10 lessons for new clinicians

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Abstract

The paper will focus on the experiences and expectations of two new clinicians in their first year in legal clinic. They will draw on their own training experiences compared to the training the students receive in clinic. The paper will take the format of 10 (or maybe more!) lessons for new clinicians. A sneak preview of some of the lessons includes “How to deal with a hopeless student – its not private practice so you cannot sack them so what can you do?” and “Patience!– don’t forget that they are not trainee solicitors with full time exposure to cases like with training contracts”. The paper is intended to be light hearted yet thought provoking view of clinical practice. We hope that from this paper you will be able to reflect on your own practice as they have reflected upon their own experiences as some of the themes drawn from the paper will be common within the discipline. New clinicians will be able to learn from their experiences and also their mistakes. This paper is presented by 2 solicitors with very different experiences who moved into education in September 2007 direct from private practice. Angela Macfarlane’s qualification as solicitor was by BA honours degree, post graduate diploma in law (common professional examination -CPE), post graduate diploma in legal practice (LPC) and finally a law society training contract in private practice. For the 2 years prior to joining Northumbria University as a Senior Lecturer she was engaged in commercial and employment work, primarily acting for business clients. Prior to this her experience was with police work and crime, either representing police officers accused of criminal offences, or suing the police for civil “crimes”. Paul McKeown’s qualification was by LLB Honours (Dunhelm), post graduate diploma in legal practice (LPC) and finally a Law Society training contract. Prior to joining Northumbria University he was engaged exclusively in publicly funded work, primarily in the areas of Housing and Employment law. Paul is now employed as a Solicitor/Tutor in Northumbria’s Student Law Office.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-70
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Legal Education
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

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