Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal/Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad

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Clinical legal education models: Recommended assessment regimes

MA du Plessis


Clinical legal education (CLE) forms part of the LLB curriculum at most South African Universities. There are many similarities in the approach to CLE, but often also many differences. The clinical models of four South African university law clinics are reviewed in an effort to find suitable models. It is indicated that formulating a mission for the law clinic will have a direct impact on the clinical model chosen. The integration of CLE courses into the core curriculum of the law school will reveal CLE's value as a teaching methodology. Pedagogic aims can be set and achieved as CLE has intellectual worth in that it enables students to better understand concepts and principles of law and the application thereof in practice. It is therefore recommended that CLE courses be mandatory. The pedagogy of CLE is comprised of three basic components, namely clinical experience, tutorial sessions, and classroom instruction. The extent to which these three components find application in the four South African university law clinics under review is indicated. The principles of assessment are stated. Assessment methods appropriate for application in CLE courses, as indicated in a comprehensive study of the topic,1 are discussed as to their applicability to CLE courses in the South African environment.

Keywords: CLE; clinical legal education; curriculum; assessment; law clinic; CLE model; clinic mission; CLE pedagogy
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