Carol Tullo: From campus in the 1970s to the 2016 Law School Annual Alumni Lecture


Carol Tullo (LLB Law, 1976) will return to campus on 21 April 2016 to deliver the 2016 Law School Annual Alumni Lecture which will trace the huge legal challenges regarding data and information, beginning with its constitutional history to the present digital day. Carol is the Director of Information Policy and Services at the National Archives, and Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. As such, Carol has oversight of information management and policy across the UK Government and the public sector.  In this post, written exclusively for the University, Carol recalls memories of campus life in the mid-1970s, how the M62 played a part in her choice of University, and socialising with lawyers in the Library. 

I am excited to be returning to Hull later this month to deliver an alumni lecture.

It has brought back so many memories.  Like many, my university experiences [1973-76] shaped my future in ways I did not foresee or even acknowledge until much later.  It was an academic subject that fascinated me and a stepping stone to a career at the Bar.

I was the first person in my family to go to university and only 17.  Of the 100 plus in my year, 13 were female – at least that is what I remember – very different to the gender balance today. Hailing from Liverpool, my father’s instructions were that anywhere along the M62, for easy travelling, would make sense as a university choice.  That is really how I ended up in Hull, the furthest point from home!

I remember glandular fever in my first year, my first ever students’ Union concert – Ralph McTell and “Streets of London”, the day Paul McCartney brought his unnamed, new band [Wings] and played the Buttery at lunchtime, learning to do the Telegraph cryptic crossword [thank you Russell and Ian], hot summers and revision, Cleminson Hall and close friendships, Professor Fairest throwing Megarry and Wade in irritation during a Land Law tutorial [did that really happen?], Cranbrook Avenue living, Beverley races, Scarborough and visits to the seaside, Philip Larkin, but mostly how much I loved my subject.  It stood me in good stead.

I travelled to London to “eat my dinners” and double dine on key weekends to complete the requirements for call to the Bar. Most of my year were intent on becoming solicitors; few of us went to the Bar.  My final year choices were dictated by the Bar, and also that I saw real advantage in choosing subjects with small classes and tutorial groups – jurisprudence, revenue law and conflict of laws fitted that bill. Lawyers spent a lot of time in the library and so socialised with other lawyers. I have kept in touch with some contemporaries and law careers do make it easy to track people and professional paths do cross.

During pupillage and practice, I did libel reading, law reporting and indexing law books to earn money and pay my rent.  That ultimately lead to my second career in commercial law publishing.  Although I was always on the practitioner side, and ultimately Publishing Director, I did engineer a visit with the student publishing team on a visit to Hull in the early 1980s and met up with my lecturers.  I am focusing my lecture on my third career in government – where data and digital information, official publishing, and legislation, collide.  Did any of my tutors at the time I graduated ever imagine that this student’s name would be on every piece of UK legislation? I certainly didn’t but I look forward to exploring these themes in a few weeks’ time.

Click here to register online for the Annual Law School Alumni Lecture

© Carol Tullo, 2016


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2 thoughts on “Carol Tullo: From campus in the 1970s to the 2016 Law School Annual Alumni Lecture

  1. I graduated in 1976 too – from the College of Education next door, with a B.Ed from Hull Uni. I frequented the buttery too. Funnily enough I ended up doing a B.Laws in Sydney, Australia. Doing a bit of casual teaching now. I still wonder what all the hard work – which went well into the nineties – was for. If I had my time over I wouldn’t bother. Now I have free time and no energy. Haven’t benefited at all from ‘education’ – except for some intrinsic amusement afforded by esoteric ideas.
    Conclusion: ‘education’ is over-rated.
    Bye bye now.


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