Read our Q&A with Laura Charleton, Senior Lecturer and Director of Admissions and International for the Kent Law School
What’s your taught subject in Kent?
I teach across a number of different undergraduate modules at Kent Law School including one of the core foundations of legal knowledge modules, Criminal Law, and our distinctive Critical Introduction to Law module. I supervise students researching and writing dissertations and convene law modules taken by non-law students at other schools at the University of Kent. These are The Law of Evidence for Forensic Scientist Students and Legal Process for Criminal Justice Students. In the past I have also taught Family Law, Forensic Science in the Criminal Trial and Reading Law.
How long have you taught in Kent?
I have taught students at Kent Law School for 15 years. Initially I taught part time whilst practising as a criminal barrister but more recently I have been teaching on a full time basis.
Before joining Kent, what were you doing?
After studying Law with French Law LLB I took the Bar Vocational Course to become a barrister and secured pupillage at a chambers in Canterbury, which is how I came to live in Kent. Upon securing tenancy, my practice was predominantly in criminal cases, both prosecuting and defending. I also undertook family cases and cases arising from civil disputes.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I used to sing in choirs and play the violin in orchestras but regrettably I have not done so for some time. Maybe I need to dust off my violin! In recent years I have run my own hospitality business and been involved with the management of a beautiful theatre that was under threat of closure. I enjoy reading and binge-watching TV series and films, but these days this is mostly with my children (so I am quite the expert at family entertainment!!).
Who’s your favourite author/musician/celebrity?
This is really hard to answer as I enjoy a variety of genres in both literature and music. I do enjoy going to the theatre, and my favourite performances are musicals.
What’s the best gig you’ve been to?
I grew up on the Isle of Wight as a time when live gigs were scarce so my first gigs were Jason Donovan and PJ & Duncan (better known as Ant and Dec, who are TV personalities for those who have not heard of them!). In other words, my first gigs were not trendy, although I thought they were brilliant! Since then I’ve been lucky to see some brilliant performers live such as Jennifer Lopez, Dolly Parton, Frankie Valli, The Osmonds, Steps, The Drifters. I think we’ve established I’m not very trendy!!!
Do you have a favourite holiday destination?
I lived in Lyon, France for a year when I was studying my LLB and have really fond memories of travelling around that region with my course mates. I got engaged when I was in the Maldives and I celebrated my 40th in Las Vegas, USA! I was lucky enough to visit Nairobi, Kenya on behalf of KLS just before lockdown and I am hoping to visit Bogota, Columbia later this year to discuss student mobility possibilities. The list of places I want to visit is long and steadily growing as I hear about fascinating places across the globe from the students in my seminar groups.
What are some fun things to do in Kent?
We are spoilt for theatres in Kent, with large touring productions visiting the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and great comedy at The Gulbenkian Theatre situated on our campus. The nearby coastline is beautiful. You can enjoy seafood in Whitstable, famous for its oysters, and play the amusements in Herne Bay and Margate. Broadstairs has a beautiful sandy beach and don’t miss the various fortifications in Dover, Deal and Walmer. You could try paddleboarding between Fordwich and Grove Ferry or test your problem solving skills in the various Escape Rooms in Canterbury and beyond.