Drawing parallels: Examining the student experience of skills enhancement in three pro bono clinics in Australia, Chile and South Africa

  • Cantatore, F. (Speaker)
  • David Mc Quoid-Mason (Speaker)
  • Valeska Geldres (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Description

This paper argues that law students face challenges when entering the employment market irrespective of where they reside, and that pro bono teaching clinics can help to alleviate graduate employability concerns. Factors such as increasing competition from their peers, a disconnect between the theory in law courses and the realities of legal practice, and a lack of legal technology knowledge, are problems faced by law graduates globally. These challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which may affect graduate lawyers’ job prospects and graduate skills expectations in the foreseeable future. The significant leap from “student” to “early career lawyer” or “graduate lawyer” requires law schools to be more proactive in incorporating practice-based legal skills. Extra-curricular community engagement has been widely recognised as enhancing graduate employability by combining experiential learning, coursework and community service. In this context, pro bono teaching clinics can provide suitable learning opportunities for law students. This paper focusses on the perceived benefits of experiential learning in pro bono teaching clinics with reference to three case studies of successful law teaching clinics within law faculties in different jurisdictions: an established law clinic in Australia; an established law clinic in South Africa; and an emerging law clinic in Chile. It also examines the impact of employment issues faced in diverse employment landscapes and how law students can increase their workplace readiness by participating in pro bono clinics.
Period16 Jun 2021
Event title International Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) Conference: Turning challenges into opportunities: Justice education in times of crises
Event typeConference
LocationNorthumbria, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational