Clinical legal education is an innovative approach to legal training, which seeks to complement the theoretical training law students receive in the classroom with practical, hands-on experience in real world placements and clinics in return for academic credit.
Clinical legal education was born in the United States with a focus on social justice. It was designed to provide pro bono assistance to those most in need and serve the wider needs of the community, while fostering a greater sense of professional ethics and responsibility in the next generation of lawyers.
PILA truly believes in the indispensable role that law students play as drivers of long-term and sustainable change in legal culture. For this reason, we work to ensure clinical legal education in Ireland develops with the public interest at its heart. PILA was instrumental in establishing the Irish Clinical Legal Education Association, which brings together all the major third level institutions seeking to develop a more supportive environment for clinical legal education in Ireland.
In 2015, PILA commissioned a report 'Clinical Legal Education in Ireland: Progress and Potential'. The report takes a comprehensive look at the existing clinical legal education programmes in Ireland and outlines a number of recommendations for the future development of clinical legal education in Ireland.