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This award recognises excellence in the field of legal academia, and celebrates legal academics who excel in the field of legal research or the education of future legal professionals. This person has made a significant contribution to the future of policy, legal practice or legal education over the past year, and is seen as a shining light within their field.

2022 Winner: Professor Tania Sourdin, Dean, Newcastle Law School

Professor Tania Sourdin has been recognised for excelling in the education of future legal professionals and contributing significantly to the future of legal education over the past year. 

An expert in dispute resolution, Professor Sourdin has a remarkable footprint in academia. Before taking her current role as the Dean of the University of Newcastle Law School, she was a Professor and Director of the Australia Centre for Justice and Innovation at Monash University.

As the Dean and Head of School at the University of Newcastle Law School, she led several justice innovation project teams that resulted in research outcomes with significant impacts.

Professor Sourdin is considered an innovative and engaged teacher who initiated comprehensive curriculum reform, ensuring all Newcastle law students develop problem-solving skills and professional communication skills and are ‘workplace ready’.

Professor Sourdin manages the extensive curriculum process, supporting integrated skills and attributes, and a professional program that incorporates a complete integration of Indigenous skills, knowledge and understanding.

She introduced the early entry Indigenous scheme, which has led to Newcastle Law School having a 6.5% Indigenous student population.

Professor Sourdin also led the development of the early entry refugee scheme and the development and extension of the Newcastle Legal Clinics, which provide free legal advice to approximately 5,000 people annually.

This year’s award winner has published more than 140 books, articles and papers that focus on justice reform issues. She regularly presents on a range of topics, including ADR, justice innovation, justice issues, mediation, conflict resolution, collaborative law, artificial intelligence, technology and organisational change.

The Law Society of New South Wales, President and Council congratulate Professor Tania Sourdin on this achievement.


  • Laurie Berg, Associate Professor University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Law
  • Tony Song, Research Fellow UNSW
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