Two students from the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic recently accompanied Clinic Director, Professor Donald Nicolson, to a one day conference at London South Bank University. Discussions centred around two broad themes: methods of supervision in Law Clinics, and the reasons students volunteer for pro bono work.
Reflecting on the experience, students Thomas Jamieson and John Stringer remarked:
When we journeyed to London for the Clinical Legal Education Conference on Quality & Supervision we were not sure what to expect. It did not take us long to establish that the law clinics/pro bono organisations present all shared a commitment to providing access to justice to their communities. What was striking, however, was the diversity of models and approaches used by various organisations to achieve this goal and the extent to which this – rather than student education – is seen as the overriding goal of law clinics. Although all clinics work broadly under the same banner, no two clinics were the same and there was no consensus as to how students should be recognised for their efforts. The differences in approach are fascinating and it is beneficial to have opportunities like this conference to showcase our own approach and learn from others.
We had a fantastic time meeting our fellow student advisors from across the UK and indeed Europe. We were intrigued by the (often wildly) different models of approach to providing access the justice. All delegates left London South Bank University hoping to build on the relationships made and with a desire to keep their own clinic working collaboratively and closely for the benefit of their community.
For a full report on the range of topics discussed, you can read the students’ report here.