Professor Alex Nicholson

Professor Alex Nicholson


I am a lawyer, educationalist, and academic leader.

After running my own video production business for 7 years, I began my legal career as a solicitor, working at global business law firm DLA Piper, specialising in commercial dispute resolution. In 2014, I left legal practice to take up a post as a Senior Lecturer in Law at Sheffield Hallam University, and two years later was promoted to Deputy Head of Law, a position that I held for 6 years. During that time, I completed an Executive MBA and a PhD, and led a team of academics and practitioners in the delivery of a uniquely applied and transformative legal education programme, in which students at all levels gained credit-bearing work experience within the Department's own fully regulated, on-campus law firm, "SHU Law".

In 2022, I joined the University of Leeds, where I am now a Professor, currently serving as the Director of Student Education within the School of Law. I’m responsible for the strategic development of the school’s learning and teaching activities, and for establishing the School of Law as an international centre of excellence and innovation in authentic, inclusive, and research-based legal education.

Alongside my full-time roles, I have held a range of advisory and governance positions within the education and charity sectors.


  • 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="">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
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association

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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>