2013: A Personal and Professional Reflection on the Year

As 2013 draws to a close, I’m reflecting on the year with a mixture of sorrow and joy.

On a personal level, one of my closest friends died this year, way before her time, of brain cancer. It was a distressing thing to watch and has been a sad episode in our lives, in fact the sadness will always be there even though we’ll always have happy, fond memories to remember as well. Suzanne Lowe was an inspirational law tutor, wonderful mother, and very dear friend who is and will be missed every single day for the rest of our lives.

On a professional level, the year has ended on an exciting note. I left the stale environment of a conservative organisation that had become the plaything of business professionals rather than the charity for the advancement of legal education that was it’s original raison d’être. Although I admit that there was an initial shock of being out on my own, the subsequent 8 weeks of my fledgling consultancy business has seen me involved in more innovative, creative, exciting collaborations with more potential than anything I had been involved in in probably the previous 8 years with my former employer. My analogy of the change is that whereas I had been swimming lengths in a swimming pool, now I’m skinny-dipping in the rapids: exciting, unpredictable, scary, exhilarating. I thank all those friends, family and colleagues who have been so supportive over the course of 2013, particularly my wife who is and remains the bedrock of me and my family and whose professional opinion I value above anyone else.

2014 will be an exciting time professionally, I have no doubt about that. Legal education is undergoing a lot of change and although it may take the whole of 2014 for some of that change to take shape, there is no doubt about the substantial debates, discussions, and developments that are taking place in response and in preparation of what is to come. I am looking forward to further and more collaborations with those who are leading change in legal education. 2013 ends on a high note in that regard, I hope 2014 sees those collaborations really take off.

As mentioned, 2013 was a sad year personally and I’ll admit that Christmas and New Year is a time when absent friends and family are missed the most. I wish us all a healthy, prosperous and peaceful 2014, a year to enjoy life for the blessing it truly is.

Happy new year!!

Nigel

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