Barbara Ellington, Public Affairs Editor
Dr Velma Brown-Hamilton making strides
Recent media reports suggest that Jamaica's pool of legal talent is almost at saturation point. That trend seems set to continue as, come September, Dr Velma Brown-Hamilton, of Hamilton, Brown-Hamilton & Associates, with several years' experience in the administration of justice and law, human resource training, education and marketing (combined), will offer yet another avenue for legal training.
Under her leadership, the Law College of the Americas will be launched in September, and already, the programmes have generated keen interest with prospective students commencing registration. It is being established in collaboration with Northumbria University Law School, Northumbria University, based in Newcastle, England, which has a range of programmes and flexible modes of study to help students achieve their goal of becoming a successful legal professional. They offer an unrivalled range of master's programmes via a flexible distance-learning mode of study designed for busy professionals or those with personal commitments.
This is exactly what today's busy Jamaican professional requires, and those wishing to pursue any of at least 12 master's degrees in the areas of law will be able to do so online.
These specialist-law programmes are a first in Jamaica and are consistent with the college's focus on relevance.
In an exclusive interview with The Gleaner, Brown-Hamilton said the Law College of the Americas would not be competing with either the University of the West Indies (UWI), or the University of Technology. "My aim is to offer programmes that are relevant to the current and emerging needs of the Jamaican society. I cannot compete with them. I am a proud graduate of the UWI," she said.
Registration is now in train for online classes to start in September this year and February 2013.
Brown-Hamilton is upbeat about the programmes she describes as particularly attractive to both working professional adults and students, for the following reasons:
1. There is flexibility through the distance programmes, with attractive costs and loans being available for qualified students.
2. Their relevance to current needs.
3. Lawyers, in particular, are given an opportunity to advance in postgraduate studies without the need to stop their full-time practice.
4. Media professionals now have the opportunity to advance at the master's level without their work being affected.
5. Medical practitioners can now join the worldwide trend of engaging in a medico-legal practice by taking advantage of programmes to be offered.
7. Managers, human resource practitioners, trade unionists, business professionals, and real-estate professionals can benefit from the programmes.
8. Loans are available subject to applicants satisfying the entry requirements of the Northumbria University Law School.
For legal luminaries, the college represents a long-held dream for a place that will house: administr-ative offices, an advocacy court, tutorial rooms, online library, Children Upliftment Restoration and Education (CURE), Brown-Hamilton's foundation, The Caribbean Legal Suite where legal professionals can get from a pin to an anchor (including robes) as well as where young attorneys will be guided and mentored by senior counsel and legal/paralegal services at discounted rates. Profits made will go to CURE. "I believe lawyers, like everyone else, should give back. So this is my way."
For further information: email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 313-6321.
Dr Velma Brown-Hamilton, with several years' experience in the administration of justice and law, human resource training, education, and marketing (combined), will offer yet another avenue for legal training.
Facts about Northumbria University
Northumbria University is an academic institution located in Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England, and is one of the United Kingdom's largest and most-respected modern universities.
Northumbria University has its origins in three regional colleges - Rutherford College of Technology, which was established in 1880, the College of Art and Industrial Design, and the Municipal College of Commerce.
These three institutions were amalgamated in 1969 to form a polytechnic and it was years later accorded university status.
The university has two large campuses:
City Campus East is home to the School of Law, Design and the Business School. Northumbria University offers approximately 500 study programmes through eight schools, with a student population in excess of 29,000.
The university has a robust international programme. The collaboration between the Law College of the Americas and Northumbria University School of Law gives Jamaican and other Caribbean students the opportunity to access certain Northumbria programmes by distance learning or full-time in the United Kingdom.
The Law College of the Americas will focus primarily on the offering of the below-listed programmes by distance to the Caribbean population.
LLM Advanced Commercial Property Law
LLM Advanced Legal Practice
LLM Child Law
LLM Commercial Law
LLM Employment Law in Practice
LLM Information Rights Law and Practice
LLM International Commercial Law
LLM International Trade Law
LLM Masters of Law
LLM Medical Law
LLM Mental Health Law
LLM Mental Health Law Policy and Practice
Postgraduate Certificate in Business Law
MSc Business with Legal Management
MBA Legal Management
Brown-Hamilton says the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) will collaborate with the Law College of the Americas in offering by distance, the following undergraduate law programmes:
LLB (Hons) with Environment
LLB (Hons) Law with Business
LLB (Hons) Law with International Business
LLB (Hons) Law with Property Management
LLB (Hons) Law Exempting