Law School revisited - a trip down memory lane

by Chris Tang in Blog

DatePosted on August 31, 2015 at 04:15 PM
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The legend of Robin Hood and his band of merry men, two famous football clubs, a world class cricket ground and the birthplace of Paul Smith, the world famous fashion designer. They all have one thing in common - they would each call the city of Nottingham, ‘home’.  

In addition, this quaint, picturesque city in middle England (or ‘the Midlands’ as it’s known in England) is where I studied the Legal Practice Course (‘LPC’), at Nottingham Law School, part of Nottingham Trent University (‘NTU’). The LPC is the equivalent to Hong Kong's PCLL (the post-graduate vocational course required to embark on a trainee solicitor contract).   

Earlier this summer (2015), I had made plans to visit Nottingham, and a tour of my alma mater beckoned.

Clifton campus

On this trip I visited two campuses. The first was at Clifton campus, in the southern area of Nottingham city which houses various faculties of NTU, including sports, education, and several science faculties.  All around me I could see change, from ultra modern halls of residences to a major building in the centre of the campus in the process of being constructed. I visited Professor Bob Rees of the John van Geest Centre for Cancer Research.  I’d first met Bob in Hong Kong in June this year, when he gave an excellent joint-talk with practicing Oncologist, Dr. Kevin Loh, to Hong Kong-based alumni on the developments of cancer research and cancer treatment.  

It was great to see Bob in his own environment, with the state of the art technology being used at the centre, and expert scientists from all over the world working on the following 4 distinct components of research all under one roof:

  • immunology (understanding the immune system and how to create better treatments)
  • bio-informatics (using computers to analyse mass biological data)
  • proteomics (the study of proteins in the body and how they're affected under stress, disease, therapy)
  • genetics (the study of genes and how controlling its functions or profiles can aid in therapy)

I also had the pleasure of meeting Professor Graham Pockley of the John van Geest centre.  Hopefully, NTU alumni in Hong Kong and Asia will get to know more of Graham in the future, just like they have with Bob. Together, Bob and Graham run a formidable, world-class team and I wish them all the success and more break-throughs in scientific research. 

Here’s a short video about the John van Geest centre, narrated by Graham.  

And here's a brief introduction from Bob, for those who weren't able to attend his talk in Hong Kong. 

City campus

Later that week, I met Claire Oswin, of the NTU International Alumni Office.  Claire is at the heart of the engine room in the International Alumni office and she has been an endless source of knowledge and support for me in my role as the Hong Kong Ambassador for NTU's alumni.  At long last I was able to meet Claire at the city campus where she gave me a guided tour around the city campus. I was, quite frankly, astounded by the change that had taken place since my days as a student at the Law School in 1997 (18 years’ prior!).  

The experience of seeing these two campuses can only be described as an overwhelming transformation of vivid colours bursting everywhere, beautifully restored and newly created architecture, shiny technology and far better coffee than I can possibly remember!  One of the biggest changes to the law faculty since I was a post-graduate was that the Law School has since been moved from the Belgrave Centre to the Chaucer Building.  

For old times’ sake, I visited the Belgrave Centre and a flood of great memories came rushing back. I made what turned out to be many truly lifelong friendships with fellow LPC students, all of whom have gone on to great things, from partnerships with local and international law firms, senior level counsels and General Counsel positions, and great success in business and personal projects. 

Ironically for me, when I commenced the LPC, the Belgrave Centre (which housed the post-graduate courses in law) was a state of the art facility for law students at the time, so seeing it moved to another location brought a tinge of sadness.

The lecture theatre I attended for the LPC, in the Belgrave Centre

But such thoughts quickly dissipated as I was taken aback with the superior quality of facilities in the Chaucer Building.  In recent years, the undergraduate and post-graduate law courses are all taught under one roof and more facilities have been included to bridge the gap between academia in law and in legal practice, with mock courts (which looked like the real thing!),  a dedicated pro bono law centre where students could apply the law in practice, bigger lecture theatres, an enormous law library, and a Starbucks coffee store!  

The lecture theatre of today, in the Chaucer Building. It's far bigger than the previous one!

A very realistic mock court and debating room

And what many of us remember as a very old and shabby student union building, now sits a quite fantastically stunning meeting place for students, merged student halls above and around it.  

The magnificent new Students' Union Building. Internal pictures below.

Take a look below at a further selection of images of my tour around the city campus. If you studied at NTU more than 10 years ago, I urge you to visit the campuses to get a feel for the changes that have taken place.  Moreover, the alumni office would love to here from you and are more than happy to give you a tour around the campus as well.  

Useful information

More images from the city campus

The main hall in Arkwright Building, city campus

State of the art tutorial rooms

Inside the courtyard of Arkwright building

An events room, often used for wedding receptions, and it's no wonder why!

Newton Building, or as today's generation of students call it, Hogwarts!

The law library at Chaucer Building

Touring the city campus is thirsty work! Coffee with Claire Oswin from the International Alumni Office.

The SU has a gym, coffee shop and bar, and a nightclub well as a climbing wall.

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About the Author

Chris Tang

Chris is a co-Managing Director of Star Anise and a former practising corporate lawyer. He is a regular post contributor on LinkedIn and you can connect with him here:

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