A Reunion with a Difference
A Coventry University lecturer has been reunited with students he has taught in each of the past five decades.
Stephen Foster, who is now Head of Law at Coventry Law School after joining in 1977, received a visit from some former students who are now practising solicitors at law firm Band Hatton Button.
The solicitors returned to the George Eliot Building - their former place of study - to commemorate Coventry Law School turning 50-years-old earlier this year.
Nick Button, who was taught in the late 70s, is now a partner and head of the firm's commercial property department, while Jon Wilby, who graduated in 1989 is a partner and head of litigation.
Nineties student Michelle Gavin is also a partner and head of the wills, trusts and probate department, while 2010 graduate Aimee Knight is a trainee solicitor, currently based in Michelle's department and soon to move onto family. The latest Coventry Law School graduate to join Band Hatton Button is Francesca Knight, who graduated in 2012 and is now a paralegal in commercial property.
Stephen Foster said: "Over the past 40 years I've taught around 10,000 students and attended 50 graduation ceremonies.
"As a lecturer it's quite rare to catch up with former students, let alone ones spanning so many years, so it was brilliant to meet up with Nick, Michelle, Jon, Aimee and Francesca, all of whom reflect the different generations I have taught.
"They all showed great promise and enthusiasm as law students at Coventry, and it is always encouraging when those skills are rewarded with success.
"These students have not only become highly successful and respected lawyers, but they have practiced in the area that they were taught.
"This is very rewarding for the Law School because we can keep in touch with them, but also for the University, as the institution can feed our students' talents into the community and make a real difference to the city and the people who live there."
Nick Button did a year's study for his Solicitors First Examination - now known as a Graduate Diploma in Law - at Coventry Law School and looks back on his time fondly.
He said: "My time at the law school gave me the grounding to get started as a solicitor and it gave me the encouragement I needed, and because of that I've kept in touch with a couple of the lecturers including Steve.
"This is the first time I've been back formally. It wasn't until we realised there were several of us at the firm that attended the same school that we thought it'd be a good idea to come back and visit in its 50th year.
"As a firm we strive to forge links with Coventry University, as these students are the future of our profession. We've recently awarded Coventry Law School's best performing student some money to kick start their career, while we have offered six months of work experience to another student."