Six of the best: Law Teacher of the Year Award shortlist announced

Posted by hct16 at Oct 17, 2012 12:23 PM |
University of Leicester lecturer among candidates for national award
Six of the best: Law Teacher of the Year Award shortlist announced

Dawn Watkins from University of Leicester School of Law

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 17 October 2012

Photograph of Dawn Watkins available from

As the Law Teacher of the Year Award, sponsored by Oxford University Press, enters its second phase of judging, the six shortlisted law teachers from across the UK can now be revealed.

The six candidates are:

Bela Chatterjee - Lecturer, Lancaster University

Odette Hutchinson - Senior Lecturer, Aston University

Claire McGourlay - Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield

Leanne Smith – Lecturer, Cardiff University

Graham Virgo - Professor, University of Cambridge

Dawn Watkins – Lecturer, University of Leicester

The shortlisted candidates will now go forward to the next stage and the chance to win the £3,000 prize and the title Law Teacher of the Year 2013.

The six candidates were chosen by the panel of judges from the nominations received. It was only after the shortlist had been finalised that the identities of the teachers were revealed.

Marianne Lightowler, one of the judges and Head of Higher Education Marketing at OUP, commented; “there is a considerable amount of talent and motivation among today’s legal educators, as demonstrated in the very strong set of nominations we received. The next stage of the award is certainly going to be interesting for the judges.”

The candidates will now submit to the next stage of the competition. A rigorous judging process involving campus visits to observe and film the candidates’ teaching methods; the judges will also conduct interviews with colleagues, students, Heads of Department as well as the teacher in order to build up a body of evidence on which to base their decision.

The Award is the only one of its kind in the UK set up specifically to reward great law teaching. It is testament to the award that three past winners and a finalist have gone on to be awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy.

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony held in Oxford in early 2013.



At all times the teachers are judged against the following criteria:

* Displays an active interest in and development of approaches to teaching that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn

* Demonstrates commitment to and support for the development of students as individuals

* Uses effective communication skills that engage students in the learning experience

* Involvement in scholarly activities that have influenced and enhanced learning both of students and colleagues

The judging panel consists of:-

Alison Bone, Principal Lecturer, University of Brighton

Marianne Lightowler, Head of Higher Education Marketing, Oxford University Press

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Professor of Law and Theory, University of Westminster

Julian Webb, Professor of Legal Education, University of Warwick

For further information about The Law Teacher of the Year Award contact:

Paul Bramwell, Marketing Assistant, Oxford University Press


Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

The present holder of the Law Teacher of the Year Award is Karen Devine, University of Kent.

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