A distinctive glass-fronted modern building on one of the most prestigious streets in Leeds city centre has today been confirmed as The University of Law’s newest location. The striking seven-storey site at 15-16 Park Row is one of the most recognisable buildings in Leeds’ prime office quarter and is at the heart of the city’s legal and business community, just five minutes’ walk from the railway station. The University of Law (ULaw), the world’s largest provider of professional legal training, is relocating its Yorkshire training centre from York to Leeds to be at the centre of the UK’s newest legal hub, described by UK Legal 500 as “second only to London”. With its dramatic glazed frontage and high specification interior, the new centre will replicate the corporate setting of a professional law firm and will enhance students’ career prospects with its proximity to major legal employers.
ULaw is making a £2.1m investment in its new centre, which will open in September. Home to 50 staff and nearly 400 students, it will include lecture theatres, workshops, a library, a student café and study areas as well as top floor balconies offering panoramic views of the Leeds city skyline.
Courses offered will include the LL.B undergraduate law degree, the Graduate Diploma in Law (for non-law graduates wishing to move into the profession) and the Legal Practice Course (for aspiring solicitors).
The relocation to Leeds will allow ULaw to offer a broader range of programmes to a wider group of students and its central location will give law firms based in the North East region easy access to all of their staff training requirements.
There are currently over 200 law firms operating in the Leeds City Region, employing 22,500 peoplei. Several of the UK’s largest law firms have a significant presence in Leeds including DLA Piper, Eversheds, Pinsent Masons and Irwin Mitchell. In addition, the establishment of an Administrative Court in Leeds in April 2009 reinforced the city’s position as one of the UK’s key legal centres as previously the court sat only in London.
John Latham, Provost and CEO of The University of Law, said: “Leeds has much to offer students, being the third largest metropolitan area in England. Our new location in the heart of the city will provide even more opportunities for aspiring young lawyers and enable law firms across the North East to access high calibre law students and the highest quality legal training for their staff.
“As the UK’s longest-established specialist provider of legal education and training, we are keen to support the continued growth of Leeds’ thriving legal community and contribute to the future economic success of the wider region.”
Leeds is home to the UK’s main financial and business services centre outside London. The sector, which includes legal services, generates over £13 billion every year and is projected to grow by 51 per cent by 2022ii.
Mark Burns, Managing Partner at Clarion Solicitors in Leeds, said: "The very welcome decision by The University of Law, a world class law school with global contacts, to locate in Leeds speaks volumes about the success and solid growth of the professional services sector in the city and demonstrates clear confidence that Leeds’ buoyant legal services market will continue to flourish. The presence of the university will help the region to retain and develop the best legal talent by providing the highest quality legal training and preparing the next generation of lawyers to successfully meet the challenges of legal practice."
Law firm DLA Piper acted for The University of Law in securing the new premises. Tim Field, Head of Real Estate at DLA Piper in Leeds said: "The legal sector in Leeds continues to thrive and ULaw's decision to relocate to Leeds is a direct reflection of this confidence. The move is great news for legal services in the city and we are pleased to have acted for ULaw on its new premises in Park Row. It will undoubtedly attract more talent, bolstering the city's image as a leading legal centre and fuelling continued growth and excellence."
With more than 100 years of heritage, ULaw is well placed to meet the changing needs of the legal profession in Leeds. It has eight centres across England and in the past 12 years has successfully opened new centres in Birmingham, London Moorgate, Manchester and Bristol. It currently has exclusive training arrangements with more than 30 major law firms, including four of the world’s largest, and works with more than 90 of the top 100 UK law firms.
ULaw focuses on equipping lawyers with the professional skills essential for legal practice and has an impressive employability record. Nationwide 89 per cent of its 2011/12 Legal Practice Course graduates had secured positions in the legal profession just a few months after graduating, with a total of 97% in work, legal positions or continuing educationiii.
For further information please contact:
Lucy Wray, Public Relations Manager, The University of Law Telephone: 01483 216072 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Broadgate MainlandMark Knight/ Sarah Evans Toyne/ Lianne Robinson/ Cara PenkethmanTelephone: 020 7726 6111E-mail: email@example.com
Referencesi http://business.leedscityregion.gov.uk/invest/sectors/financial/ii http://business.leedscityregion.gov.uk/invest/sectors/financial/iii based on known records of students successfully completing their studies in July 2012