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Brunel Alumnus becomes Head of a Law School in Hong Kong

Professor Geraint Howells .

As an academic I know some of the staff at Brunel and of their commitment to enhancing the Law School

Professor Geraint Howells, Alumni

Dean of Law School and Professor in Commercial Law, City University of Hong Kong

Law LLB - 1986

From UK

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated?

I have worked at a number of UK Universities and have been a Professor at Sheffield, Lancaster and Manchester before joining City University of Hong Kong in 2014. I also practised for a number of years as a barrister from Gough Square Chambers.

What does an average day at work involve for you?

My current job involves running a major Law School. This involves a lot of liaising with the profession and local community. This morning (23 July 2018) I have meetings with both a US and London law firm - and was pleased to host the Head of Brunel Law School just a few months ago. There are also lots of meetings and this afternoon I am attending a major meeting outlining the Hong Kong research exercise. This is quite typical, but there is also always a lot of paperwork to read and sign!

What's been the highlight of your career so far?

Seeing the development of the three Law Schools I have managed; Lancaster, Manchester and City University of Hong Kong - though I also had a wonderful time as a young scholar at Sheffield working with some truly outstanding colleagues. Academics of course also like to reflect on their published work and I hope to have made a contribution to scholarship in the field of consumer law.

How would you say Brunel helped you to get where you are today?

In my days, Brunel ran a thin sandwich programme that involved three, six-month work experience placements. For me, seeing how the law worked in practice brought the law in the books to life. One could understand the difference technical legal arguments made when one saw how they could impact in real life. It has helped me realise that academic study and practical application of law can support one to gain a better understanding of the law. I was also blessed with some wonderful teachers; Patrick Polden, was the last remaining teacher from my cohort.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

The sandwich course attracted me. As an academic I know some of the staff at Brunel and of their commitment to enhancing the Law School. The last REF emphasised the quality of the work being undertaken there.

What is your best memory of studying here?

Cheese and wine parties after essay deadlines in the common room and the many conversations with staff about difficult areas of law.

If you could give one piece of advice to new students, what would that be?

Enjoy your time, but also remember to study from day one. Employers look at first year results. But study can be fun!

What would be your top tip or advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey?

Enjoy your work and always try to make a difference.