Law Teacher of The Year 2018 nomination for Swansea University academic

Richard Owen, Associate Professor at the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law at Swansea University, has been nominated for the “Law Teacher of the Year 2018 Award”.

300 x 450‌The prestigious national award, sponsored by Oxford University Press, recognises the vital role that teachers play in educating the next generation of lawyers whilst rewarding outstanding achievement in teaching.

As one of just six finalists, Richard will now undergo a rigorous judging process, whereby a judging panel will observe his teaching methods and conduct extensive interviews with colleagues and students. The five other candidates going forward to the next phase of judging derive from the universities of Cambridge, Durham, Sussex, Leeds and Queen’s Belfast.

Commenting on being shortlisted, 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.”

Richard has pioneered clinical legal education, both here at Swansea University and in his previous role at the University of Essex. Since joining Swansea University he has established the Swansea Law Clinic offering 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. As the first clinical activities of their kind ever offered by the School of Law, these have greatly broadened the learning experience for students at Swansea University.

As part of the Miscarriage of Justice Project, students get the opportunity to work with Inside Justice, an investigative unit for alleged miscarriages of justice. Louise Shorter, Director for Inside Justice said: “Richard Owen leads teams of students reviewing alleged miscarriages of justice with energy, professionalism and dedication.  He 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. 

“He provides a framework which allows his teams to bring a real hands-on approach to their learning and supports students by working in collaboration with legal and forensic experts that really empowers them.  Any student fortunate enough to join one of Richard’s programmes will be in for a treat.”

Associate Professor Dr Yvonne Mc Dermott Rees who submitted the nomination on Richard’s behalf 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 Law Teacher of the Year competition is open to all teachers in the UK who teach law students at degree level. This year’s winner will be announced at this year’s Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching Conference being held in Liverpool in the Summer.

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