Promoting Innovation in Legal Education and Graduate Employability Skills in Law Students through Pro Bono Law Clinics: A comparative study

  • Cantatore, Francina (Chief Investigator)
  • McQuoid-Mason, David (Partner Investigator)
  • Geldres, Valeska (Partner Investigator)
  • Mendoza, Pamela (Partner Investigator)
  • Hicks, Janine (Project Roles)
  • Holness, David (Project Roles)
  • Salgado, Sergio (Project Roles)

Project: Research

Description

Abstract
Law students face a number of challenges when entering the employment market. Apart from increasing competition from their peers, there is often disconnect between the theory they are taught in law courses and the realities of legal practice they are faced with when stepping into the “real world”. The significant leap from ‘student’ to ‘early career lawyer’ or ‘graduate lawyer’ requires law schools to be more pro-active in incorporating practice-based legal skills. Whether gained through clinical education, external work experience or pro bono programmes, the effect of practical work experience is to increase self-confidence, practice knowledge, and consequently, employability in students. It has been widely recognised that extra-curricular community engagement enhances graduate employability by combining experiential learning, course work and community service. In this context, Pro Bono Teaching Clinics can provide suitable learning opportunities for law students. This paper focuses on the benefits of experiential learning in a pro bono teaching clinic with reference to three case studies of successful law teaching clinics established within university law faculties: an established law clinic in Australia; an established law clinic in South Africa; and an emerging law clinic in Chile. It also examines the challenges and considerations inherent in establishing a pro bono teaching clinic within a law school, and suggests solutions for implementing an effective model, thereby enhancing student employability.

Project Aims

Comparative study of graduate employability skills development in Australian, Chilean and South African CLE.
Short titleComparative study: Australia, Chile, South Africa
StatusActive
Effective start/end date12/07/1931/07/20