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Liz Curran

Dr Liz Curran

Associate Professor

Nottingham Law School

Staff Group(s)
Nottingham Law School staff

Role

Liz's research, evaluation, practice and academic work leads to policy change, funding for community agencies & developments in good practice. Her work fosters organisational, collective and individual reflective practice using evidence-based changes in practice to produce positive outcomes in service delivery. She teaches practical legal skills to prepare students for the realities and challenges ahead with a history of positive students’ feedback for her teaching approaches.

As 'Assoc. Prof. Clinical Legal Education (CLE) & School Research Impact Lead' Nottingham Law School (NLS), Nottingham Trent University (NTU) Liz is building the capability of NLS to monitor by feeding into the NTU strategic direction to measure and evaluate its research impact and scaffold the NLS Legal Advice Centre’s existing track record in service to the community and students to underpin it with research and a further evidence base. She is informed by her 2021 book 'Better Law for a Better World' (Routledge UK) which examines evidence -based innovations & practical ways to improve justice. Liz will also bring her world expertise in multi-disciplinary practice and legal empowerment to build the responsiveness of third sector agencies in forging respectful & participatory collaborations and partnerships with NTU, the third sector and different professions to enable them to respond to the challenges of austerity and increasing marginalisation.

She hopes her expertise in enabling improved service reach, creativity, innovation and much needed funding to improve access to justice in the UK alongside policy reforms and legal empowerment strategies.

Expertise: access to justice, impact evaluation and measurement, strategic planning and governance advice, effective practice advice, professional development, research capability, clinical legal education & ethics & community development. Her research themes are health & wellbeing, exclusion, marginalisation, inequality and human rights and safety and security of citizens.
Dr Curran's Background IP is copyright & use requires a limited license agreement and is used by many third sector agencies to assist them in effectively reaching people experiencing disadvantage and exclusion.

Dr Liz Curran makes a difference in areas including measuring impact, innovations to improve access to justice & good practice. She is 'Assoc. Prof. Clinical Legal Education & School Research Impact Lead' for Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, UK based. Also Hon. Associate Professor, at the Australian National University (2020-2023). World Expert: Access to Justice, Impact Measurement, & Evaluation Clinical Legal Education, Multidisciplinary Practice (including Health Justice Partnerships); Legal Professional Ethics (including applied ethics).

Publications- Summary: Published book in April 2021 (sole author - 345 pages) for Routledge UK Better Law for a Better World: New approaches to law practice & education; 4 book chapters with 2 further chapters forthcoming; articles in esteemed refereed publications national and international (30) and non-refereed publications (80). Published reports (at least 21) on access to justice, human rights, youth justice, restorative practice, multidisciplinary practice (pioneering researcher on Health Justice Partnerships in Australia, UK and Canada).

Policy and law reform: suggestions leading to documented changes implemented by government, statutory offices & services. Regular media commentator and invited member government & statutory advisories.

Focus in Research: access to justice, impact & outcome measurement, client-centred & trauma-informed practice, clinical legal education, effective legal practice, legal ethics and clinical education. Regular media commentator on access to justice and legal practice and legal education issues since 1995.

Successful Grants Track Record (some multiple & not exhaustive): Arts & Humanities Research Council UK (NTU); Victoria Law Foundation; Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner x 6 times, Banyule City Council; Victoria Legal Aid Commission; Reichstein Foundation; Victorian Women’s Trust: Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation; Australian Attorney General’s Department; Australia and New Zealand School of Government (see below).

ORCID ID 0000-0002-6371-2975

Career overview

Principal, Curran Consulting: Enhancing Justice & Human Rights (July 2011-6 June 2022).

Commissioned Work: Research Evaluator ‘Invisible Hurdles Project’ for the Hume Riverina Community Legal Service Stage 3 (September 2021- June 2022); Research Evaluation of the ‘Women’s Crisis Navigator Project’ for the Hammersmith- Fulham Law Centre, (December 2020 – September 2021); Evaluation advisor, Law for Life UK, Grants Assessor Legal Services Board and Commissioner Victoria.

July 2011 – 28 February 2020 Associate Professor, ANU School of Legal Practice, Australian National University (ANU) (27 in QS Global World Rankings 2022 ranked number 1 in Australia), Honorary until 28 February 2023.

Research

Areas: Access to Justice, Impact Measurement, Legal Ethics, effective legal practice, legal education, inter-disciplinary practice and education, clinical legal education, legal ethics, domestic human rights, and multi-disciplinary practice (including Health Justice Partnerships), innovations in legal practice, community development.

Education - Teaching and convening in the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP)

Now teaching in NLS's courses at under-graduate and graduate level and supervising dissertations.

Previously for 8.7 years convened and taught at ANU in several the interstate intensive ‘Becoming a Practitioner’ (BAP) courses (including client interviewing, advocacy skills, negotiation skills, legal ethics, practice management). Taught the capstone subject ‘Ready for Practice’ in the GDLP which ran eight time per annum. This includes teaching legal ethics, professional formation, legal practice skills, reflective practice, cultural competency and developing course materials including the ‘Giving Voice to Values’ (GVV) course.  Also, the convener of the GDLP Mentoring Program (2017- end 2019). Taught and convened Consumer Law in Practice (CLP) and Commercial Negotiation. Involved in course and curriculum design incorporating empirical research (see below) that examines what makes a good, ethical and effective practitioner. Led teams of instructors and trained and supported in them in teaching roles since 2012.

Routinely conducts professional development for legal practitioners for a range of agencies across Australia including the Legal Services Board and Commissioner of Victoria, law firms, Law for Life UK, Community Legal Centres in Australia, law centres in the UK and for Legal Aid Commissions (including junior, middle level and senior practitioners as well as at Director/Partnership level).

University Research Positions

  • NTU Ethics Committee (June 2022-ongoing)
  • NTU Research Impact Network (July 2022-ongoing)
  • NTU Research Impact Strategic Oversight Workstream (July 2022-ongoing)
  • Editorial Board, Evaluation Journal of Australasia (July 2022-ongoing)
  • Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) through the ANU Educational Fellowship Scheme
  • Member Centre for Rights & Justice (June 2022-ongoing) and Centre for Legal Education (2015- ongoing) NTU
  • Associate Director of the Centre for the Profession Education and Regulation in Law (2016 -2020).
  • ANU Law & Social Justice Advisory Committee (March 2013 – 28 February 2020)
  • Editorial Board of the Legal Practice Manual (January 2015 – December 2017)
  • ANU College of Law ‘Working Group on Research Impact’, July 2, 2015 –April 2016.
  • Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University (2017- 2022)
  • Commonwealth Legal Education Teachers’ Association Ad hoc Committee since 2016.

Community Service Appointments

Ad Hoc Grant Assessor, Nuffield Foundation UK

‘Expert Adviser’ Law Council of Australia, ‘Access to Justice’ Project (2017 – August 2018).

Secondee for ANU to the Consumer Action Law Centre & ‘In-house adviser’ May 2018-2020. Used to teach up to date practice issues for students as a current practitioner.

Grant assessor for the Victorian Legal Service Board and Commissioners (LSB) (since 2011).

Mentor for the Adaptive Leadership Training for lawyers of the Federation of Community Legal Centres

Past co-convener and member of the Human Rights Working Group and past Co-chair Justice for Asylum Seekers & Refugees Australia.

Other University appointments

  • Member  CLEO Policy Network UK
  • Visiting Scholar at University of London (City, Law School) and Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University in 2016 as part of the ANU Overseas Study Program.
  • Connecting  Legal Education, Law Teachers Association UK (April 2020 - ongoing)
  • Advisor for the Portsmouth University, Law and Nursing Schools’ Evaluation into their pilot Inter-Disciplinary Clinic.
  • ‘Expert Advisor’ for the University of South Australia, Inter-disciplinary Student Health Justice Clinic (April 2017 – 2020).
  • Member Law Clinical Groups (Australia through UNSW platform)
  • Editorial Committee Lawyers Practice Manual (2016-2019)
  • Ad-hoc Committee Commonwealth Law Teachers Association (2012- 2015)

Supervision and Examiner

PhDs

2019 Examiner PhD ‘Racial Discrimination and Aboriginal Torres Strait Islanders’ James Cook University

2014 Examiner PhD on ‘Integrated Legal Service Delivery’ for Faculty of Law, University College London.

Masters

University of Melbourne Supervision of Masters of Evaluation Student, 2017.

Honours x 20

Peer Reviewer (not exhaustive)

UNSW Law Journal; International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, Australian Journal of Clinical    Education; Health Education Journal; Commonwealth Legal Education Journal

Pioneering Work on Health Justice Partnerships

Pioneering work building an evidence base and best practice on Multidisciplinary Practice (including Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) in Australia from 2001 when her research in this area commenced. She also worked then in a community health and justice setting for 10 years which also shaped the research. There was 1 HJP in Australia when she started her research and this has now increased 109 in July 2021. Many use her ground- breaking research as scaffolding and she has advised on many start-ups not only in Australia but in Ontario, Canada, Denmark and the United Kingdom with Dr Curran’s workshops on the evidence base and ‘how to’ ‘start-up’ training.


International researcher with publications in international peer reviewed articles; ran a human rights NGO; team leader, humanitarian agency in advocacy branch, and works in policy as well as legal practice, Education & research.

Research areas

Access to justice, ethics, clinical and legal education; evaluations - effective legal practice; restorative justice, multi-disciplinary practice (including Health Justice Partnerships as a pioneering practitioner & researcher in the area), legal empowerment and social inclusion.

External activity

Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy; Legal Admissions Board Victoria (Committee member Practical legal training); Editorial Board of the Evaluation Journal of Australasia; Solicitor Practicing Certificate in the Supreme Court of Victoria; Hon. Associate Professor, Australian National University (2020-2023); Adviser (voluntary) Social Security Rights Victoria (July 2021- March 2022); Grant assessor for the Victorian Legal Service Board and Commissioners (LSB) (since 2011); Grant assessor, Nuffield Foundation UK 2021 and Reviewer, Book Proposals for Routledge UK Palgrave MacMillan since 2018.

‘Expert adviser’ on the Law Council of Australia’s ‘Justice Project’. Senior Solicitor (pro bono) Consumer Action Law Centre June 2012 - 2017 and from 2017-2020, in-house adviser.

Awards

  • 2021 Nominated for the Evaluation Journal of Australasia Publication Award, a category in the 2021 Australian Evaluation Society Awards for Excellence in Evaluation.
  • 2014 Nominated for Teaching Award ANU, 2014
  • 2006: National Carrick Australian Award for University Teaching, ‘Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning’ – For enhancing students’ understanding of ethical and professional responsibilities in a deep learning experience’.
  • 2006 La Trobe University, ‘Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning’.
  • 2004 - Australian Centenary Medal ‘for legal services to the community and lecturing’.
  • 1999 - Received the Tim McCoy Social Justice Award for work of the Federation of Community Legal Services.

Sponsors and collaborators

Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre

CLEO Policy Clinic Network UK

Law for Life UK

Hammersmith Fulham Law centre

Ealing Law Centre

Hume Riverina Community Legal Service

Upper Murray Family Care

Department of Justice Victoria

Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service

Flexible Learning Centre (Wodonga)

Northeast Support and Action for Youth

Consumer Action Law Centre

Legal Services Board and Commissioners Victoria

NSW Government (through the National Partnership Agreement of Legal Assistance Services)

National Legal Aid Australia

International Legal Aid Group

Social Security Rights Victoria

National Association of Community Legal Centres

Federation of Community Legal Centre Victoria

Law Centres Network UK

Legal Action Group

Advice Services Alliance UK

Victoria Legal Aid

Press expertise

Access to Justice

Effective Legal Practice

Legal Empowerment

Multidisciplinary practice (including health justice partnerships

Legal Aid and  legal assistance services

Social Inclusion