Undergrads miss out on pro bono opportunities

UK law schools have been slammed for failing to provide students with enough pro bono opportunities while they are studying

According to Professor Richard Grimes, director of pro bono services and clinical legal education at the College of Law, universities need

to shed their conservative inhibitions and give law students the chance to try out real life lawyering before they graduate.

&#34Some law schools think it is best to leave clinical work till the apprenticeship stage, but that&#39s terribly late in the day, because by then they&#39ll be under pressure to turn over work for their firm,&#34 said Grimes.

Resource shortages and the fact that pro bono work has been &#34tainted as a skill&#34 are other reasons why law schools are reluctant to embrace clinical work into their degrees, according to Grimes.

Grimes has called on the Law Society and the Bar Council, as well as law teachers&#39 associations, to endorse the value of pro bono work as a valuable teaching aid.

&#34College of Law students who&#39ve tried clinical work say it&#39s the best thing they&#39ve ever done in their legal studies, and that it has changed the way they look at the world,&#34 explained Grimes. &#34Students are voting with their feet, and many of them come to us because of the pro bono work that we do.&#34