Clinical Legal Education in the Law University: Goals and Challenges
International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, pp. 27-50, July 2007
25 Pages Posted: 16 May 2008 Last revised: 21 May 2015
Date Written: 2008
Clinical legal education in India is intended to produce lawyers who are productive members of the community and who implement creative strategies for addressing social justice issues in the country. The approach links responsibility for India’s underserved with goals for clinical legal education that dates back to collaboration with American academics in the 1960s. Despite the international support for and stated commitment to clinical programs, Indian law schools have not seriously considered the establishment of clinical legal education. Instead, they have focused on preparing students to support the global market. In 1997, the Bar council of India required the incorporation clinical training in law school curricula. In light of the possibilities suggested by these trainings, this article looks at how the goals may effectively be pursued in the new, elite law universities. Should developing the analytical and practical competencies needed for addressing India’s critical issues of poverty and access to justice indeed be a priority for the law universities? If so, how should it be achieved? Professor Barry begins by discussing clinical legal education and why it is a critical aspect of a lawyer’s professional training. She draws on assessments made of U.S. law schools that are similar to those that the various committees and commissions have made in India. The assessments conclude that law schools should more effectively connect the substantive education they provide to professional practice, and that this connection should include a firm understanding of and commitment to responding effectively to the needs of underserved members of the community. This article is intended to explore steps towards implementing the goals for legal education that have been expressed over the years and that could yield significant contributions to India’s future.
Keywords: Clinical programs, India, India's clinical program, developing clinical program
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