Photo of Penny Russell, Lecturer

Penelope Russell

Position: Lecturer
Email Address:
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 6873

Academic profile

After working as a family law solicitor in leading law firms for nine years, I joined the School of Law in 2003. I initially taught family law on the Legal Practice Course but now teach family law at an undergraduate level. I am Chair of the Law School Ethics Committee and Lead Undergraduate Admissions Tutor.


  • MA Jurisprudence, St Anne’s College, Oxford
  • M.Ed., University of Sheffield

Teaching and Learning

I am a great believer in encouraging active learning. I try to make learning fun, by using a variety of exercises within seminars such as student presentations, negotiation sessions, debates and methods such as 'pass the pen' whiteboard exercises. I read widely about pedagogic research and am always open to suggestions from students and the wider academic community.

The modules I teach are:

Family Law (Convenor)
Criminal Law and Justice

Research Interests

My research interests are diverse but all relate to family law. My most recent projects include empirical research into the occupational culture of family law solicitors as well as historical research for the Women’s Legal Landmarks Project, using archival data to investigate the impact of the Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act 1857.

Areas of Research Supervision

  • Family law – recent research supervision includes the prioritising of domestic violence services and the effect of cost increases on local authority decision making in care proceedings
  • Legal practice – research supervision includes perceptions of legal executives within the profession and the implications for legal training

Recent Presentations

  • Speaker ‘Parental Responsibility: step-parent perspectives’, Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference on 4th April 2012 at Leicester De Montford Law School.
  • Panel speaker ‘pressing problems in law and legal education’ Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference on 11th September 2012 at the University of Bristol.
  • Speaker ‘Mother, Father, Parent, what’s in a name?’ Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference on 28th March 2013 at York Law School with Lucy Yeatman and Kim Everett from Greenwich University
  • Speaker ‘Moving the goal posts: specialisation, socialisation and minimum standards for entry into the legal profession’ WG Hart Legal Workshop 2014
  • Invited speaker ‘Women’s Legal Landmarks: celebrating the history of women and law’ on 6th December 2018 at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Professional Activities and Recognition

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
  • Member of the Sheffield City Council Safeguarding Children’s Executive Board.
  • External examiner for the University of Law dissertation component of their LL.M LPC programme.
  • Contributor to Family Law, Ruth Lamont (ed), (OUP 2018).

Key Publications

Journal articles