Dawn Watkins

Professor of Law and Principal Investigator Project FORTITUDE
Email: dawn.watkins@le.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)116 223 1082


Personal details

LLB (Hons) (Leicester), PhD (Leicester), former Solicitor of the Supreme Court

I was awarded a University Distinguished Teaching fellowship in July 2012 and a National Teaching Fellowship by the HEA in 2017.  I was shortlisted for the Law Teacher of the Year Award in 2013 and I am now a member of the judging panel for this award, sponsored by Oxford University Press.


I am currently leading a 5 year research project FORTITUDE, which aims to measure and improve the legal capability of children and young people. This work is funded by by a 2 million euro grant from the European Research Council and follows on from my 'Law in Children's Lives' project, funded by an ESRC Transformative grant; www.le.ac.uk/licl.

PhD supervision

  • Drawing on ICC perspective, how far can PLE providers’ reported activities address the problems of violence and bullying amongst young people? Alissa Pham


In recent years I have taught Equity and Trusts. I have recently carried out some research into the role of narrative and metaphor in feedback.


  • Watkins, D. E., Lai-Chong Law, E., & Barwick, J. (2019) Being home alone and babysitting: responsibility, competency and risk, Child and Family Law Quarterly, Issue 2, 123-141
  • Watkins, D.E., & Guihen, L. (2018) ‘Using Narrative and Metaphor in Formative Feedback: Exploring Students’ Responses’, Journal of Legal Education, Vol 68 No. 1, 154-175   Open access version
  • Watkins, D. E., Lai-Chong Law, E., Barwick, J., & Kirk, E. (2018) Exploring children’s understanding of law in their everyday lives, Legal Studies 1- 20.   Open access version,   https://doi.org/10.1017/lst.2017.8
  • Watkins, D., & Burton, M. (eds) Research Methods in Law (2nd ed., Routledge, 2018)
  • Watkins, D. E., Lai-Chong Law, E., Barwick, J., & Kirk, E. (2016). ‘If you are 10, you go to prison’: Children’s Understanding of the Age of Criminal Responsibility. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 67(3), 311-26   Open access version
  • Barwick, J., Watkins, D., Kirk, E., & Law, E. (2016) Adventures with Lex: The gamification of research?. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies.   Open access version,   https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856516677682
  • Law, E. L. -C., Watkins, D. E., Barwick, J. P. L., & Kirk, E. S. (2016). An Experiential Approach to the Design and Evaluation of a Gamified Research Tool for Law in Children's Lives. In PROCEEDINGS OF THE 15TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INTERACTION DESIGN AND CHILDREN (IDC2016) (pp. 322-333). Univ Cent Lancashire, Child Comp Interact, Media City, ENGLAND: ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY.   Open access version,   https://doi.org/10.1145/2930674.2930722
  • Watkins, D., & Canto-Lopez, M. (2016). Working with law students to develop legal literacy materials. Law Teacher, 50(2), 195-208.   Open access version,   https://doi.org/10.1080/03069400.2015.1064668
  • Watkins, D. E. (2016). ‘Where do I stand? Assessing children’s capabilities under English Law’. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 28(1), 25-44.   Open access version
  • Watkins, D. (2014). The Shaping and Misshaping of Identity through Legal Practice and Process: (Re)discovering Mr Kernott. Law and Humanities, 8(2), 192-216.   Open access version,   https://doi.org/10.5235/17521483.8.2.192

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