School of Law and Social Science
Harris Building, HB203
+44 (0) 1772 89 3945
Rachel joined the the School of Law and Social Science in 1999 having worked as a litigator and regulatory lawyer in the City. Her key interest is in human rights and diversity. She was appointed to the Law Society’s Equality and Diversity Committee in 2013 as one of only two academics selected for this role. In her role as a Reader in Teaching and Learning, she specialises both in projects designed to drive forwards inclusive education pedagogy and also those aimed at helping students overcome career barriers in the legal profession.
The key driver to Rachel’s work at UCLan is around ensuring fair access to employment opportunities for law students. Despite a widening participation agenda in Higher Education, much of the legal profession remains elitist in its recruitment practices: students face structural disadvantages when seeking entry to the profession. Rachel’s teaching methods and curriculum design, teaching and learning projects for the School of Law and Social Science and her external activities at national level are targeted at improving student social mobility and enabling law students to achieve their potential. Her project work with co-researcher Tina McKee has been nationally recognised as innovative and sector-leading.
Rachel wrote an article for The Conversation in April 2020 about the legal issues around shortages of PPE during COVID19.
… McKee T, Nir R, Alexander J, Griffiths E, Hervey T ‘The Fairness Project: doing what we can, where we are’ Journal of International and Comparative Law, Special Education Issue Spring 2018
The Fairness project – ongoing.
A project to design materials to teach students about law careers barriers and to simultaneously raise student awareness of personal unconscious biases with a view to inspiring them to be fairer employers and managers in the future. The project has led to a formal three-way collaboration with Northumbria and Sheffield universities who are running a three-year legal education impact study to track the student benefit.
The Participation Puzzle – ongoing.
A research project, co-designed with students and aimed at promoting inclusivity, to generate empirical evidence on the reasons why some students do not actively attend and participate in their programmes of study. Project findings encompass issues such as the effect of the virtual learning environment on classroom learning; student norms vis a vis independent study as opposed to staff expectations; the levels of stress experienced by students; the correlation between attendance and attainment; the BAME attainment gap; and the role of on-going formative feedback versus traditional summative feedback.