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Voted Teacher of the Year 2016 by our students, Melanie Williams tells us about her teaching style and what she loves about teaching law.

Melanie Williams was voted Teacher of the Year 2016 by students at The University of Law. She joined our university 23 years ago after working as a solicitor at Collyer-Bristow and Alsop Wilkinson, and is now a firm and favourite fixture at our Guildford centre.

Melanie teaches across the LPC and GDL, focusing on giving her students the real-life skills that they’ll need for their careers. Here she tells us all about the teaching style that makes her top of the class in our students’ eyes – and what she loves about teaching law.

I consider it a privilege to instruct the lawyers and potential rule-makers of the future. I also like the fact that even if a student ultimately decides not to follow a career in the law, the skills gained from the courses delivered are invaluable – for example, being disciplined with time or drilling a mass of information down to a more manageable level. I love the enthusiasm of my students, their ability to learn and their thirst for knowledge.

I’ve grown in confidence and learned with experience during my time at The University of Law. Listening to my colleagues and discussing good and bad teaching methods with them has been useful. Some days classes go well and others not so well. As with most things, you learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them.

The University of Law learning methods are designed to equip students for a lifetime. The courses don’t just provide students with the knowledge needed to have exam success; they are also developed to train students to think and act as a lawyer. Because the materials used are highly structured, my approach to teaching follows that structure. However, the actual delivery of the material is up to individual tutors, so I try to bring sessions to life using my own experiences with a view to instilling a wider understanding of the subject matter under discussion.  

I also aim to give students strategies to untangle the complexities of the law, so that everyone leaves the room with a better understanding of the material.

Students can expect my complete attention to delivering the course within the time allocated while conveying the knowledge they need to be successful on the course and beyond. In return, I expect students to come to my classes fully prepared and willing to participate.

My children inspire me. I am constantly amazed by their level of questioning and their ever-increasing ability to understand. I am also inspired by those who achieve despite problems they face, be it a mental or physical disability – in fact, it is often because of those difficulties that they achieve.

With over 250 tutors who are trained lawyers like Melanie, you can be confident of learning the skills that employers are looking for. Find out more about our courses today.