Surrey lecturer crowned law teacher of the year

An academic from the University of Surrey has been crowned Law Teacher of the Year 2014.

Luke Mason, an associate lecturer at the Guildford-based institution, won the Oxford University Press-sponsored award and £3,000 in prize money. He teaches Surrey’s undergraduate modules in Jurisprudence, as well as property, EU, employment and discrimination law, and social and employment policy.

Mason beat off five other candidates on the final shortlist. The judging panel assessed each through campus visits, observation of classes and interviews with the candidates, their students and heads of departments.

The judges said: “Using the examples of films, songs, and professional European sportsmen, Luke received great praise from his student sponsors for his use of ‘popular and engaging topics’ to make difficult concepts more accessible for his students. He even encourages students to use drama in acting out extracts from plays to spark debate in class. Luke also redrafted the assessment guidelines in his law school to make them clearer for students, prompting student satisfaction levels to rise ‘dramatically’.”

Mason said: “There is something about acquiring legal learning that is a privilege, as a teacher you then have the additional privilege to communicate that knowledge. I am so grateful for this award’s existence, for drawing attention to the fantastic andvaluable thing it is to be a law teacher.”

The other finalists were Mark Davys of Keele University, Mark Edwards of Sheffield Hallam University, Kai Möller of the LSE, Lars Mosesson of Buckinghamshire New University and Sarah Marie Nason of Bangor.

Aston University’s Odette Hutchinson won the award in 2013.