Welcome to the Society of Legal Scholars

The Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) is the learned society for those who teach law in a university or similar institution or who are otherwise engaged in legal scholarship. As at the beginning of 2017 the SLS had nearly 3000 members consisting primarily of academic lawyers in the UK and Ireland. The SLS (formerly called The Society of Public Teachers of Law) was founded in 1908 and has charitable status. It is the oldest as well as the largest learned society in the field of law. The Society is the principal representative body for legal academics in the UK as well as one of the larger learned societies in arts, humanities and social science.

SLS conference poster
SLS new edited Jenny Leonard Art
Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, 1990-1995. Library staircase leading dowa from top floor.
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The Society of Legal Scholars aims to promote equality, diversity and inclusion across legal academia. Our overarching aspiration is to ensure that legal academia is a profession representative of all and for all and our EDI mission statement can be found here.

Members of the senior judiciary and members of the legal professions also participate regularly in the work of the SLS. Some members themselves have professional legal qualifications and have links with, or are active in, legal practice. The Society’s membership is drawn from all jurisdictions in the UK and Ireland and also includes some affiliated members typically working in other common law systems.

The President of the Society for 2022-23 is Professor Lucy Vickers of Oxford Brookes University, the Immediate Past President is Professor Catharine MacMillan of King’s College London and the Vice President is Professor Paula Giliker of the University of Bristol.