Law Society president praises law clinics as manual launches

President of the Law Society, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff has commended legal education clinics at the launch of a drop-in clinic manual by London South Bank University (LSBU), saying that clinics make students life-long champions for access to justice.

The Drop-in Clinic Operational Manual is free for higher education institutions aiming to set up their own clinical law educational projects. It demonstrates how to establish and manage a face-to-face, drop-in legal advice service and provides an alternative to the established ‘letters of advice’ model. It gives readers all key forms and policies needed when setting up a clinical legal education project.

The manual was officially launched on Friday 15 February at LSBU’s Clinical Legal Education – Form and Funding conference. Speaking at the conference, Scott-Moncrieff said: “There are two great virtues of clinical legal education: it teaches you how to be a lawyer and it teaches you about the realities of access to justice and its importance to the rule of law.”

“The other virtue of clinical legal education is that you will learn about the importance of access to justice in upholding the rule of law. If you have not already been radicalised in this way, your experience in clinic will radicalise you and make you a life-long champion for justice and access to it for all.”

Sara Chandler, visiting professor in Clinical Legal Education at LSBU, said: “The legal profession expects that universities will enable their graduates to have several competences in their portfolios before they enter the job market. Clinics provide that essential experience for law students.”

LSBU’s Legal Advice Clinic opened in 2011. It gives law students the chance to provide the public with free, immediate, face-to-face legal advice, under the guidance of practising solicitors.

Read Lawyer2B’s guide on how to establish and run your own drop-in clinic (23 May 2012).

The LSBU Drop-In Clinic Operational Manual can be found here.