'Johnny's in the Basement/Mixing up his Medicine': Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Clinical Teaching
Keri K. Gould
St. John's University - School of Law
Michael L. Perlin
New York Law School
Seattle University Law Review, Vol. 24, Pp. 339-371, 2000
Clinical legal education is both more exhilarating and more stressful than "traditional" legal education. It forces students to confront their pre-existing assumptions about the practice of law and the representation of clients (frequently, indigent and marginalized individuals), and it similarly forces them to integrate new doctrine, theory, and practice in a very different way than "regular" law classes demand.
Therapeutic jurisprudence considers the role of the law as a therapeutic agent, and examines all aspects of the legal system in an effort to determine whether it is operating therapeutically or anti-therapeutically, and suggests that legal decision-makers consider the potential impact that legal judgments may have on individuals' well-being.
Therapeutic jurisprudence has several applications to clinical teaching: It (1) improves the teaching of skills, (2) gives clinical teachers a better understanding of the dynamics of clinical relationships, (3) investigates ethical concerns and the effect on lawyering roles, and (4) invigorates the way teachers and students question accepted legal practice.
Date posted: June 14, 2001