“We don’t need no thought control” What is the intent and impact of teaching values in clinical legal education?

Mckeown, Paul (2019) “We don’t need no thought control” What is the intent and impact of teaching values in clinical legal education? Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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A traditional legal education in England and Wales has seen the separation of theory and practice. Undergraduate law students did not study ethics nor did they consider the relationship between the law and wider society. However, recent years have seen the integration of practice within many undergraduate degree programmes, often through clinical legal education programmes. There has also been recognition that law graduates should understand their ethical obligations and the impact of law on society. Reforms to legal education, most notably the forthcoming implementation of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam, mean that universities may take a more liberal approach to the curriculum and are encouraged to innovate in their teaching.

The history of clinical legal education has shown two streams of intent; ‘social justice’ including the provision of legal services to the indigent and the inculcation of social justice values in law students and ‘education’ of knowledge and skills. This thesis commentary, together with the supporting publications, considers what is, or should be, the intent of clinical legal education. Further, this thesis commentary critically examines the evidence of the impact of clinical legal education upon law students.

This thesis commentary will conclude by proposing a re-imagining of clinical legal education, namely an intent to educate students in not only substantive legal knowledge and skills but also to critically examine the law in society. Drawing upon educational theory, the thesis commentary will propose how clinical legal education programmes can be designed to enhance reflective practice and allow students critically evaluate their own intrinsic values and beliefs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ecological Systems Theory, Professional ethics, Social justice, Lawyer identity, Student motivation
Subjects: M100 Law by area
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2020 08:13
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 12:03
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/43950

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