Ruth H.

Lecturer in Law
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Ruth H.
English and Related Literature
English and History
United Kingdom

My employment

Lecturer in Law
Newcastle University
United Kingdom

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A day in the life of a Lecturer in Law in the United Kingdom

Lecturer in Law with a degree in English and History

What I do

Lecture both undergraduate and postgraduate modules in law, as well as lead seminars/small-group teaching.
Administrative responsibilities including running student competitions in client interviewing and negotiating as well as facilitating the engagement with and dissemination of academic research to a wider audience.
Research on international law and constitutional theory.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Public speaking for lecturing and teaching - developed through extra-curricular activities (including doing mooting at York).
Research skills - developed independent research skills as this was a core component of the York English degree where students had to develop their own research projects.
Organisation skills - these are necessary for the administrative responsibilities and keeping on top of competing deadlines and student support. I am still developing these skills on the job.

How I looked for work

Academic jobs in the UK are listed on (sometimes includes international positions, but not comprehensive) and so towards the end of my PhD, I set up notifications from that site to my email.
Members of staff will often use twitter or facebook to advertise positions and to indicate where they are happy to talk to prospective candidates.
You can also use to look for PhD positions.

How I found out about the job

The recruitment process

The recruitment process varied department to department, role to role. For the most part, the application process involves an academic CV and a cover letter. Often you will be required to submit a research plan or teaching plan and samples of written work. Sometimes there will be an application form.

Interview processes will vary as well, but there is often the requirement of a presentation (sometimes of your research, your research plan or a sample lecture to demonstrate teaching) and then a panel interview.

My career goals when I graduated

Whilst at university, I wanted to be a criminal barrister.
It was during my LLM at UCL that I began to consider going into research instead.

Courses taken since graduation

Law conversion (GDL) at The University of Birmingham;
LLM at University College London (UCL);
PhD in International Law from Durham University.

Whilst at Durham, I did the Postgraduate Qualification in Academic Practice and gained Fellowship to the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Universities are now asking staff to be Fellows of the HEA, most require it as part of probation.

My advice to students considering work

Seek out those opportunities for experience beyond your degree.

My advice about working in my industry

If you are interested in an academic position, my advice would be to get research/writing experience as soon as possible. For example, look into doing book reviews, have a look to see if there are research assistance schemes and positions in your department.

Contacting me

Happy to receive questions on any aspect of being an academic. Including applying for a PhD; gaining research experience; applying for an academic position; academic CVs; the Research Excellent Framework (REF) and specifically "Impact".

Next steps...

If you like the look of Ruth’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Ruth a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Ruth to be your mentor.

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