In recognition of Robert Gordon University's (RGU) position as a well established but ground-breaking provider of legal education globally, its Department of Law has achieved new status as The Law School.
RGU has been teaching law in Aberdeen for many years - starting with the highly regarded Law and Management degree whose graduates have been much sought after in the Oil industry and beyond - and now offers broad range of law courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The Head of the Law School, Professor Ken Mackinnon is delighted that the law school's success has been recognised.
He said: "The law staff have worked hard over the years to build up the law programmes here to achieve not only professional standing in the UK, but a strong reputation internationally.
"Students are attracted by our distinctive programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level – particularly by the vocational focus – and because of our reputation as modern, and professional yet friendly.
"The opportunities offered by online courses are a clear attraction for many. We aim to meet the educational needs of potential students coming from schools and colleges through to those desiring to raise their professional standing. Students here no longer simply learn the law, but, additionally, acquire a range of skills and expertise which makes them extremely employable."
The Law and Management degree has been joined by the LLB (Hons) degree which is the qualifying degree for solicitors and advocates in Scotland.
In a national first, students can take an online LLB at RGU using recorded lectures posted on the internet alongside live virtual tutorials, opening up opportunities to those who find it more convenient to study from home.
At postgraduate level, courses in International Commercial Law, Oil and Gas Law, Construction Law and Arbitration, Employment Law and Practice, Mediation, and Professional Legal Practice are available on campus or online.
To mark its new status, The Law School at RGU is holding a series of public events which kicked off with the Energy Law and Policy Conference last week (Nov 14+15).
The two-day conference, which is a first for RGU, welcomed Scottish and International energy experts to its new Riverside East campus to examine energy projects, social licence and community benefits.
Professor in Energy Law, Anita Rønne of the University of Copenhagen; the head of Aberdeenshire Council's planning and building standards Robert Gray; senior lecturer in oil, gas and energy law at Aberdeen University Greg Gordon; and Exploration & Subsurface Director for the UK & Netherlands at Centrica Energy's exploration and production business Mark Lappin all gave insightful presentations into the relevant topics.
Co-author of a recent UK Energy Research Centre report on public attitudes towards whole energy system change and lecturer in Human Geography at Bangor University's School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography, Dr Karen Parkhill was also speaking.
They were joined by RGU's Professor Peter Strachan who is the Strategy and Policy Group Lead within the Department of Management, Dr David Toke from Aberdeen University and expert on communities and renewables, and the Scottish Government's fossil fuels expert Stuart Mckay.
This week (Friday Nov 22nd) will see the launch of a new pro-bono Law Clinic to provide free legal advice to the public who are without access to legal assistance.
Around 20 students from The Law School will provide an advisory service free of charge to members of the community in need of legal advice.
The clinic will see law students working on a voluntary basis as part of their law studies at Aberdeen Business School. They will be supervised by experienced legal professionals, as well as by legally qualified academic members of staff.
The students will be trained in dealing with different kinds of legal issues in the run up to the clinic. Various bodies, individual solicitors and academics have volunteered their help and training to the students taking part so they are well prepared to offer the best advice.
The key aims of this initiative are to provide students with hands on experience of legal cases prior to entering the legal profession, as well as to provide a service free to members of the public who may need legal advice but can't easily receive it elsewhere.
Another expansion of The Law School is the introduction of a post graduate certificate in mediation – an increasingly sought after skill among lawyers, employers and other professionals. It is taught online with some intensive sessions on campus where students can test their mediation skills.
To mark this development, The Law School is also hosting a Negotiation and Conflict Management one-day master class on November 29.
The event, run by established commercial provider of alternative dispute resolution training Core Solutions, will feature a number of tools, techniques and tips for managing, preventing and resolving difficult situations more effectively – and for enhancing a culture of cooperation.
Tried and tested from years of experience in mediation and in some of the toughest negotiations, as well as training and coaching hundreds of high-level professionals in business, sport, finance, the law and government, the day will be led by John Sturrock QC with Core's senior coaches, Pamela Lyall, Hugh Donald and Charlie Woods.
Participants will have opportunities throughout the day to break out in small groups and to reflect on techniques in a safe environment.
For more information on the event, or to book a place, please click here.
The alternative dispute resolution theme continues in the next of the series of events to mark the establishment of The Law School with an inaugural Public Lecture early in 2014 by Lord Hamilton, the former Lord President of the Court of Session, on Arbitration.
The Law School will also be hosting the annual conference of Socio-Legal Studies Association, attracting academics from around the world to Aberdeen.