Northern Ireland has always had a highly skilled and respected legal sector. Over recent years, there has been considerable global expansion of the legal services economy, with an increased demand for wider legal services and methods of alternative dispute resolution.
We are now reaping the benefits of investment in legal education and the legal services sector.
Law is no longer just about the stereotypical perceptions of courtrooms, solicitors and barristers. It offers a growing range of less obvious but highly professional careers in areas including accountancy, taxation and mediation.
Boosted by the presence of names including Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith Freehills and now Baker & McKenzie, we have a unique opportunity to position local graduates and local legal skills on an international scale. But this requires a different approach to skills development, an approach that is being led by the University of Ulster.
It has received global recognition for its approach to teaching wider, applied legal skills via its award-winning law clinic.
We produce high calibre graduates equipped with sought-after skills and experience and who can help to shape the future of the legal sector, locally and globally.
Dr McKeever is also the Northern Ireland advisor to the UK government on social security legislation and related matters of welfare reform.