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Do law clinics help to create progressive lawyers for the future?

Nicolson, Donald (2011) Do law clinics help to create progressive lawyers for the future? Socialist Lawyer, 2011 (59).

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Abstract

Academics on the left have an important role in the fight for social justice. Most obviously their research and writing can expose injustices in law’s content and problems regarding access to justice, as well as make suggestions for reform. They may even join and advise political organisations mounting reform campaigns. Less obviously, but equally importantly, academics can help inspire new generations of lawyers to devote their skills and knowledge to redressing injustice. Unfortunately, the dominance of the careers market by the large law firms and cuts to Government funding of law centres and civil legal aid means that there are only limited opportunities for graduates to pursue careers orientated towards making changes to law and society such as through public interest litigation or helping those most in need of legal services. Consequently, many progressive lawyers of the future might have to make do with campaigning or providing pro bono assistance in their spare time.