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How we make a difference

Projects

The Association of Law Teachers undertakes various projects to enhance teaching practice. It conducts research studies to identify insights to improve teaching practices. It also produces comprehensive guides and materials to support the professional development of law teachers. Additionally, ALT is committed to responding to policy changes that impact higher education, ensuring that its members represented and equipped to navigate the evolving landscape of legal education.

Research and Resources

At ALT, we are dedicated to conducting research and providing resources that can help elevate teaching practices. We produce materials, such as best practice guides, that can assist you in enhancing your teaching skills and techniques. 

Both the Association of Law Teachers (ALT) and the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) are dedicated to promoting and supporting socio-legal education. This mission aligns with the 2023 QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Law, which stipulates that law graduates should possess socio-legal skills, including demonstrating interdisciplinary research techniques, and the ability to engage in contemporary debates about the operation of law in society.

It has been almost 20 years since the Nuffield Inquiry’s findings highlighted the limitations of a professionally influenced curriculum on the study of law as a social science. With the legal education landscape undergoing significant change in England and Wales with changes to the vocational training for solicitors it seems timely to take stock of the extent to which law schools in the UK take a socio-legal approach to the teaching of law.

Victoria Ball, Arwen Joyce, and Charlotte Mill

 

​Teaching law for the first time can cause anxiety and lead early career academics to question their competence. This teaching best practice guide, which is grounded in the undergraduate law student voice, aims to quell new tutors’ fears and anxieties by surfacing the views and advice of our students and combining this with advice gleaned from the academic literature on effective small group teaching. As such, the guide adds a unique and valuable perspective to existing teaching resources. The guide is organised into sections that align chronologically with three different stages of teaching: preparing to teach, in the classroom, and interacting with students after class, including helping students prepare for assessments. It can be read as a whole or dipped into when specific issues arise. The guide aims to provide the kind of friendly advice and support that an early career academic might receive from a supportive peer network.

POLICY WORK

As part of our work, we ensure that the voices of Law Teachers are heard and represented at policy level. Most recently much of our time has been spent responding to the Solicitors Regulation Authority in relation to the proposed Solicitors Qualifying Examination. However that is not the only area of our policy work and details on what we do can be found below and the linked page.

Solicitor Qualifying Exams (SQE)

Below you can download the ALT statement to the Legal Services Board (LSB)  on Regulatory Change to education and training, further endorsing and expanding on the joint statement with SLS, CHULS and SLSA, also available below (2018)

 

Law_Subject_Associations_Submission_to_LSB

ALT_Statement_to_LSB in support of joint statement

The ALT has responded to several consultations on the proposed SQE and related matters.

Exam

ALT Statement on Postgraduate Funding

The Committee of the Association of Law Teachers issues the following statement with regard to postgraduate funding:

Postgraduate and doctoral researchers are an integral and valued part of our law teacher community. They are current and future law teachers and deserve support, dignity and respect. We acknowledge the current pressures of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis has a disproportionate effect on doctoral researchers, and especially those researchers from under-represented communities and identities.


We welcome UKRI’s announcement of a 10% increase in the minimum stipend level for postgraduate researchers holding studentships from the ESRC, AHRC and other research councils. However, the majority of doctoral researchers do not receive funding in this manner and are particularly affected by the cost of living crisis and the concomitant financial insecurity. We urge universities and other funders to commit to raising all postgraduate researcher stipends consistent with UKRI where this has not already been done. Allocation of financial resources to postgraduate and doctoral researchers must be done as a matter of urgency to invest meaningfully in their futures and the field of legal education.

Graduating
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