The knowledge, skills and attributes considered necessary to start day one training competently and whether live client clinics develop them

Dunn, Rachel (2017) The knowledge, skills and attributes considered necessary to start day one training competently and whether live client clinics develop them. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

Much research has been done into the knowledge, skills and attributes that are important to legal practice; furthermore, many bodies have released reports on what they would like graduates to start practice with. As a result, clinical legal education has grown in popularity, with the use of live client clinics to educate future lawyers. However, little empirical research has been done into whether they work as educators intend, and develop the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes needed to start practice. This research investigated whether live client clinics develop students and which knowledge, skills and attributes are important to practice. This study used Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory as its conceptual framework, influential to clinical legal education.

The study used the Diamond16, a visual method, as its main data collection tool and semistructured group interviews. Data was collected from a sample of students, tutors and lawyers, in four live client clinics, across three countries and two law firms. This study followed five firms in Northumbria’s SLO throughout the academic year, collecting comparative data from the other participants. Results show the live client clinics can develop certain knowledge, skills and attributes in law students, but we cannot create “practice ready” graduates. Some of the learning in the student law office appeared to be because of their tutor’s influence rather than experience. Lastly, the knowledge, skills and attributes which were perceived to be important to practice are presented, drawing on the distinction between “hard” and “soft” skills. This research produced important results for legal educator wishing to justify the establishment or sustainability of a clinic and for those within policy who are implementing changes to legal education and qualification.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M900 Other in Law
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2018 10:55
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2018 10:16
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36261

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