Leicester Law School

Law Teacher and ALT Annual Seminar Prize 2023

6 September 2023
Assessment in Legal Education: towards an inclusive, diverse, and authentic strategy

Call for papers

If you could change assessment methods in legal education to offer a more inclusive, diverse, and authentic experience for staff and students, what would you do?

We are hosting a one-day conference at the University of Leicester on 6 September 2023 to explore this very issue.

Assessment in legal education is a perennial topic of discussion amongst law teachers and is commonly featured in the academic literature. However, despite assessment being a relatively well-trodden subject, there have been several recent catalysts causing assessments in legal education to change significantly:

  1. the Solicitors Regulatory Authority no longer regulates assessment methods in law schools in England and Wales, meaning that a more diverse strategy is now possible
  2. the global COVID-19 pandemic forced assessments to become solely online
  3. environmental considerations drive a more sustainable assessment strategy within Higher Education Institutions
  4. the impact of artificial intelligence (e.g., ChatGPT) on assessments
  5. the implementation of SQE

Additionally, in the wake of the global pandemic, law schools must now decide how to assess their students. Whether that is returning to the status quo and relying on traditional in-person closed book assessments and coursework as the predominant assessment method, moving wholly online following the changes brought about by the pandemic, or a middle-ground somewhere between these two positions.

Given these deliberations, we will bring legal academics and other key stakeholders to discuss how assessments in legal education within England and Wales may be reformed to offer students a more inclusive, diverse, and authentic assessment experience. The proposals/papers discussed at the conference will, individually and as a whole, make a significant and theoretical contribution to the field of legal education research. We will invite contributions around the above-mentioned contemporary themes.


9.00am – 9.30am  – Arrival

  • A huge part of accessibility includes user interaction with keyboards and assistive technologies like screen readers. This session will cover interactions and mechanics of keyboard support in common patterns and widgets. We’ll also dig into the overlap between keyboard and screen reader support, and where these requirements differ. By the end of this session, you should have a much better understanding of accessible interactions including working code examples.

9.30am – 9.45am – Welcome

  • Welcome, introductions, and order of the day - Dr Bansal and Dr Canto-Lopez

9.45am – 10.45am – Re-assessing Land Law: authentic assessment and enhancing engagement

  • Lee Price, Dr Natasha Hammond-Price, and Dr Rachel Cahill-O’callaghan (Cardiff University); Respondent Professor Nicole Graham (University of Sydney)

10.45am – 11.00am – Coffee break

11.00am – 12.00pm - Assessment in legal education and AI: risks and opportunities

  • Pascale Lorber (University of Leicester); Respondent Dr Stuart Hargreaves (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

12.00pm – 1.00pm – Holistic assessment in law (TBC)

  • Dr Marie Kerin (University of Kent); Respondent Dr Sjoerd Claessens (Maastricht University)

1.00pm – 2.00pm – Lunch

2.00pm – 3.00pm – There is no baby, just lots of bathwater: an argument against summative assessment

  • Dr Nick Cartwright (University of Leeds), Dr Bald de Vries (Utrecht University)

3.00pm – 4.00pm – Of babies and bathwater: in defence of the traditional essay

  • Dr Jessica Guth (Birmingham City University); Respondent Dr Suzana Tavares Da Silva (Coimbra University)

4.00pm – 4.15pm – Coffee break

4.15pm – 5.15pm – Ipsative assessment: the legal journey; not the destination

  • Dr Richard Rhodes (University of Hull); Respondent Dr Carmen Maria Avila Rodriguez, Dr Jose Alberto Espana Perez (Malaga University)

5.15pm – 5.30pm – Concluding remarks

5.30pm – Finish

Publication opportunities 

  • Following the conference, we are planning for each proposal/paper to feature in a special issue of The Law Teacher.
  • Contributors will develop their proposal into an article (word limit of 6,000–8,000 including footnotes).
  • Respondents will formally reply to each submission (word limit of 2,000–3,000 including footnotes).
  • Further details will be provided following the conference.

Organising committee

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