National Teaching Fellow 2011
Paul is an innovative teacher who has designed technology-enhanced learning environments for undergraduate, postgraduate and professional education. Students work in simulations, for instance, often collaboratively in 'firms', and on legal transactions, through which they learn how lawyers act for clients and come to understand, critically, how law operates in society, how it affects process and experience, and how it can be transformed.
Paul has taught legal skills education, rhetoric and legal literacy, and designed multimedia, online legal learning and simulations (face-to-face and online). He has also designed and taught practitioner-tutors in Law, and 'standardized clients', used in client simulations. He directed the two-year, JISC/UKCLE-funded project, SIMPLE (SIMulated Professional Learning Environment). Throughout, experiential learning has been a key method, and students respond enthusiastically to the approach. As one student commented about a simulated transaction where she had represented a client: '[it] gave you the opportunity to participate in the whole transaction from start to finish and take pride in the final settlement that you helped to achieve.'
Paul is the author of Transforming Legal Education: Learning and Teaching the Law in the Early Twenty-first Century (2007, Ashgate Publishing). He is co-editor of and contributor to Digital Games and Learning (2011, Continuum Publishers), co-editor of and contributor to Affect and Legal Education: Emotion in Learning and Teaching the Law (forthcoming 2011, Ashgate Publishing) and Beyond Text: The Arts and the Legal Academy (forthcoming 2012, Ashgate Publishing). He has published widely in the fields of legal education and professional learning design.
He worked closely with the Law Society of Scotland for eight years (2002-2010) on a number of projects, including the formation of professionalism outcomes and the new Professional Education and Training (PEAT 1) curriculum; and with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in England on OSCE design for the Qualifying Lawyers Transfer Scheme (2010).
He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Fellow of the RSA. He is Visiting Adjunct Professor, Australian National University, where he works with staff on professional legal education design and simulation. He blogs here.
Professor of Legal Education, Northumbria Law School