Room at the top

Roger Trapp reports on changes at the College of Law
The College of Law, Britain's national law school with branches in London, Guildford, Chester and York, has appointed Barry Dean as a professor. He will join Nigel Savage, the college's chief executive, on the professoriate just approved by the college's governors.

Professor Dean, former director of training and know-how at the leading City firm Linklaters & Paines, has long moved between academe and practice. He is qualified as both an English solicitor and a South African advocate and has served as professor and dean of the law faculty at Cape Town University. For the past 10 years, he has been responsible for Linklaters' professional training and development and for developing the firm's computer-based knowledge systems.

Professor Savage, former dean of Nottingham Law School, said the appointment of professors was an indication of the college's commitment to academic excellence. It would enable it to "draw in top people from practice and legal education, strengthen applied research capability and prepare for the globalisation of legal education".

The moves come as the college is running an essay competition in association with The Independent on the subject of "Breaking Down the Barriers". Students will be competing for a scholarship worth a year's fees at the College of Law. They are asked to tackle such issues as how to make it easier for people who can respond to the challenges of the profession in the 21st century to enter the law, what the main barriers to entry are, and what changes can be made to the educational and professional infrastructure that will restore access. Entries are invited from law undergraduates and students on the Graduate Conversion Course (CPE), who will be starting their vocational training as solicitors or barristers at the College of Law in autumn 1997. A panel of distinguished judges, chaired by Professor Savage, will select the winning entry, which will be published in The Independent

Entry forms are available from the College of Law Action on Access Campaign Essay Competition, Brabouef Manor, St Catherine's, Guildford GU3 IHA (01483 460200); e-mail