Students on this module must become members of the Kent Law Clinic, and work on 'live' cases for clients of the Clinic under the supervision of solicitors, or other experienced legal practitioners working alongside them. All Supervisors are members of the academic staff at Kent Law School. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of specific areas of English law and procedure, and some specific skills. Students are encouraged to view their clinical work as a means to an end – not just the acquisition of important legal skills but primarily a better understanding and critical analysis of law and of legal practice. The excellent opportunity which clinical work provides for active learning, and for studying the interface between theory and practice, is placed firmly in this context.
Students are expected to undertake from the second week of Autumn term onwards until the end of the Spring term, under supervision, legal work in two areas of law of relevance to the objects of the Clinic. Students will normally work on cases rather than projects. A Supervisor will decide whether a student has undertaken sufficient substantial work for the purposes of this module. Students are required to carry out this work to the high professional standards expected of paralegal staff employed by solicitors.
In addition, students must carry out, also under supervision, the usual tasks associated with the conduct of legal casework such as case and file management, statement and précis drafting, legal research, interviewing, legal drafting, corresponding, negotiating, advocating, instructing counsel; and orally (or in briefing notes) presenting, explaining and discussing cases and projects (especially with Supervisors and in Clinic Seminars and Meetings).
Students will read and where relevant apply the Law Clinic's Case Management Guidelines. The first purpose of these Guidelines is to facilitate the proper conduct of clients’ cases and of projects. Students will maintain a Student Folder, which will contain all drafts and research papers used by the student in respect of all casework or projects undertaken by that student. These are papers of primary relevance to the student but not the client. They will help to evidence the preparatory and research work undertaken by students, which may not be signalled in the Client Files.
Total study hours: 300
Contact hours: 60
Private study hours: 240
All undergraduate Law programmes.
Method of assessment
Main assessment methods
100% coursework, as follows:
a) Conduct of Clinical work (i.e. assessment of the conduct of case or project work undertaken by students under supervision in the Law Clinic (50%)*
b) Critical reflection, linked to clinical work undertaken, 1500 words (20%)
c) Dissertation, 4500 words (30%)
* A mark of 40% or more is required in the 'Conduct of Clinical Work' element in order to pass the module overall.
* Exceptionally, for a variety of reasons, as an alternative to all or part of the requirement to undertake casework a student may be required to work in the Clinic on a project on a topic of relevance to the objects of the Clinic but not on behalf of a client. At the discretion of the Convenor, a student may choose to undertake such a project.
• BRAYNE H., DUNCAN N. and GRIMES R., (1998) Clinical Legal Education: Active Learning in your law school. Blackstone Press.
• 'Clinical Legal Education', The Law Teacher (The International Journal of Legal Education) 1996 Volume 30 Number 3 (Special Issue).
• GRANFIELD R. & MATHER L. (eds.) (2009) Private Lawyers and the Public Interest: The Evolving Role of Pro Bono in the Legal Profession. OUP USA.
• KERRIGAN K. & MURRAY V., (eds.) (2011) A Student Guide to Clinical Legal Education and Pro Bono. Palgrave Macmillan.
• QUIGLEY W.P. 'Introduction to Clinical Teaching For the New Clinical Law Professor: A view from the first floor'. Akron Law Review, Spring 1995, Vol 28:3, p.463.
• SRA Handbook (Solicitors Regulation Authority) [updated online] http://www.sra.org.uk/handbook
• WEINSTEIN I., ‘Teaching reflective lawyering in a small case litigation clinic: a love letter to my clinic’.13 Clinical L. Rev. Vol. 13:573 2006-2007
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1.Demonstrate detailed and coherent knowledge of substantive law, procedure and practice in one or more fields of social welfare or public law;
2.Demonstrate the ability to analyse complex and changing situations of dispute, identifying appropriate legal and other resolution strategies and evaluating relevant ethical issues;
3.Critically reflect upon the operation of the law in practice, drawing upon legal practice, wide reading and original research;
4.Demonstrate specific legal skills such as: legal research, interviewing, negotiating, legal drafting, advocacy, presentation, case-management, and the ability to undertake appropriate further training of a legal professional nature.
The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1.Critically analyse complex situations, gaining an overview of the different aspects of a specific problem and identifying the issues which need further research;
2.Demonstrate and test hypotheses and strategies appropriate to unstructured and changing situations of fact, assessing relative probabilities, and relating the situation to wider contexts;
3.Present an argument or a hypothesis in a clear way, setting out reasoned conclusions, elucidating and deploying abstract concepts, testing current scholarship and developing an original perspective;
4.Demonstrate general skills such as: time-management, lobbying, collaborative working; the research ability to retrieve up-to-date information from a range of sources, to use the English language with care and accuracy, learning from practical experience, the ability to take the initiative and act independently in the planning and execution of tasks, the ability take responsibility for the conduct of serious problems on behalf of others, to organise and present work with an appropriate structure, and with good footnoting, bibliographic, citation and reference systems.
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