Title of Presentation : Cradle to Grave: Teaching Justice, Ethics and Law in a Clinical LLB

Names of all Presenters : Donald Nicolson

Short Abstract : From October 201, University of Strathclyde law students can opt to take a Clinical LLB. This course will provide students with academic credit for their work in University of Strathclyde Law Clinic, which has hitherto been almost entirely an extra-curricular activity for the roughly 200 students who are members at any one time and who may remain in the Clinic for up to five years. The Clinic will retain its primary volunteerist and social justice orientation. However, experience with teaching an optional class for experienced Clinic members suggests that students could gain even more from their clinical experience if more formal opportunities were provided for reflection on clinical experience and guidance on handling legal and ethical issues.

The course will therefore integrate skills training, ethical education and reflection on case handling into current classes in the LLB curriculum, while also providing two stand-alone classes to allow students to reflect more deeply on issues of ethics, justice and the contextual practice of law. This paper therefore argues that combining the lower costs involved in running a volunteerist law clinic aimed at serving the community with high quality legal services with a clinical programme which is integrated into the standard curriculum provides an excellent way to meet most, if not all, of the aims of clinical legal education. Furthermore the cradle to grave involvement of law students in the Clinical LLB provides an extended opportunity to ensure that students come to see issues of ethics and justice as an integral part of being a legal professional.

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