Clinical Legal Education Program
Clinical Legal Education Programs give advanced law students the chance to work in community legal services and receive credit toward their degree.
The program aims to help students become better lawyers by involving them in the whole process of providing legal advice to real clients.
Students spend one day per week at a law school legal clinic or other legal service and are supervised in their work by fully qualified solicitors. The students are expected to manage their own files, meet with their own clients, research the law and provide recommendations on course of action to their supervisors.
More than 25 Law schools in Australia offer Clinical Legal Education programs. Legal services are very costly, and most Law School programs focus on helping people with legal problems who cannot get legal aid or afford a lawyer. The ALOS model of legal service bolsters access to justice by providing greater access to qualified legal advice that a single solicitor could provide alone.
As well as the ‘on the job' training, students are also fortnightly class based seminars on how to be a better lawyer. The seminar program adds to the student's experiences on placement through the examining of issues such as lawyer/client relationships, legal ethics, professionals and the profession, justice access and the role of the legal system society.
CLE is a great way for students to gain insight into what it takes to be a lawyer and how a law firm or legal service runs. It is an invaluable experience that all students interested in practicing law and making a real contribution in the community should undertake.