The College of Law is delighted to announce that it has been granted university title and in future will be known as The University of Law. The granting of university title represents the culmination of many years of growth, innovation and recognition of the institution’s unique role in legal education.
The College of Law is a globally respected professional law school which has held degree-awarding powers since 2006. Today’s announcement marks a step in its continued evolution.
The University of Law will be a significant global player and is already one of the largest professional law schools in the world. It trains more than 7,000 students each year on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, which are delivered within diverse and flexible patterns enabling students to access them from one of its eight campuses, the workplace or the home via the internet.
In recent years the College has led the way in providing strategic programmes to individual law firms to enable them to deliver their own business priorities. A large majority of the current leaders of the most influential law firms are College of Law alumni.
Professor David Yates, Chairman of the Governors and Warden of Robinson College, Cambridge, said: “The Governors are delighted that the College’s long heritage of excellent teaching and learning has today been recognised in the granting of university title. It is a welcome acknowledgement of the College’s academic standards and recognition of its leadership in delivering innovation in teaching, learning and creating a more accessible and diverse legal profession. The creation of the university and the newly formed Legal Education Foundation provide two strong pillars for the future of legal education and access to legal education enabling the profession to meet its future challenges.”
Professor Nigel Savage, Chief Executive, said: “I am absolutely delighted for our students, staff and the sector in realising this ambition. As a specialised ‘University of Law’ we are a new type of institution, focused on teaching and learning, working alongside the research intensive universities which continue to provide leadership in research and our existing partners such as the Open University. We will help to bring diversity and increased student choice to the higher education spectrum; broaden access to the legal profession, and export high quality British education to aspiring lawyers across the globe.
“English law and English law firms are at the heart of today’s global legal framework and cross-border business world. Our students gain world-class, transferable skills, knowledge and qualifications that enhance their CVs and increase their attractiveness to future employers. Having a university title will give further credibility to that and will support their global recognition as future lawyers of the highest calibre.
“All of our programmes are accessible to students via our centres or the internet at home or in the workplace without the need to incur the cost of expensive residential accommodation. Our focus will continue to be on accessibility, employability and enhancing the preparation of our students to deliver client value within the traditional ethical values of the sector and the pre-eminence of the rule of law.”
This year the University launched a two-year undergraduate LL.B law degree, which is unique in its focus on employability and developing professional skills vital to the modern world of law. It was one of the most successful launches of a full time undergraduate LLB in the UK in recent history. The new course sits alongside the university’s existing postgraduate LL.B and LL.M Master of Laws programmes and its successful joint venture with the Open University delivering a part-time LL.B.
The University of Law is focused on building its reputation worldwide and has formed strategic collaborations with global law schools: the Singapore Institute of Legal Education, IE Law School in Madrid and Beijing’s Renmin University of China Law School. It has a long-standing relationship with the International Bar Association, with which it jointly runs its successful LL.M in International Legal Practice.
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Notes to editors:
1. Guidance for assessing UT applications from non-HEFCE funded organisations on the Department for Business website
2. About The University of Law
The University of Law is the largest provider of professional legal education and training in Europe with centres in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Chester, Guildford, Manchester and York.
It is widely regarded as an expert in legal training – all of its tutors and course designers are qualified solicitors or barristers and have practice experience. The University works closely with law firms and chambers of all sizes and exclusively delivers the Legal Practice Course (LPC) to trainees at many of the leading global law firms. In 2013 it will be launching an LL.M LPC, which will award students not only with an LPC but also with an internationally-recognised Master of Laws.
With a heritage dating back to 1876, The College of Law was created in its present form in 1962 by the Law Society and has always focused on forging strong regional links through its network of campuses. Described by the Master of the Rolls in 1992 as “established by the profession for the profession” it has, over the course of its long history, trained many of the country’s most eminent lawyers and its famous alumni include First World War Prime Minister David Lloyd George. At least two current Government ministers who attend Cabinet are College alumni and its teaching staff have gone on to hold senior posts in legal education and the profession, most notably: John Widgery (1932 – 1948), who went on to become Lord Chief Justice in 1971; Frederick Odgers (1932-1946), who subsequently held the Chair of Common Law at Liverpool University from 1965 and Gordon Borrie (1957- 1964), who went on to hold the Chair of Commercial Law at Birmingham University and as Lord Borrie was Director General of Fair Trading.
The University is proud of its record of empowering students from all backgrounds to achieve their legal career goals. It supports qualified lawyers throughout the profession with a comprehensive programme of professional development courses and in 2008 launched a Master’s LL.M programme in professional legal practice.
It also provides the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), to give non-law graduates an entry route into the profession, and the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for prospective barristers.
In 2006 the University, then The College of Law, was the first independent institution to be granted degree awarding powers. In September 2012 we launched a two-year undergraduate LL.B law degree focusing on employability and professional legal skills.
Earlier this year The College of Law announced the conclusion of a strategic review of which the result was the establishment of The Legal Education Foundation, the first charity of its kind for the legal education sector with the aim of increasing diversity in the profession. The fund, in excess of £200m, will promote the advancement of legal education and the study of law for future generations of students through bursaries, scholarships and grants.
In April 2012, the College announced that it was to be acquired by the investment firm Montagu Private Equity, which is investing in the business to help facilitate its development and international expansion. The acquisition is expected to be completed later this month.