An Overview of Australian Clinical Legal Education in Pandemic Times: Possible impacts on the Development of Graduate Employability Skills

Francina Cantatore, Kana Nakano

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Abstract

As clinical legal education (CLE) is intrinsically a practice-based learning experience for law students, the COVID-19 pandemic has in many respects challenged traditional models of CLE. It has directly affected clinicians and clinical legal educators’ ability to provide students with the same learning experience as had been offered to their peers in prior semesters. These challenges have required educators to think creatively and laterally about ways in which to sustain and enhance the student experience in CLE during pandemic times. Whilst many existing face-to-face interaction opportunities were lost, at least temporarily, other opportunities for learning emerged as a more technology-centred approach was embraced in teaching practices. This paper examines the short-term and projected longer-term effects of the pandemic on the development of law graduate employability skills in CLE. It considers the ways in which COVID-19 challenges have been addressed by tertiary institutions in Australia and envisages the emergence of new opportunities to prepare students for legal practice in the future, even reimagining traditional CLE models by embracing technology in future offerings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53–71
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Journal of Clinical Education
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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