"I was the first member of my family to attend university"



Professor Roy Lewis

LLB, 1966; MSc (Econ) Industrial Relations, 1967

My connection with LSE began when my school history teacher suggested that I read The History of Trade Unionism by Sidney and Beatrice Webb. The book was a revelation. Encouraged to find out more about the Webbs and their legacy, I was led to LSE.  

I completed my Bachelor degree in Law, followed by a Masters in Industrial Relations (IR). After a short spell in industry, I returned to LSE as a lecturer in IR. I learnt from many distinguished IR scholars, including Ben Roberts, Henry Phelps Brown, Cyril Grunfeld, and Bill Wedderburn, who became Lord Wedderburn QC. My role throughout the 1970s, as Bill’s junior colleague in a weekly postgraduate Labour Law seminar, was the most intellectually stimulating experience of my life. 

Today, as a barrister, a critical approach to evidence is an indispensable discipline, one for which an LSE education is an excellent preparation. As fate would have it my pupil master was Jeremy McMullen, now his Honour Judge McMullen QC. Some twenty five years earlier I had been Jeremy’s tutor when he had been on the Masters degree in Industrial Relations. LSE recycling itself perhaps.

Like many others, I was the first member of my family to attend university. My support for the Legacy Programme, is made to ensure that LSE not only remains at the forefront of research and scholarship, but also provides opportunities for those who come from underprivileged  backgrounds, whom may never otherwise have the chance to experience the rigour of critical thinking that was impressed upon me as a student, and so impressed me as a staff member.