Dr Alex Nicholson

Dr Alex Nicholson


I joined the School of Law as an Associate Professor in May 2022, and have served as the school’s Director of Student Education since August 2023. I specialise in legal education, legal strategy, and the law of private obligations. 

I began my legal career as solicitor, working for a global business law firm and specialising in commercial litigation. In 2014, I took up my first academic role, as a Senior Lecturer in Law at Sheffield Hallam University, where I lectured in contract law, tort law, and dispute resolution. In 2016 I was promoted to Deputy Head of Law, a post which I held for six years. During that time, I led a team of academic and practitioner staff in the design and implementation of an applied legal education programme, in which all students at all levels of study gained credit-bearing legal work experience in an on-campus, teaching law firm: “SHU Law”. 


  • Director of Student Education

Research interests

My research interests span legal education, legal strategy, and the law of private obligations.

More specifically, I am particularly interested in: the relationship between legal education and the professions; opportunities that exist for the use of law to create value for organisations; and the intersections between law and technology.

My work encompasses a range of doctrinal, socio-legal, and empirical (qualitative) approaches, and I have a particular interest in using customer value theory as a framework for evaluating legal, educational, and sociological phenomena.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Sheffield Hallam University
  • MBA Executive, Sheffield Hallam University (Distinction)
  • PGDip Legal Practice, University of Sheffield (Distinction)
  • LLB Law, University of Sheffield (1st class)

Professional memberships

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Solicitor Member of the Law Society (Non-practising)
  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Association of Law Teachers

Student education

I teach primarily in the area of private obligations, including contract law and torts.

I am able to supervise dissertation and research students in the areas of: legal education; legal strategy; law and technology; biblical law; and the law of private obligations, broadly conceived. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Legal Professions Research Group
  • Centre for Innovation and Research in Legal Education
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>