And just like that, having been a year in the planning, the 2024 Annual Residential was a wrap. As always it was a chance to chat with old friends, meet up with new friends, share war stories and generally bemoan the unsung heroes who are Heads of University Law Schools!

Heads of Law Schools certainly work at pace (Vice Chancellors take note!) and in the short space of just over 24 hours we:

  • Heard from some outstanding keynote speakers about hot topics affecting the HE sector and law in particular. Professor Carl Lygo, Vice Chancellor of Arden University shared his own personal journey and career with a wide range of higher education providers and policy makers. Professor Sally Wheeler, newly appointed Vice Chancellor at Birkbeck University took us on a tour of HE leadership that spanned three different countries and many different institutions. There is clearly something about being a Head of a Law School that equips leaders well for high HE office (a keen business mind, fantastic organisational skills, an ability to get to the heart of an issue at speed, diplomacy extraordinaire) although talking to fellow Heads later that evening I think there is a shared sense of those attributes being stretched to the limit at the moment……
  • Engaged with the legal regulators with representatives from the Bar Standards Board (BSB), Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX). Thank you Victoria Stet, Julie Swan and Linda Ford for taking time out to discuss the professional regulatory issues of the moment with us.
  • Got up to speed with a critical piece of research commissioned by the SRA and being undertaken by Professor Greta Bosch and colleagues from the University of Exeter. The research project explores the underlying causes of disparate performance for ethnic groups in legal professional assessments. This is an issue of huge concern for law School Heads and CHULS will be holding a workshop once the final report is published, watch this space for a
  • Heard about some fascinating research and practice activities being undertaken at Manchester Met Law School, and Durham and Keele Universities to mainstream environmental consciousness into the legal curriculum. Very timely and interesting to hear how colleagues from different universities are collaborating across a range of legal disciplinary areas. We would welcome further contributions at future CHULS events that members think would be of interest to all.

We also managed to squeeze in the AGM, a formal dinner, some socialising and networking (war stories again!) before scattering to the four corners of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to share the learning from the Residential with colleagues. Oh, and we also managed to keep our respective Law Schools running whilst we were away!

So now the planning for our 2025 Residential is underway – if you want to suggest speakers, topics or current research or practice based projects that warrant an airing at CHULS, please get in touch with our fantastic administrators Sophie Tye and Janey Robins at who will pass you on to the Executive. On which note, thank you Sophie and Janey for your outstanding organisation which meant the residential went off without a hitch and to the fabulous Executive Committee who spend many hours, as unpaid volunteers, to make CHULS and the residential in particular, such a success.

Get the 2025 residential in your diaries now!

Best wishes

Professor Penny Carey
Chair of CHULS