). Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • Cownie FC. 2010. The Legal Academy and Legal Academics. In Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Studies. Cane P and Kritzer H (Eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cownie F. 2009. Teaching, professional identity and academic lawyers: Canada and England - a comparative perspective. In Canadian Legal Education Annual Review 2009. Carswell Legal Pubns.
  • Cownie F. 2007. Transforming a discipline: the changing world of academic lawyers. In Higher Legal Culture and Postgraduate Professional Legal Education in Europe: A Comparative Analysis. Olgiati V and Roselli O (Eds.). Napoli: ESI.
  • Cownie FC and Bradney A. 2000. British University Law Schools in the Twenty First Century. In Law's Future(s). Hayton D (Ed.). Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • Cownie FC. 2000. English Legal Education: From Doctrinalism to Pluralism. In Legal Convergence in the Enlarged Europe of the New Millenium. Torremans P (Ed.). Kluwer.
  • Cownie FC. 2000. Women in the Law School: shoals of fish, star fish or fish out of water?. In Discriminating Lawyers. Thomas PA (Ed.). London: Cavendish.
  • Cownie FC. 1999. Searching for Theory in Teaching Law. In The Law School: Global Issues, Local Questions. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Cownie FC. 1992. School Governors and the Law. In Moving to Management: School Governors in the Nineties. Thody A (Ed.). David Fulton Publishers.
  • Cownie FC. 1990. The Reform of the Legal Profession or the End of Civilisation as we Know It. In The Changing Law. Patfield F and White RCA (Eds.). Leicester: Leicester University Press.

Other

  • Cownie FC. 2011. Exploring Values in Legal Education. Web Journal of Current Legal Issues
  • Cownie FC. 2008. 'Legal Academics' in The New Oxford Companion to Law.
  • Cownie FC. 2008. 'Legal Aid' in The New Oxford Companion to Law.
  • Cownie FC. 2007. 'Dispute Avoidance' in Encyclopedia of Law and Society.
  • Cownie F. 2004. Two Jobs, Two Lives and a Funeral: legal academics and work-life balance.
  • Cownie FC and Addison W. 1995. The Language of the Law: International Students and Reading Statutes.

Undergraduate Teaching

Legal Skills

Postgraduate Teaching:

Professor Cownie supervises several PhD students. She is willing to supervise research relating to aspects of the civil justice system, including in particular the legal profession, as well as any aspect of legal education.

Fiona Cownie is Pro Vice Chancellor (Education and Student Experience) at Keele, a post she took up in September 2013. Her approach to both teaching and research is interdisciplinary and she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London. 

Fiona Cownie is active in professional associations, and is the Chair of the Legal Education Committee of the Society of Legal Scholars. She is a former President of the European Law Faculties Association, and a former Vice-Chair of the Socio-Legal Studies Association. From 1994-2000 she held a part-time judicial appointment in the Special Educational Needs Tribunal, and from 2004-2010 was a member of the Judicial Studies Board Advisory Council.