Celebrating 130 years of law

law and social justice building

This week, Liverpool Law School is marking 130 years as one of the UK’s most successful law schools.

Liverpool Law School (the largest Department within the School of Law and Social Justice) plans to showcase its record of teaching, research and supporting the local community through a yearlong series of events to commemorate the law department’s past, present and future.

Starting in the 1890s, with just three students in the first cohort, today Liverpool Law School boasts a thriving, vibrant and diverse body of 1,700 undergraduate and postgraduate students from over 30 countries and is ranked first in the Russell Group for Widening Participation.

Law academics and the School’s 13,000 alumni play a leading role in advising governments, civil society, international organisations, and European institutions across a wide range of legal areas. Law School alumni have a global reach with strong alumni communities in Malaysia and North America.

Liverpool Law School is also firmly entwined in the fabric of the city of Liverpool. Supported by Liverpool City Council, Law School academics established the Liverpool Access to Advice Network (LATAN) which brings together a group of 120 organisations, each providing distinctive community services to the City. Organisations collaborate and co-ordinate their services so that people in need of advice can be promptly referred to the right place. The network has helped more than 3,400 people across the city.

The Law School makes its own unique contribution to the LATAN by undertaking world leading research to build an evidence base to better understand the power of advice services to improve lives, strengthen communities and deliver on the promises of social citizenship.

Through the Liverpool Law Clinic, lawyers and students work with community partners to help hundreds of people access justice every year. Since its opening in 2007, the Law clinic, which is the UK’s largest, has allowed our students to gain invaluable experience of the law in practice, dealing with matters of family, education and immigration and asylum law.

Head of Law, Professor Helen Stalford said: “We’re really proud of our origins as a Law programme designed to meet the needs of the local legal practice community, but which has since developed into a world leader in legal education and in world class research. Our research is currently ranked in the top ten in the UK terms of its impact on law, policy and practice.

“Our alumni have gone on to achieve great things, across a number of sectors, demonstrating the breadth of opportunities provided by studying Law at the University of Liverpool over the last 130 years. We have alumni in high court judgeships, as Managing Partners, as government ministers, solicitors, barristers, legal counsel for global firms, even artists… the list really is endless and it’s great to be part of such a diverse department.”

Dr Darryn Nyatanga, who received a prestigious Hodgson Law Scholarship to study at Liverpool Law School and was awarded his PhD this year said: “My experience at the Law School was nothing short of exceptional, and I felt well-supported throughout. Liverpool Law School has equipped me with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to contribute meaningfully to my area of law.  I would highly recommend the School of Law and Social Justice to anyone aspiring to pursue a PhD in law, as it truly is a place where academic excellence thrives within a supportive and nurturing community.”

To mark 130 years of Law, the School of Law and Social Justice is seeking to develop new partnerships across the city of Liverpool and beyond, to fund further studentships and support placements, endowments, and broader research and knowledge exchange connections.

Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas, Dean of the School of Law and Social Justice, said: “As we look to the future of Liverpool Law School, the advancement of our partnerships in the field of law and social justice is key to ensuring we continue to provide leading expertise and opportunity to our students and scholars. We look forward to our next chapter and if you are interested in forming a partnership please get in touch.”

The first public events to mark 130 years of Law take place on Thursday, 12 October with an exhibition charting the School’s history and a panel discussion with past and present students, staff and partners from across the world. This will be followed by a lecture in the Victoria Gallery and Museum from alumnus Sir Stephen Cobb, a High Court judge with an expertise in Family Law. You can book tickets here.

Later this month, Mr Justice Foxton, Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court, giving an entertaining talk on some of the extensive litigation associated with The Beatles, including the proceedings brought by Paul McCartney to dissolve the band in 1971. This will take place in the Yoko Ono Lennon centre on Monday 16 October at 5.30pm and you can book your tickets here.