Allison (also known as Ally) Wolfreys is a lecturer in law and solicitor who originally studied Literature and Social Science at undergraduate level at the University of Manchester before qualifying as a solicitor. She spent many years as a Family law specialist then partner in a range of different types of practices throughout the country. She acted as a consultant in the establishment of new departments and supervised many trainees during this time. An experienced advocate and trained mediator, her practice included public and private law children matters, contested ancillary relief claims and international Family law disputes. Her specialism was recognised when she was appointed as one of the first national peer review consultants in Family law, assessing the quality of work by Solicitors across the country.
Her teaching career with the Open University began in 2007 when she became an Associate Lecturer and she gradually moved out of private practice to teach full time. In 2016 she began working for the University of Law at Exeter University and was promoted to become a senior tutor in 2018. Here, she taught, managed and assessed qualifying law degree subjects including Tort, Public and EU Law as well as the LPC core Dispute Resolution modules and Family law, interviewing and advocacy. She also acted as an examiner in a variety of LLM subject areas.
With three children, she welcomed the chance to work from home in 2018, when she was appointed as a student experience manager within the Law School. Here, she managed a team of Associate Lecturers until 2020 when she moved to become a central academic.
Allison is interested in how judges in England and Wales exercise their discretion when dealing with international child abduction cases where a child objects to the making of a “return” order. She is interested in how children participate in these proceedings and how the decision and reasons for the judgment reaches the child or children who have been the subject of the proceedings. The Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for change in the family justice system and Allison has recently written about the opportunities and obstacles that this presents for increasing children’s participation.
Allison became a Fellow of the HEA in 2018 and continues to teach on the LLB. Recently, she recently co-wrote a training suite for students to develop their online mediation skills and presented a paper on this subject at the IJCLE conference in 2019. She was invited as a guest speaker to the Resolution family law conference in 2017 and, having worked in the community as an independent domestic violence advisor, she also wrote and delivered a training module in family law for survivors of domestic abuse. She is currently and author on both our criminal and civil law Level one modules and Module Team Chair on W230, our Family law module.
Allison is a Member of the European Children's Rights Unit at the University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice
Shaping a New Type of Hearing: Training Future Lawyers in Online Mediation - insights from a pilot Project (2019)
In : International Journal of Clinical Legal Education Conference 2019 (Jul 2019, Bratislava - Slovakia)
COVID-19 and International Child Abduction: Children's Stories (2020-07)
University of Liverpool, School of Law and Social Justice. COVID-19 Briefing Papers No.9
COVID-19 and the Family Court: Justice at our Fingertips (2020)
The Open University