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27 September 2022

Samidha Malhotra appointed Director of Professional Law Institute

Samidha Malhotra succeeds Professor Djakhongir Saidov as the new Director of the Professional Law Institute (PLI), part of The Dickson Poon School of Law.

Sam Malhotra 780 x 440

In this role, Sam will lead the PLI team, responsible for development of the School’s professional education courses.

Sam Malhotra said: “I am delighted to succeed Professor Djakhongir Saidov as PLI Director and look forward to continuing our work, embedding our new professional legal education courses, further developing our professional skills and executive education portfolio, and engaging meaningfully with legal professionals and other stakeholders to meet the key educational and training needs of the legal profession going forward.”

Professor Dan Hunter, the School’s Executive Dean, said: “I am delighted to announce that Sam Malhotra has been appointed as the new Director of the Professional Law Institute.

The development of our professional education courses and the strengthening of our already-excellent relationships with the legal sector are key priorities for the School. Sam’s extensive experience, in both professional practice and legal education, make her the ideal choice for this important position.

Professor Dan Hunter, Executive Dean, The Dickson Poon School of Law

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Djakhongir Saidov for his contribution as Director of the PLI, and the wider team, including Sam, for their work delivering our new MSc Law and Professional Practice.”

This week, the PLI welcomed its first cohort on the new MSc Law and Professional Practice, a ground-breaking postgraduate degree programme which enables graduates without prior legal education or training in the UK to prepare for a career as a solicitor or barrister. The PLI’s innovative approach will see students on the MSc working in small ‘law firm’-style groups, gaining not only a strong foundation in core legal areas, but practical skills in research, analysis, teamwork, leadership and presentation.

Students will also benefit from a series of industry masterclasses and the involvement of a number of leading practitioners in aspects of the course. This programme is offered as a two-year postgraduate degree, with the first year available as a stand-alone Postgraduate Diploma.

Sam Malhotra said: “We are excited to welcome our first cohort of over 50 students onto our new MSc Law and Professional Practice programme.

“Our MSc is imbued with an exceptionally strong sense of realism and recognises the opportunities and challenges of modern legal practice. Our students will be taught by an incredible team of leading legal academics and highly experienced lecturers with many years of legal practice, and our bespoke, experiential, problem-based learning approach will provide students with the opportunity to authentically engage with law in action, applying legal principles to address the type of legal problems clients face.

We look forward to seeing our students develop both the knowledge and skills required for modern legal practice through this high quality, professionally-driven approach to learning the law.

Sam Malhotra, Director, Professional Law Institute

The PLI provides a focal point for practice-based education, research and civic engagement, and aims to strengthen connections to practitioners and stakeholder institutions in the heart of legal London. The Institute draws on the global expertise of The Dickson Poon School of Law, ranked 5th in the UK (The Times' Good University Guide 2023) and 15th in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Law & Legal Studies).

The Institute’s The Future of Legal Practice event series has attracted speakers including Professor Sarah Green, the Law Commissioner for Commercial and Common Law; Max Hill, QC, Director of Public Prosecutions; I. Stephanie Boyce, President of the Law Society; and leading members of the Judiciary, law firms and the Bar.

Sam Malhotra is a qualified Solicitor in England and Wales in 2001 and has extensive experience as an international capital markets lawyer, including as a partner with the leading international law firm Simmons & Simmons LLP. In addition to her LLB, she holds an MSc in Psychology, and has many years of experience in professional legal education.

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Dan Hunter

Executive Dean, The Dickson Poon School of Law