Workshop: Re-imagining Clinical Legal Education

Birmingham Law School, Moot Room, Senior Common Room
Monday 30 March 2015 (10:00-16:00)

Lesley Griffiths:

Photo of the University Crest

Clinical Legal Education enables students to experience the law in action and offers an alternative learning experience to the traditional lecture/seminar method. CLE is becoming a popular component in the offerings of University law schools across the UK. In some, it is credit-bearing; in others it is an extra-curricular activity; some schemes focus on social welfare law, whilst others are commercially-oriented; and some are run in conjunction with third sector organisations, whilst others are supported by private sector law firms.

The legal market continues to undergo radical changes: in an age of austerity, the number of training contracts has fallen and we have seen many law firms merge, be taken over and, in some instances, go into administration. The Solicitors Regulation Authority's ongoing consultation on the future of legal education may result in profound changes to the way future lawyers qualify and the competencies expected of them, and cuts to legal aid have left thousands of British citizens without recourse to funded legal advice, causing a significant increase in the number of litigants in person navigating their way through our court system.

It is also a time of change for universities: students are paying more for their education and demand more in return for their investment; collaborations with the third sector and with industry are seen as highly desirable; and academics are required to show the impact of their research.

At this one-day workshop CEPLER will be asking: in the light of these developments, is it time to re-imagine clinical legal education?

The event aims to consider:

  • Is CLE responding to the changing legal market and Higher Education sector? Should it do so?
  • What are the opportunities for pro bono clinics in the current market?
  • Should Law Schools be filling the gap left by cuts to Legal Aid?
  • How can CLE help to prepare students for qualification in the modern legal market?
  • How can CLE complement the more traditional styles of teaching?
  • To what extent can CLE incorporate legal theory as well as legal practice?

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Richard Grimes, University of York
  • Jason Tucker, University of Cardiff Law School
  • Tony King, Clifford Chance
  • Professor John Fitzpatrick, University of Kent
  • Dr Elaine Hall and Cath Sylvester, Northumbria University
  • Rachel Knowles, UCL
  • Dr Jane Krishnadas, University of Keele
  • Chris King, Birmingham City University, and David Jones, Sandwell Citizens Advice Bureaux
  • Meredith Daniel and Georgina Staples, LLM Student, York University

Lunch and refreshments are provided.

To book your place, please contact Lesley Griffiths at

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities