Meet the Law School Team
Say hello to some of the people you'll meet in your first year.
The Law School is a friendly, exciting, and diverse place to study. We pride ourselves on the opportunities and the support that we provide for our students throughout their Law and Criminology degrees, helping them to excel and achieve their goals and aspirations.
Here are some of the people you will meet in your first year.
Dr Catherine Easton, Head of School. Reader in Information Technology Law and Intellectual Property
It is my absolute pleasure to be Head of Lancaster University Law School and to work with a talented and committed group of staff to deliver Law and Criminology programmes of the highest quality. We’re known for our interactive, inclusive teaching style, and for our approachability. I’m extremely proud of our award-winning Law Clinics and of our outstanding record of student employability. Our Law and Criminology Societies are among the most active in the university.
I research in the area of information technology law, data protection and Internet regulation. I also work on online copyright legislation and am currently a co-investigator on a project examining the legal and ethical aspects of the security of autonomous systems. I convene the School’s intellectual property law module, which has a strong focus on technology and examines issues such as illegal online streaming, gaming and the sharing of memes. I’m extremely impressed with the quality of the memes my students produce in our “getting creative” online ownership discussion activities!
Professor Michael Doherty, Associate Head of School (Student Experience)
As the Law School’s lead on student experience, I’m committed to helping create the best possible environment in which you can thrive and succeed. I’m lucky to be working with a great team of staff who are equally interested in teaching law and criminology in engaging ways that draw on their world-leading research and expertise, and in providing excellent academic support.
First and foremost, I am a teacher: a former chair of the Association of Law Teachers and recipient of national teaching awards. I also research and publish in the fields of constitutional law and human rights and am author of a Public Law textbook. Finally, I am passionately interested in the emerging field of Legal Design – a movement that aims to make law more user-friendly and is positively changing the way that contracts are made, how laws are communicated to the public and how legal services are delivered.
Dr Ben Mayfield, LLB Law Programme Leader
I am the LLB Programme Leader, which means that I work with the Law School team to help support the studies of all our LLB Law Students. As legal academics we love studying and teaching the law, but we know that finding the right support for our students is important too. In the Law School we have a strong pastoral support network of academic advisors and year tutors, and as the programme leader I help support students to get the most out of their studies. We also work hard to keep up with new developments in law and in teaching, and I help colleagues to develop new programmes and modules that keep us at the forefront of legal education.
I teach and research in the Law School as well. Most of you will see me during your studies in Land Law, where I teach lectures and seminars exploring some fundamental elements of property law.
Dr Nicola Harding, Lecturer in Criminology
I convene and teach the first year module called “Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice”. Through lectures and workshop discussions, we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach, allowing students to focus on the social, political, cultural and economic contexts of crime, deviance and criminal justice. The module is split into four parts: criminological explanations for crime, contemporary issues in criminology (exploring issues such as gender, age, race and crime), crime types (such as sex offending, drugs, organised crime, terrorism and cybercrime) and the criminal justice system.
My areas of research expertise include feminist criminology, punishment and deviance. However, I am passionate about the role of lived experience in constructing knowledge and as such I work with people who have direct experience of crime, punishment and victimisation to further criminological enquiry from the bottom up.
Dr Siobhan Weare, Senior Lecturer in Law
I teach a first-year law module called ‘English Legal System and Methods'. In this module, we develop the key legal skills needed to be successful in your Law degree and future legal career. You will learn how to read legal cases and journal articles, critically analyse legal materials, conduct research, write law essays, and problem solve.
We will also explore how the English Legal System is structured and how it works. We will look at the relationships between, and the roles of, the different courts and tribunals, and consider the roles of the judiciary who sit within them. We will discuss working within the legal professions, as well as looking at the criminal trial process, and civil litigation processes. Our discussions will place law and the English Legal System within their politicial, social, and cultural contexts.
I also teach a third-year optional module called 'Sex Crimes and Sexual Offending'. My research explores the socio-legal responses to, and experiences of, male survivors of sexual violence.
Dr Thaddeus Muller, Undergraduate Criminology Programme Leader
I am the Undergraduate Criminology Programme Leader, which means that I am here to welcome Criminology single- and joint-honours students at the start of their degree and support their progress throughout their degree. As part of this role I sit on the Staff-Student Liaison Committee, which allows me to work with the Criminology student representatives to deal with issues that are affecting students and to make continuous improvements to our programmes.
I am also a lecturer on the Criminology teaching team. I teach and conduct research in the areas of drugs use and policy, hate crime, moral narratives and transgression/deviance.
Sarah Gilmartin, Lecturer in Law
I am Sarah Gilmartin and I am one of the Year Tutors in the Law School. As Year Tutor I assist students throughout the year with wellbeing/pastoral issues. If anything affects students’ studies or is likely to do so, then students can arrange to speak with me and I will guide them to the support available within the department and the University. I work closely with students’ Academic Advisors to make sure students have access to a range of support to make the most of their time here at Lancaster.
As a Lecturer in Law I teach on a number of core law modules. My own research interests are in property law, my thesis exploring the history of inheritance law, with reference to the social, economic and moral influences on its development. I consider wills, intestacy, trusts, and other transfer mechanisms, as well as disputes, and critically analyse how inheritance laws, drafted in the early nineteenth and twentieth centuries, may best address inheritance today.
Dr Yongyu Zeng, Lecturer in Criminology
I am your year tutor at the Lancaster Law School. My role is to provide ongoing pastoral support on an as-needed basis. Please feel free to reach out if you have concerns and would like to discuss them with me. I am here to help you to find ways of coping with challenges.