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OU celebrates 20 years of teaching law

The Open University (OU) is this year marking the 20th anniversary of welcoming its first ever in-take of law students.

On the 7th February 1998, 861 students started the first ever Open University law course – W200 Understanding Law – which was delivered through a partnership with the College of Law. It was the first of eight courses delivered through the partnership.

Gary Slapper

The Law School itself was founded later in 1998, headed by renowned academic, the late Gary Slapper , who became the OU’s first ever Professor of Law – he remained in the post until 2011.

Twenty years on, the Law School has taught -a staggering 60,000 plus students across 45 different countries and is the sector leader in part-time learning.

Many alumni have gone on to successful careers both within and outside the legal profession. One of those success stories is Zahra Alidina who achieved her LLB in 2016 at the tender age of 18 – making her the OU’s youngest ever law graduate.

My OU Law degree has given me an amazing start in life as it has enabled me to pursue my aims at an age when no other institution could have assisted me. My LLB has provided me with skills that I can use throughout my career in law and on a daily basis throughout my personal life.

The Law School is also proudly home to the OU’s Open Justice Centre which has recently launched a virtual law clinic. This innovative scheme provides free legal advice and guidance to people and groups who otherwise may struggle to access appropriate legal advice via other means. It also enables OU law students – in a pro bono capacity and under the supervision of law school academics – to get real life practice experience.

Over the years the Law School has attracted a number of high profile visiting professors including Vice-President of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association, John Hatchard, South African Judge, Dhaya Pillay, and Cherie Blair QC.

Discover more about the courses you can study at the Law School.

About Author

Christine is a manager in the Media Relations team within the Marcomms Unit at the OU. She is an experienced BBC journalist, sub-editor and news editor and has a background in regional newspapers. After moving to PR she worked as a press officer for the Zoological Society of London. She has a BSc in Social Sciences with Politics from The Open University; she focuses on STEM stories and widening access in HE. Chris swims regularly and has a pet Tortoise called Lightning.

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