The Legal Clinic Is More than a Sign on the Door: Transforming Law School Education in Revolutionary Egypt
Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern & Islamic Law, Vol. 5, pp. 39-72 (2012)
33 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2014
Date Written: December 31, 2012
There is little consensus on what the January 25, 2011 Revolution in Egypt stands for, or whether Egyptians are living through the Revolution or in a post-Revolutionary State. Skeptics say that what occurred is the overthrow of an autocratic President, the retention of an Old Guard military and civil service establishment, and the potential for free and fair national elections. They contend, however, that this seminal event in the "Arab Spring" produced no revolutionary leadership and no clear platform or message. Is there a role for law schools in the revolutionary transformation? In this article, the author describes the changes taking place in Egyptian law schools, and how these changes can enhance the objectives of the Revolution. He next defines the critical elements of clinical legal education and the importance of social justice in the clinical model. He then identifies obstacles to making changes in the educational system. Finally, he makes recommendations for building a foundation of innovation, expertise, and institutional support before embarking on the ambitious establishment of a clinical component within the law faculty. After all, the Legal Clinic is more than a room with a sign on the door.
Keywords: Egyptian legal education, legal clinic, law school clinic, interactive teaching, social justice, Egyptian Revolution
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