Working for better legal training and justice since 2008
The UKLSA was founded in 2008 with the aim to:
- further advance the legal education/training in the UK;
- identify areas for academic development;
- represent UK law students/lawyers-to-be at a national and international level;
- identify and enhance career opportunities;
- facilitate global exchange and enhance international cooperation;
- promote equal access to the legal profession and justice;
- provide a common platform for UK lawyers-to-be towards improving legal training and experience.
England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate legal system, and each jurisdiction has its own regulatory and representative bodies. However, the UK has a common Legislature and Supreme Court, and acts as ‘the UK’ at an international level. Inspired by his work representing an NGO at the United Nations, Fatos Selita, the Founder of the UKLSA, recognised the need for a UK-wide organisation for law students.
In the first month of its operation, 25 University Law Societies across the UK, including Queens Belfast in Ireland, Aberdeen in Scotland; Leicester and Queen Mary in England, joined the Association.
In 2009, Lord Bingham became the Patron of the Association, followed by the first President of the Supreme Court, Lord Phillips. In 2012, Lord Neuberger, who is the current President of the Supreme Court, became the Patron of the Association.
In 2009, the UKLSA commenced its first Annual National Inter-institution Advocacy & Moot Competition, where only one representing team from each educational institution can take part. The first competition was won by King’s College, London. In two years the competition grew to 48 educational institutions, including the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.
In 2011 the UKLSA started organising its Annual National Equalities Conference, promoting equal access to the profession and justice. The first conference, which was hosted by the Honourable Society of Inner Temple, included student from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Over 40 practitioners, including Dame Heather Carol Hallett DBE, also participated in the first conference.
In 2011, the Association Started its Law Journal, Legal Issues (previously The UK Law Student Review), publishing its first issue in April 2012, with a Foreword by the President of the Supreme Court The Right Hon the Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, and sponsored by Oxford University Press.
In 2015, to reflect the Journal’s aim, mission, and cross-border coverage, the Journal’s name was changed to Legal Issues Journal.