Gail Narinesingh founded and leads the most successful private law school in the Caribbean, having established the Institute of Law and Academic Studies (ILAS).
Based in Trinidad and Tobago, the school sees more than 500 students pass through its doors every year, with dozens of them coming to Staffordshire University to gain their Legal Practice Course qualification, entitling them to practise as an attorney-at-law in Trinidad and Tobago.
Gail, who lives in Chaguanas, in Trinidad and Tobago, is the senior lecturer and principal of ILAS, which she runs with her husband Dave.
She said: “We celebrated our ten year anniversary last year and we now have the largest intake of any law school in Trinidad. In the first year we started with 100 and then it continued to climb and from the fourth year we had 500 students and that’s our capacity, and this has been maintained ever since. We have the highest pass rate in the Caribbean and that is a testament to all our students.”
ILAS’s link with Staffordshire University was formed in 2002, when students needed somewhere to gain their final year qualifications, upon which they return home to undergo six months of work in a law practice before being called to the Bar.
“We were looking around for universities in the UK for students to pass their LPC and BVC and a small group attached themselves to Staffordshire University,” Gail said. “The students were really impressed. Now I have started recommending students go to Staffordshire University.”
Gail is a self-taught law lecturer who chose to teach instead of setting up her own practice after passing her degree with the University of London in 1994.
“I will not practise because it’s not for me,” she said. “I love teaching law. In my second year of studying for my degree I did some A-Level teaching and the students I taught said ‘you’re a natural at this’, this was truly my calling. Since then I have never said ‘I don’t feel like going to work today’. I love what I do.”
After graduating Gail started teaching at the School of Accounting and Management, the only place to learn law in Trinidad and Tobago at that time, and within three years she had left to open her own school.
The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Gail for her inspirational leadership in teaching law and legal studies and for enhancing Staffordshire University’s reputation in the provision of its law programmes.