Modelling Employability Through Clinical Legal Education: Building Confidence and Professional Identity

Jill Alexander*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

As the graduate recruitment market becomes increasingly competitive, gaining insight into the types of activity valued by students and employers to enhance employability is crucial to shape the employability agenda. This article reports on the findings of an innovative empirical study, designed to answer the research question, “What are the perceptions of alumni and employers of the impact of clinical legal education (CLE) on employability?”. This research makes an original and significant contribution to knowledge and academic practice from its novel conclusions and through capturing and articulating stakeholder voices that are underrepresented in the literature, namely alumni from less privileged backgrounds studying at a post-1992 university and employers who recruit and employ graduates with CLE experiences. From analysis of 22 semi-structured interviews, the data revealed that the alumni lacked confidence prior to engaging with CLE and evidenced for the first time that CLE enhanced employability by increasing confidence and inculcating a professional identity. This article makes recommendations and reveals a bespoke employability model to be used with CLE students to instruct them on the impact of CLE on employability. The model can be used to enrich the student experience through clear signposting of the benefits and purpose of CLE from an employability perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalThe Law Teacher
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2023

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