Laura joined the School of Law as a Lecturer in January 2016. She holds an LLB (Hons) (2006) and an LLM in Human Rights Law (2007) from the University of Nottingham, a PGDip (2012) in Education Studies from Bangor University, and a PhD (2016) in Bioethics and Medical Jurisprudence from the University of Manchester. Her doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Making Health and Welfare Decisions in Old Age: Challenging the Adequacy of Law and Theory’ explored different theoretical approaches to the law concerning health and welfare decision-making by older adults, and was awarded the University of ManchesterFaculty of Humanities Award for Distinguished Achievement.
Prior to joining Keele, Laura was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Manchester, where she taught Legal Methods and Systems, Tort Law, Criminal Law and Principles of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. She also undertook research assistant work on clinical negligence and medical malpractice, as well as co-developing an Open Access pilot project. She has also worked as a part-time tutor in Law in the School of Lifelong Learning, Bangor University, where she taught Law for Non-Lawyers, and Introduction to Human Rights Law.
Alongside her role at Keele, Laura is also an associate for Research in Practice, an organization which develops a range of resources and learning opportunities, as well as delivering tailored services, expertise and training in the fields of social care. She regularly drafts Case Law and Legal Summaries in the areas of mental capacity law, social care, and mental health law, and has recently been commissioned to draft practice guidance on the use of the Inherent Jurisdiction in relation to adults.
Research and scholarship
Laura’s research focuses primarily on mental disability law, adult safeguarding, and the legal framework around social care provision for adults, and her expertise lies predominantly in the application of these areas of law for older adults. She has experience in working with a range of external and professional stakeholders to undertake and disseminate research. In 2019 she was successfully awarded funding from the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and the Keele Institute for Social Inclusion for a one-day conference entitled ‘Dementia, Disability, and Human Rights’, which was attended by over 100 delegates drawn from professional practice and academia both locally and nationally. She has also worked with VOICES of Stoke, a local charity, to develop a toolkit which assists individuals understand and navigate the adult safeguarding system and process.
Laura is also currently a supervisor for an ESRC CASE 1+3 PhD Studentship, with Professor Alison Brammer, Dr Eva Luksaite, and VOICES of Stoke, which is entitled “Assessing the impact of the VOICES Care Act Toolkit on needs assessments for people experiencing Multiple Exclusion Homelessness.”The funding for the project was successfully awarded to the supervisory team by the ESRC NWSSDTP.
Laura is happy to supervise PhD students in the field of mental disability law, adult social care law, and adult safeguarding.
Laura is currently programme director for the MA Safeguarding Adults: Law, Policy, and Practice. She also teaches across a range of PGT courses including the MA Medical Ethics and Law, and the MA Social Work programme.
At undergraduate level, she teaches on Tort Law, Healthcare Law, and Mental Health Law, as well as on the BA Social Work programme.
Laura is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Selected conference and workshop papers:
- “The Inherent Jurisdiction”, British Association of Social Work, Staffordshire Branch, March 2020 (Postponed due to COVID-19)
- “Legal Literacy: Working Positively with Risk”, with Professor Alison Brammer, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Safeguarding Adults Board annual conference, November 2019
- “Exploring the Potential and the Pitfalls of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and General Comment No.1 for People with Dementia”, OñatI International Institute for the Sociology of Law, July 2019
- “Unspoken and Unthinkable: The Older Disabled Body in Judicial Discourse”, Gendering Mental Health and Capacity Law Workshop, University College Cork, March 2019
- “Dementia and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”, International Academy of Law and Mental Health, Charles University, Prague, July 2017
- “Dignity, Rights, and Resources”, ESRC Seminar, Keele University, February 2017
- ”This Man with Dementia”’ – Othering the Person with Dementia in the Court of Protection, SLSA Conference, University of Lancaster, April 2016
She is also a member of the following organisations:
· Socio-Legal Studies Association
· Society of Legal Scholars
· Social Work Law Association