The University of Law (ULaw) has announced an agreement in principle with Russell Group University, the University of Sheffield.
Currently in the consultation stage, if approved, this will see ULaw deliver the University of Sheffield’s existing postgraduate vocational law courses, namely the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC), as well as leading the rollout and delivery of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).
The partnership between the two leading Universities will expand ULaw’s highly-regarded GDL and LPC provision to Sheffield and will offer students looking to enter the legal profession the option of benefitting from ULaw’s expert teaching and outstanding employability results, without having to relocate or regularly commute from Sheffield.
A transfer of the existing postgraduate vocational law courses from the University of Sheffield to ULaw would enable the University of Sheffield’s School of Law to place a strategic focus on its research-led teaching in criminology and law, and ULaw, with the delivery of its GDL and LPC and SQE courses, to provide specialist education for postgraduate students in Sheffield who are looking to qualify as solicitors. The move would see the Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLE) at the University of Sheffield transfer to ULaw from September to be led by Dean of ULaw’s Leeds campus, Matthew Tomlinson.
Commenting, Matthew said: “The University of Sheffield has run very successful and well established GDL and LPC programmes for more than 20 years, so it will be a privilege for us to work with the team in Sheffield to really drive the University’s offering forwards. The Yorkshire legal scene is full of incredible talent and growing at a fantastic rate, so we’re excited to see what the future has in store.”
The partnership, which is currently an agreement in principle, would see some University of Sheffield CPLE staff transfer to ULaw, meaning students will continue to benefit from an expert faculty, all of whom have a wealth of experience in practice.
Commenting, Professor Andrea Nollent, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of ULaw says: “The University of Sheffield is a highly respected Russell Group university and we are delighted at the prospect of a partnership between the University of Sheffield and Ulaw. Sheffield is a fantastic city, with a vibrant and thriving legal sector, and is home to several significant firms and local talent that we are eager to help develop with this partnership.
“This would be our sixth partnership with leading UK universities including the University of Exeter, University of Reading, University of Liverpool, the University of East Anglia in Norwich and The University of Chester Law School. We are continuing to strengthen our position as the outstanding legal education provider across England and Wales, and ensuring those students looking to qualify in law now have a greater opportunity to do so with us.”
Professor Graham Gee, Head of the University of Sheffield's School of Law, said: "We're pleased to be consulting our students and staff about a potential future collaboration with The University of Law, which could offer us an exciting new way to adapt to changing qualification routes for solicitors.
“If agreed, this collaboration will allow our students who aspire to a career as a solicitor to receive expert vocational teaching and specialist employability support from The University of Law, while enabling the University's School of Law to focus on our excellent research-led teaching in criminology and law. Any collaboration will have to work in the interest of our students, respect their rights and our duties under our Student Protection Plan, to ensure our students get the very best in legal training."