Linda Mulcahy

Professor of Socio-Legal Studies

Other affiliations

Wolfson College

Faculty officer role(s):

Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies


Linda Mulcahy is the Professor of Socio-Legal Studies and the Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies.  She has degrees in law, legal theory, sociology and art history and her work has a strong interdisciplinary flavour.  Linda has previously held posts at the LSE, Birkbeck, the Law Commission and Bristol University.  She has taken on a number of senior management roles including institutional head of Degree programmes, Head of Department and Dean of Arts. She specialises in dispute resolution and the ways in which lay users experience the legal system.  She has undertaken a number of empirical studies of disputes between business people in the car distribution industry, divorcing couples,  doctors and patients and neighbours on council estates. Her work has been funded by a range of bodies including the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Nuffield Foundation, the Department of Health, the NHS Executive, the Leverhulme Trust and the Lotteries Board. 

Linda’s publications span a number of different topics including the socio-legal dynamics of disputes, the design  of law courts, feminist and relational perspectives on contract law, visual representations of law and legal methodology. Her most recent book, The Democratic Courthouse  authored with Emma Rowden, was published in November 2019.  Linda served  as an editor of the International Journal of Social and Legal Studies for ten years and is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Journal of Law and Society.

Linda has played an active role in the Socio-Legal Studies Association and continues to have a keen interest in capacity building in the field. She was Chair of the SLSA for three years and has served twice as its Treasurer. Linda has a particular interest in training and supporting research students and early career academics.  She was involved in the organisation of the SLSA annual postgraduate conference for over twenty years and now runs an annual methodology masterclass for research students which is funded by the ESRC. While at the LSE Linda served as the Director of the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership and subsequently took the lead in establishing the LSE PhD Academy, a multi-disciplinary advice and advanced training hub. At Oxford she teaches on the methodology course run by the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and has also set up a new course on qualitative methodology for lawyers.

Linda regularly acts as a research consultant to government bodies, regulators and NGOs and has worked closely with the Public Law Project, JUSTICE, the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Law Centres Network. She has recently been re-elected as  is  a member of the Council of Justice and is working with the Law Centres Network on a history of radical lawyering.  She is an academic advisor on the board of the British Library Life Stories Project.  Linda is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Linda regularly travels around the world giving papers and has had Visiting Professor positions at the Faculty of Law in the University of Melbourne and in the School of Architecture at the University of Teachnology in Sydney.  She is currently a Visiting Professor at the Australian National University. 


Featured Publications


Research Interests

The focus of her research is on perceptions and experiences of the legal system and the socio-legal dynamics of dispute resolution. Her empirical work has been supported by a range of grants from the ESRC, AHRC, Nuffield Foundation, NHS Executive, Department of Health and the Leverhulme Foundation. Linda’s recent work has focused on the architecture of justice facilities and the relationship between design and due process. Linda welcomes research students in the fields of dispute resolution and mediation, legal geography, law and the image, feminist legal studies, civil justice and socio-legal studies.

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