Richard Owen, Associate Professor at the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law at Swansea University, is in the running for this year’s Law Teacher of the Year Award.
The award, sponsored by the Oxford University Press, not only recognises the vital role teachers play in educating the next generation of lawyers but also rewards outstanding achievement in teaching.
Richard (pictured) is one of six finalists whose teaching methods are now being closely scrutinised by the judging panel which is also conducting extensive interviews with his colleagues and students.
Richard said: “I am both humbled and honoured to have been nominated for this award. Thank you to those who nominated me and to all of my wonderful colleagues and students for contributing to the vibrant community we have here at Swansea.”
Since joining Swansea University Richard has pioneered clinical legal education, establishing the Swansea Law Clinic which offers free legal advice to the public, clinics in prison law, and a litigant helpdesk providing assistance in the absence of legal representation and the Miscarriage of Justice Project where students look for fresh evidence.
The first clinical activities of their kind ever offered by the School of Law, these have greatly broadened the learning experience for students.
As part of the Miscarriage of Justice Project, students now get the opportunity to work with Inside Justice, an investigative unit for alleged miscarriages of justice. Its director Louise Shorter said: “Richard unfailingly enthuses his teams to dig deep into casework by taking them to visit crime scenes and equips them to identify, pose and seek answers to difficult and searching questions which could rectify a wrongful conviction.
“Any student fortunate enough to join one of his programmes will be in for a treat.”
Associate Professor Dr Yvonne McDermott Rees, who submitted the nomination, said: “Richard is a gifted and inspiring colleague who gives his all to supporting students and building their skills. In his role as Swansea Law Clinic Director, Richard provides students with engaging and often life-changing experiences.
“Through the Clinic, students get to witness the legal system in operation, and the access to justice issues that are so prevalent in clients' lives, first-hand. He is a wonderfully supportive colleague who is fully deserving of the Law Teacher of the Year crown!"
The competition was open to all teachers in the UK who teach law students at degree level. The other shortlisted candidates come from the universities of Cambridge, Durham, Sussex, Leeds and Queen’s Belfast and the winner will be announced at the Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching Conference being held in Liverpool later this week.
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