Liz Polding

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Education (2019 cohort)

Legal professional education continues to undergo significant change, particularly in relation to the pathways to qualification as a solicitor.  The introduction of the solicitor apprenticeship and the proposed move to a set of centralised assessments from a landscape of regulated courses and provider assessments raises questions for providers of legal education and the organisations who employ solicitors.  My research relates to the comparison of the existing and new routes into legal practice, with a particular focus on solicitor apprenticeships.                                                 

Following a degree in English Literature and Philosophy at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, my career began with a role as a VAT Officer for what was then HM Customs & Excise.  I enjoyed my role, but decided that qualifying as a lawyer would enable me to pursue my interest in tax law more effectively.  I qualified as a solicitor and worked both in private practice and in-house with PWC, roles which included training other lawyers in the finer points of tax.  This led me to move into teaching law to postgraduates at the start of their careers at the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice.  After nine years at OXILP, I moved to BPP University to set up their law school in Bristol.  I taught a wide range of subjects, including legal skills, business law, corporate finance, tax, probate and professional regulation.  I am a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, qualified as a teacher of higher education and have served on the VAT and Duties Tax Sub-committee of the Law Society for over a decade.  I am a professor of law and until beginning my doctoral studies, I was Head of Law South West for BPP University.  I am an author for Oxford University Press and have published on legal education, online skills teaching and learning and blended learning.  I hold an MA in Higher Education.  I also served for many years as a course validation panel member and an external examiner for the Solicitors Regulation Authority and for a number of providers of legal education.