Joint initiatives: Using a pro bono teaching clinic to prepare law students for legal practice and promote community service

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Abstract

Law students face a number of challenges whenentering the legal profession. There is often adisconnect between the theory they are taughtin law courses and the realities of legal practicethey are faced with when stepping into the ‘realworld’. At some universities, this discrepancy ispartly addressed by legal skills programs, butthere is still a significant leap to make from‘student’ to ‘early career lawyer’. The legalprofession can greatly enhance studentemployability by supporting pro bono clinicinitiatives in universities. Such pro bonoactivities can effectively engage legal practitioners and universities in a joint effort to assist the local community and provide students with service learning opportunities. This paper contends that not only is clinical experience an invaluable asset to students to enhance learning and to prepare them for practice, but also that a pro bono teaching clinic has the added benefit of developing a sense of social responsibility in students. It focuses on the benefits of service learning in a pro bono teaching clinic with reference to a case study of a successful commercial law teaching clinic established within a university law faculty. It also examines the challenges and considerations inherent in establishing such a clinic within a law school,and suggests solutions for implementing an effective pro bono teaching clinic, thereby enhancing student employability and community engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventLaw and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference 2015: Inside Out - Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 30 Nov 20153 Dec 2015
http://www.aomevents.com/LSAANZ2015

Conference

ConferenceLaw and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleLSAANZ 2015
CountryAustralia
CityAdelaide
Period30/11/153/12/15
Internet address

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    Cantatore, F. (2015). Joint initiatives: Using a pro bono teaching clinic to prepare law students for legal practice and promote community service. Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference 2015, Adelaide, Australia.