Episode 14 in the series of podcasts featuring University Registrars talking about stuff. This time Paul Greatrix talks to Smita Jamdar, Partner and Head of Education at legal firm Shakespeare Martineau and, on account of broad and distinguished service in higher education, very much an Honorary Registrar. We discuss Smita’s legal background and how she and her firm have responded to the diverse range of legal needs of universities which have grown over the years. Support has ranged from helping with the typical Friday afternoon crises to making a really positive contribution to support decision-making in institutions and being an active partner rather than the ’treacle department’ which slows everything down.
The ways of working during the crisis and post-pandemic in legal firms and universities are compared and contrasted. We agree that universities have responded extremely well to the pandemic challenges and, regardless of the imposed market environment, are all trying to do the right thing for students and staff. Moreover, universities have their work cut out to resist the tidal wave of regulation and it is here that we see the added value of the legal perspective in helping universities navigate their way through the regulation but also utilising the policy advice too.