The common missions of ADR and clinical legal education provide a solid foundation for teaching ADR in clinic

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Over recent years, ADR has become an integral part of Australian legal practice. This, along with a number of other forces, has led to a recognition that ADR needs to be taught in law schools. In this paper I explore whether it follows that ADR should be taught in clinical legal education (CLE). I report the findings from my PhD research addressing the question of the role of ADR in CLE. Drawing upon interviews with clinicians and course directors, I begin by considering whether ADR ‘fits’ within CLE, and if so, on what basis. Clinicians viewed the “mission” of CLE as having a dual focus: the pursuit of social justice and developing students’ skills for legal practice. I show that participants viewed the goals of CLE as being implicitly connected to ADR, aligning with a common goal (furthering access to justice). I argue that clinicians viewed ADR as a valuable component of CLE, enhancing student awareness of social justice and the various options for dispute resolution. I argue that the close association between the “missions” of CLE and ADR, enhanced by their relationships with CLCs and legal aid programs, provides a solid foundation for the teaching of ADR in CLE.

Original languageEnglish
TypeBlog post
Media of outputThe Australian Dispute Resolution Research Network
PublisherAustralian Dispute Resolution Research Network
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2019

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