After five years in the making, SHU Law celebrated its official launch on 27th February 2019. Around 70 guests attended an inaugural lecture at Sheffield Hallam University delivered by Professor Elizabeth Smart, followed by a drink’s reception at SHU Law’s office and opening speech by Professor Sir Chris Husbands.
In her lecture Professor Smart explained the uniqueness of SHU Law within the context of legal education:
“We have launched a fully regulated law firm designed for all students to gain work experience in each and every year of their study. It is the backbone of the SHU law degree – it is not merely an added extra; it is not an elective; it is not only for the chosen few – it is for all students and places them all on a level playing field.”
This was echoed by comments made by Professor Sir Chris Husbands – the University’s Vice-Chancellor during his launch speech:
“This breaks new ground in the education and legal worlds. The fact that we are here in this fully-regulated, operable law firm as a part of our law studies I think is a great tribute to the team who made this possible but particularly to Liz’s leadership in shepherding this through the university and through the SRA – it is a fabulous achievement. It’s absolutely the sort of work that this university should be really proud of and we are, and I want to thank you very much.”
Access to justice was a theme of the launch. Whilst SHU Law is set up for educational purposes it also serves the community at a time when people need help the most. It aims to create strong; ethical professionals of the future and to support the community and contribute to the overall civil engagement in South Yorkshire.
SHU Law would like to thank the guest who attended – including local solicitors, academics and press – and for their continued interest and support in the initiative.