This paper provides a critique of a batch of 91 published clinical legal education journal articles systematically selected and analysed. The review was undertaken to identify factors that have been influential in the establishment and sustainability of clinical programmes in different jurisdictions. The review indicated that there were various positive and negative factors influencing the creation and sustainability of clinical programmes. Enabling factors were most frequently related to intervening conditions such as the availability of a healthy financial base upon which a clinical programme was built. Impeding factors were most frequently associated with intervening conditions such as resistance to clinical pedagogy. The systematic review of literature revealed a wealth of knowledge on key aspects to consider while founding a clinical programme. However, there are still critical knowledge gaps requiring our attention. To fill in the knowledge gaps identified through the review, this paper proposes that we consider undertaking empirical research on clinical legal education on a wider scale rather than just limiting our writing on personal experiences. Such an approach would result in writers adopting a more objective stance in narrating the benefits of clinical legal education and in the process help foster more and effective strategies on the creation and sustainability of clinical programmes.