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LSBU launches free law drop-in clinic manual for universities

London South Bank University (LSBU) has published the free 'Drop-In Clinic Operational Manual', a teaching and learning resource for higher education institutions looking to run clinical legal education projects.
17 July 2013

Since LSBU's Legal Advice Clinic opened in 2011, it has been at the forefront of clinical legal education. The clinic provides a valuable service to the community, while giving LSBU law student volunteers the opportunity to gain invaluable practical experience through providing free, on-the-spot, face-to-face legal advice to the general public, under the supervision of practising solicitors.

The purpose of the manual is to provide an alternative model of clinical legal education to the 'letters of advice' model and to explain how to set up and manage a face-to-face, drop-in legal advice service within a university setting. The manual provides all the key forms and policies needed to set up a clinical legal education project and provides practical advice about how to cope with any potential issues.

Sara Chandler, Visiting Professor in Clinical Legal Education at LSBU, said: "The legal profession expects that universities will enable their graduates to have several competences in their portfolios before they enter the job market. Clinics provide that essential experience for law students."

"We hope our manual will be a useful and time-saving resource that can be copied and adapted for different clinical projects."

The manual was launched at the 'Clinical Legal Education - Form and Funding' conference, which was held at LSBU on Friday 15 February. The conference, which formed part of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Social Sciences Seminar Series, brought together legal academics, practitioners, funders and students to discuss the structure and content of clinical legal education.

Attended by over 100 delegates, including the Law Society's Commonwealth Fellows, the event featured 18 speakers, including Law Society President Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, Director of the Law Centres Network Julie Bishop, and Director of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group Carol Storer.

Dr John Russell, Deputy Director of the LSBU Legal Advice Clinic, said: "The conference demonstrated a wide range of how to approach, fund and think about clinical legal education, underpinned by a strong emphasis on the importance of pedagogic content and reflection. Delegates seemed very inspired by what they heard."

Addressing the delegates at the conference, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, President of the Law Society, commended clinical legal education: "There are two great virtues of clinical legal education: it teaches you how to be a lawyer and it teaches you about the realities of access to justice and its importance to the rule of law."

"The other virtue of clinical legal education is that you will learn about the importance of access to justice in upholding the rule of law. If you have not already been radicalised in this way, your experience in clinic will radicalise you and make you a life-long champion for justice and access to it for all."

For more information about LSBU's Law courses, including its LLM's, use our Course Finder.

More information about the LSBU Legal Advice Clinic.

Drop-In Clinic Operational Manual (PDF File 912 KB)