The impact of Pro Bono law clinics on employability and work readiness in law students

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Abstract

The benefits of involving law students in practical learning exercises and clinical experience have been well documented. Undeniably the implementation of law clinics in university law schools has significant advantages for students, including practice-based learning, general skills improvement and preparation for the workplace. It has become more important than ever to prepare law students for practice, and employability initiatives have become the focus of many law schools. One of the ways in which student employability can be boosted is through a pro bono law clinic. Not only do law students entering the competitive work environment benefit significantly from practical work experience gained during the course of their law degree, but there is evidence that it could also increase self-confidence, practical knowledge and, consequently, employability in students. However, there has been little empirical research interrogating the connection between graduate skills development and clinical experience. This article continues the discourse on the link between graduate employability skills and law clinics. It focuses, first, on the benefits of pro bono law clinics for students in the context of work readiness; second, it examines the results of a survey administered to law students pre- and post- law clinic training within the theoretic grounding of the Graduate Employability Indicators prepared by Oliver et al. (2011); and in conclusion, it considers the future implications for law schools and the need for further research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-172
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Legal Education
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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