Former Magic Circle lawyer crowned ‘Law Teacher of the Year’

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By Emily Hinkley on

Lancaster Uni’s Sadie Whittam described as ‘gifted educator’

A former Magic Circle lawyer has been crowned ‘Law Teacher of the Year’ 2023.

Sadie Whittam, a practising solicitor and director of clinical legal education at Lancaster University Law School, received the coveted award last week at the Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching conference in London.

Whittam, who specialises in civil litigation, dispute resolution and clinical legal education, saw off competition from Cambridge University’s Andrew Sanger, Liverpool University’s Rob Stokes, Leicester University’s Kimberley Brayson, and the University of Sussex’s Jo Wilson.

She was nominated by two colleagues who described her as an “exceptional, talented and gifted educator”. Their nominations were largely based on student feedback, with one student saying: “She is the best teacher I have ever had, and she has forever become my mentor. Her involvement and ideas for […] workshops and assessments are out of this planet.”

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Whittam graduated from Lancaster with a first class degree in history and politics before going on to train as a solicitor at Magic Circle law firm Clifford Chance. She went on to work for Eversheds Sutherland and joined Lancaster Uni in 2019.

“I am absolutely delighted to win the Law Teacher of the Year Award and it is the highlight of my academic career so far,” Whittam said. “I am extremely grateful to my wonderful students, colleagues, and mentors for all their support.”

Reflecting on her work, she continued:

“I absolutely love teaching and my subject matter. I feel incredibly privileged to support students in their social justice work in the clinical modules and introduce them to professional practice.”

Whittam helped set-up the uni’s community-focused law clinics, which enable student advisors to provide free legal advice to local people. She also leads the law school’s careers and employability provision.

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