Educational Law And The Legal Service

1498 WordsNov 4, 20166 Pages
On the face of it, clinical legal education is beneficial to both the student cohort and the local community as it provides students with the opportunity to gain practical experience while delivering a service to the public. It is defined by Kerrigan as ‘learning through participation in real or realistic legal interactions, coupled with reflections on this experience’. Through this, a focus is placed on facilitating learning through a practice-based approach grounded on client interaction. This generates a natural tension between fulfilling the educational aims of a clinic and the legal service needs of clients. This paper will examine such tensions, practically and theoretically, in respect to pedagogical instruction and lack of supervisory resources while providing personal reflections. It will conclude that there is—to an exaggerated extent—an imbalance between the educational aims of law clinics and the legal service needs of clients; however, this is not to the detriment of the client as it does not affect the quality of legal aid given by students. Exploiting Vulnerable People for Pedagogical Benefits Educational law clinics raise the ethical dilemma of exploiting vulnerable people in society for pedagogical benefits. As such, if a supervisor believes that a case provides an inadequate educational benefit, it may be turned away; or in circumstances whereby a case has been opened, closed. Nicolson argues that this refusal to help these clients can prove to be
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