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The best of the best at Northumbria

12th June 2019

Northumbria academic Jill Alexander has been named Law Teacher of the Year at the prestigious Northern Law Awards in recognition of her work to support graduate employability.

The Awards recognise the achievements of all those practicing and working in the legal industry in the North of England, and are regarded a highlight of the year. A Principal Lecturer at Northumbria Law School, Jill joined the University in 1994, having previously worked in leading law firms where she specialised in commercial property. She was recognised for her significant contribution to law student employability.

Northumbria Law School is currently ranked first in the sector for sustained employment one year after graduation and is in the top 10 for sustained employment five years after study. The University’s strong employability record was further highlighted on the night as all five finalists in the Trainee of the Year Category were Northumbria Law School graduates, including the winner Jordan Down from Mincoffs Solicitors.

Commenting on Jill’s award the judges said: “From an outstanding list of candidates, the winner has drawn upon their 25 years of teaching experience. This individual has introduced various initiatives such as a project to empower students to overcome barriers to employment in the legal profession.  They show total investment in their students to inspire and equip them to demonstrate employability and to contribute to the avoidance of the perpetuation of cycles of disadvantage which they may face.  This will positively promote diversity throughout the legal profession.”

The judging panel also referenced Jill’s latest initiative, the Fairness Project, to help less advantaged students succeed in the sector.

Jill said: “I have focused on employability throughout my career. Whether its through placements, careers fairs or the Fairness Project, they are all part of a long line of initiatives over the years. My aim has been to help our students understand what it is like to work in law and to use that awareness to overcome barriers and challenges – especially those from less privileged backgrounds.

“Winning this award is therefore a real honour. It was also wonderful to catch up with so many familiar faces, including former students – many of whom now hold senior positions in the region’s legal sector.”

Jill was up against stiff competition for the award, including shortlisted finalists from Newcastle and Teesside Universities, and her Northumbria colleague Kayliegh Richardson.

Professor Michael Stockdale, Head of Department at Northumbria Law School, said: “This is richly deserved and I am delighted for Jill, and indeed for Kayleigh who made the shortlist. Their achievements are testament to the quality of teaching here at Northumbria Law School, and of our excellent record for graduate employment. Indeed, it is no surprise that all the trainee of the year finalists in this year’s Awards studied at Northumbria and would have had their learning experience enhanced by Jill.”



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