Book review : "Community engagement in contemporary legal education : Pro Bono, Clinical legal education and services learning"

Tsui, Mabel (2010) Book review : "Community engagement in contemporary legal education : Pro Bono, Clinical legal education and services learning". .


The result of a forum on community engagement held in November 2008 at Bond University, Community Engagement in Contemporary Legal Education is a compilation of papers presented at the forum by academics and professionals throughout Australia. Although found initially to be a topic of legal interest, it was not until the reviewer came across the Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD) “Standards for Australian Law Schools” (adopted 17 November 20093) then the full importance and potential of this book was revealed. Clause 2.2.4 of the CALD Standards recognises the importance of “experiential learning opportunities” for law students and cites examples such as clinical programs, internships, practical experience and pro-bono work. Clause 2.3.3 acknowledges the need to develop professional ethics and again cites pro-bono obligations as an example. Clause 9.6.2 encourages interaction of law schools with the profession and the community and again, pro-bono community service is identified as one method of doing so. Yet nowhere in the document are there any uniform standards or binding obligations that law schools must commit to. In the current climate where the importance of practical experience is continually emphasised and student numbers exceed the number of available paid legal positions, there should be more focus on the details of how these commitments should be converted to be included in a law school’s curriculum.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 32773
Item Type: Review
Refereed: No
Additional Information: submitted to QUT Law Journal for publishing
Keywords: legal education
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > OTHER LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (189900) > Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified (189999)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Mabel Tsui
Deposited On: 18 Jun 2010 00:54
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2010 00:54

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