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Abstract from

Law Clinics and the Promotion of Public Interest Lawyering

Irene Styles is Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology at Murdoch University and
Archie Zariski is Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at Murdoch University.

There is good reason to believe that law school clinics can play a significant role in producing graduates who will engage in public interest activities as practising lawyers. This is due to the high impact legal education overall has on law students' values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviour together with the unique features of clinical legal experience. This article reports on the results of a study of the impact of clinical legal education on law students at one university. The clinical experience on law students' attitudes and motivations related to public interest lawyering, defined to include law reform activity and participating in legal aid and pro bono legal work. The students were surveyed by written questionnaire and the results analysed. Some significant differences were noted amongst the student groups' perspectives on law and attitudes towards legal practice. Clinical legal education students appeared to be more sensitive to social justice issues including access to justice, and more interested in offering pro bono legal services

Comment: Efficacy Beyond Reasonable Doubt?
Adrian Evans
Comment: Law School Clinics Plus
Les McCrimmon

(2001) 19 Law in Context 65
Keywords: Lawyering

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