Staff profile

Kaye Howells

Senior Lecturer in Law, Director of the Student Legal Advice Centre

Kay Howells at Derby Law Schools One Friar Gate Sqaure.




College of Business, Law and Social Sciences


Derby Law School


Kedleston Road and One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus



Having spent 14 years practising as a solicitor, I joined the University of Derby Law School in September 2018, my primary role was to set up and develop the Student Legal Advice Centre. The Centre provides free advice and assistance to the Community. Initially, the Centre provided advice and assistance in respect of family law matters. The Centre has developed to now include its Family Law Clinic, an Immigration Family Reunion Clinic (partnering with the British Red Cross and Paragon Law), support at Court for Litigants in Person in Family Law matters, a Justice Project and a Policy Clinic.  The Centre is currently developing a Business Law Clinic and a Legal Triage Clinic.

Teaching responsibilities

I am responsible for the strategic and operational management of the Student Legal Advice Centre, the Centre opened in February 2019. The Centre provides the students with clinical legal education, provides free advice and assistance to the community and signposts clients in circumstances where the Centre is unable to assist.

Advice and assistance provided by the students are under supervision. Training is provided to those students who become student volunteers within the Centre.  I am responsible for delivering the Clinical Legal Skills module, a third-year undergraduate module.  Students enrolled on the module volunteer within one of the Centre's clinics.  There are opportunities for students to become volunteers through extra-curricular engagement.  My role is twofold, to ensure high-quality teaching and training are provided to the students and also to strategically and operationally manage the Centre.

Professional interests

Research interests

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Presented at the 2021 Global Alliance for Justice Education, Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education and International Journal for Clinical Legal Education international conference

Presented at the CLEO and Derby Law School online conference September 2021 – Employability and the impact of COVID-19

Presented at the LawWorks Annual Clinics Conference 2022 - Unpacking the relationship between Legal Aid and Pro Bono

Experience in industry

In 2001, following graduation, I joined Smith Partnership as a paralegal.  I went on to secure a training contract with Smith Partnership and then qualified as a solicitor in 2004.  My primary area of practice was criminal defence.

In 2008, I joined Derby City Council as a solicitor within the community team, my primary area of practice being child protection. In 2013, I became a principal solicitor for Derby City Council. While I spent a considerable amount of time at Court and working on child protection cases, I was also a legal adviser to the Derby Safeguarding Children Board.

As part of my role as a principal solicitor, I delivered training internally and externally. I was a guest speaker for the British Association of Social Workers. I was invited to deliver training to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council following the implementation of the Revised Public Law Outline in 2014.

During my time at Derby City Council, I had the opportunity to work with the Slovakian Central Authority to develop a memorandum of understanding/working together agreement, with the focus being upon achieving the best possible outcomes for children.  

Additional interests and activities

Trustee of the Aspiring Solicitors Foundation 

Member of the Derby and Derbyshire Local Family Justice Board 

Recent publications

Published article: Simulated and Real-World Experience – The challenges of adapting practice in Clinical Legal Education in unprecedented and challenging times, International Journal of Clinical Legal Education Vol. 27 No.4 (2020) 196-213