Summer time … (and the mapping is easy)

Well, OpenLawMap had a great time at the Association of Law Teachers Conference in Leeds in April. It was really the unofficial launch of OpenLawMap and a great opportunity to talk about its potential with colleagues from around the world.

Despite not winning the best poster prize (sniff …), we loved having the conference poster up in the main hall. Conferences necessarily have lots of parallel sessions, so the poster provided a great honeytrap to catch and badger those delegates who had successfully avoided my paper. We always knew that OpenLawMap would be fun and interesting, but we had some concerns as to whether other law teachers would see it as potentially useful in their teaching, and whether it could generate research ideas. The feedback was great, and we are wholly encouraged.

 

Anyway – two news items.

 

Welcome to our summer research intern, Saara Patel. Our bid to the UCLan Research Informed Teaching Centre was successful and Saara is with us for 10 weeks over the summer. The Centre has a fantastic record in promoting undergraduate research.

I don’t know about you but sometimes, as a law teacher, my heart swells with pride and gratitude to be working with bright and enthusiastic students. That is how I felt during the interviews for this post and it was tough choosing from a very strong bunch of applications. Saara has been working for two weeks so far and has already plotted almost 50 new locations. What a marvel!

 

Item number 2 is that we are integrating OpenLawMap with our induction and lawyers skills at Lancashire Law School. Our new students can look forward to the Preston Legal Trail treasure hunt on their first afternoon with us. (Not weather permitting – rain or shine, they are heading out into the fresh air. We’re not soft in Lancashire).

We are developing four bundles of learning materials based on Preston legal locations that introduce them to legal sources and prompt them into group discussion on issues such the difficulties in prosecuting historic abuse cases, the age of criminal responsibility, how public order issues have developed from Victorian cotton worker riots to present-day student protests, and whether suffragette arson attacks can be considered as ‘acts of terror’. The new students will be working together to create their own photo and text materials on these issues/locations.

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