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Four questions about the Leiden Law Academy for team leader Linda van Dun

The Legal Post-graduate Training (JPAO) of Leiden Law School changed its name to Leiden Law Academy on 1 May 2023. A new name for the educational programme for professionals and the place to be for events and conferences. What changes will be made and what does the team hope to achieve in the coming years? Linda van Dun took the time to answer these questions.

Linda van Dun

What is it like to set up new department? How did you go about it?

Last April, I started as team leader at Leiden Law Academy. Because there were so many new employees in the department, I was able to set up a new department. I was excited to take up this challenge. The first thing I did, together with the team, was to put the internal organisation in order. We started straight away by looking at how processes could be made easier and smarter.

In August, two event coordinators were added to the team and, from then on, we also had sufficient capacity to support events other than our post-academic programme, such as conferences and symposia. We engaged in discussions with the institute coordinators about their wishes for organising such events. New agreements were also made with the staff departments, resulting in a clearer and more transparent way of working. An advisory board has also been set up, which will biennially evaluate the content and quality of the legal pao portfolio, as well as the themes that will be relevant for the market in the coming year.

Meanwhile, the department has been renamed Leiden Law Academy, with a highly visible webpage on the homepage (See Leiden Law Academy - Leiden University) in addition to the current website for the legal PAO. Our new brochure will also be ready soon, with an overview of all the information about the (renewed) services of Leiden Law Academy

What will change? What does the new role of coordinator entail?

In the past we had a more task-oriented approach as assistants. From now on, we will function as coordinators who are involved in the process from A to Z. From intake, planning and implementation to the evaluation and financial completion of an event. After the summer, a management-office assistant will start working in our team to support the coordinators. This will allow the coordinators to have more time for contact with lecturers, consultation, and development.

The Leiden Law Academy is intended to be a place for innovation, development, and connection, and in direct contact with legal professionals. A place with a flexible infrastructure in order to assist with the various demands and to provide custom solutions. It offers professional services, such as conference management, to the various departments of the faculty free of charge, as well as providing opportunities for internal and external stakeholders to support each other through debate, research, teaching, sponsorship, and cooperation. 

Will there be changes in procedures for the faculty?

The faculty will notice that we will be more visible both literally and figuratively. We plan to involve (staff) departments in the process from an early stage so that we can align our procedures with the primary process. We hope to transform ourselves into a well-integrated staff department that supports and provides full-service solutions to the departments and institutes working to develop and implement legal PAO. Our intention is to make it worthwhile for departments to provide PAO activities.

Where do you want to be five years from now and what do you hope to have achieved by then?

That we will be able to offer a distinctive and diverse range of courses that meet the needs of departments and students under the 'umbrella' of the Leiden Law Academy. Taking into account the faculty's ambitions in the field of lifelong development. It would be great if Legal PAO becomes the fourth pillar of the faculty alongside education, research, and valorisation. In doing so, I aspire for us to have become a real top brand we can all be proud of while also aiming to satisfy our clients (colleagues), participants and staff.

After the summer, we will present our new department to the faculty. Everyone is cordially invited to come to the beautiful Sterrewacht to meet the Leiden Law Academy team. The invitations will be sent out soon.

Jean-Pierre van der Rest is involved in this organisational change on behalf of Leiden Law School.

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