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Siobhan Cullen

Profile summary

Professional biography

Siobhan joined the Open University in 2022 as a lecturer in the Central Academic Team and is involved in various modules including Family Law, Justice in Action and SQE modules Legal System, Public Law & Criminal Litigation and Property & Private Client Law.

Siobhan obtained her LLb first class (Hons) at Middlesex University in 1989 and she went on to qualify as a solicitor specialising in criminal defence and family law, working for eight years in a Legal Aid firm in Tottenham, North London.

Siobhan then moved to Ireland and pursued an academic career with Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) where she remained for twenty-three years. During this time Siobhan designed and delivered modules in Tort, Family & Child Law, Legal Systems, Restorative Justice, Law in Action, ADR and Street Law and fulfilled various roles including Head of Department of Law, Public Service and Education (2021-22) and Head of Department of Law & Humanities (2017-2021) managing academic programmes in law, governance, teaching and learning, languages and sport.

Siobhan has delivered Street Law programmes with numerous schools and NGO's including Migrants Rights Centre Ireland. She has led successful funding applications for Street Law programmes, most recently LGBTIQ+ Public Legal Information Clinic funded by the Dept of Children, Equality, Disability, Youth and Integration (€75,000 in 2020). Siobhan also obtained funding from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning , including Street Law: Developing Transferable Skills in Law students ( €150,000 in 2016) ; Re-Imagining Experiential Learning in Law ( €150,000 in 2018), Learning Enhancement projects including Peer Mentoring in Law (€5,000 in 2019), Exercise & Mental Health Study in collaboration with HSE Addiction Service ( €15,000 in 2020) as well as leading the design of a Digital Badge in Reflective Practice in Teaching (€20,000 in 2019) which is available open source at www.teachingandlearning.ie. Siobhan has presented widely on experiential learning, reflective practice, and community engagement with law schools.

Siobhan was also a member of Associate Faculty with the Law Society of Ireland, tutoring Criminal Litigation on the Professional Practice II Programme (2006-2017). In 2008 Siobhan gained a Masters’ degree in Equality Studies (UCD) with her Dissertation focused on gender equality and much of her external engagement focuses on various equality issues. She obtained a PG Diploma in Mediation (2015) and is an accredited Mediator with Mediators Institute of Ireland ( MII) as well as a trained Restorative Practice facilitator. 

Siobhan’s research interests include equality and the role of universities in driving the equality agenda as well as public legal education and the impact of experiential learning on learners. Siobhan has a strong interest in knowledge exchange and is involved in external engagement initiatives including her recent appointment as an Equality Commissioner for Northern Ireland (ECNI). Siobhan is also a Board Member with both Donegal Women’s Centre and Donegal Sports Partnership, a member of the Irish Community Action on Alcohol Network (ICAAN) Licensing sub-group and was awarded the Harm Reduction Champion Award 2022 by Alcohol Forum Ireland for her work in developing a training programme in Licensing Law & Practice for members of An Garda Siochana. Siobhan is a Tribunal member with the Mental Health Commission (Dublin) and a panel assessor with Athena Swan (Ireland).