Distinguished Alum Sir Keir Starmer Returns to the School of Law

Last October, renowned alumnus and leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer (Law 1985, Hon LLD 2012) returned once again to the School of Law.

Keir opened the Liberty Building, home of the School of Law, in 2011. He came back as a Labour MP in 2020, and on his last visit he returned as the leader of the opposition.

During his visit, Keir met with staff and students, sharing insights into his professional trajectory. This included discussing his career move from law to politics, reflecting on his experience as a barrister, and highlighting the pro bono work he undertook, representing prisoners on death row in former Commonwealth countries.

As Keir explained in a recent interview with Leeds Magazine, he did not plan to go into politics when he was studying at the School of Law. However, throughout his career in law he realised that the political arena was the place where he could achieve his goal of creating social change.

He said, “If things are really going to change the only place that’s big enough for that change is politics. In the end, the only meaningful change would come through politics.”

He also expressed that his time at Leeds and at the School of Law was instrumental in forming who he has become, particularly during the early days of his career as a lawyer.

We were happy to welcome Keir Starmer, a distinguished alum of the University of Leeds School of Law, once again. His journey from our halls to the forefront of British politics is a testament to the transformative power of education and we hope it can serve as an inspiration to our students.

Louise Ellison, Head of the School of Law