School of Law Class of 1982 Reunion
Five School of Law alumna returned to campus to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of their graduation.
In August 2022, five alumna from the School of Law Class of 1982 returned to campus to tour the Liberty Building (opened in 2011 by alumnus Sir Keir Starmer), have tea and share their memories of Leeds with School of Law academic Professor Alastair Mullis, 40 years after they graduated.
Joyce Gregg, Dr Wendy Laws, Debra Oxtoby, Jean Robinson and Frances Tighe chatted to Professor Mullis about their time studying at Leeds, with discussions ranging from the famous Professor Brian Hogan (former Head of School and one of the two original authors of Smith and Hogan’s Criminal Law textbook) and gossiping in the Law Library, to living in the shadow of the Yorkshire Ripper, who murdered women in Manchester and West Yorkshire between 1975 and 1980 including a student from the University of Leeds.
Professor Brian Hogan, was (and no doubt remains) something of a legend. He was quite a character and when turning up to his room for a tutorial, he could often be found, feet on desk, with a whisky glass in his hand. His tutorials were, to say the least, entertaining but he did not suffer student fools gladly!
In my first tutorial in Contract/Tort, there were 12 students present and a question was asked of all of us and I got the right answer. When asked by the Tutor how I had reached it, I replied that it was “common sense”. I was told in no uncertain terms that students at Leeds were there to learn and apply the law, not common sense!
Jean Robinson said of the reunion “Following our visit to the School – a completely different building to Lyddon Terrace where the School then was - we were encouraged by the support which is given to students and the environment in which they now work. Having a lovely Moot Courtroom was a luxury we didn’t have, although we note that students don’t have a Library with proper books anymore. We rather liked the Library and its quite curmudgeonly Librarian with the atmosphere of being “amongst” the law with the old case books and statutes, the smell of the old building giving an approach of everlasting legal continuity. More importantly for students, it gave a chance to see/meet others and have a whispered gossip in its various nooks and crannies. Today’s students may not have or need the books, but we hope they have a chance for a gossip in the hubs!
None of us would have missed our time at Leeds but our visit showed how much has changed in both the student and professional legal world in the last 40 years. Our thanks again for the interest and hospitality shown to us.