Dyslexia in the learning of law: its meaning and its impact on student and teacher
Jackie Lane (University of Huddersfield)
Dyslexia is probably the most common ‘disability’ encountered in the law classroom and yet most law lecturers have only a vague understanding of what it means, or of the impact it has on the student’s ability to study law. This paper aims to give tutors a better understanding of the condition, and an increased awareness of the legal obligations owed towards students disabled in this way. It gives guidance on how they can recognise a potentially dyslexic student, and how to assist the student to overcome their difficulties, thus ensuring greater equality between the dyslexic and the non-dyslexic students.
The particular difficulties experienced by law students with dyslexia lie in the quantity of reading material they have to cope with, and the difficulty with recall of cases which are often presented in pure text form. The paper suggests ways of enabling such students by presenting materials in alternative forms such as through diagrams, pictures, aurally and via electronic media.
It draws on a wide variety of texts and papers, published statistics, and on the qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews with law students who have this ‘different learning ability’.
Short biographies of panel members
Jackie Lane has worked for the University of Huddersfield as a Senior Lecturer in Law since 2005, having worked as a law lecturer since graduating as a mature student at the age of 34. She has gained post-graduate qualifications and also spent 4 years as a Justice of the Peace. She has a particular research interest in Employment Law.
Last Modified: 18 July 2011