Reflective student practitioner: an example integrating clinical experience into the curriculum

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Abstract

This project began in 2004 and involves LLB students training (in year two) and then acting as Citizens Advice Bureau (‘CAB’) advisers for 120 hours (in year three). We have been able to incorporate this work into the existing course structure fully in third year (40 credit ‘Reflective Student Practitioner’ unit) and partially in second year (as part of a 10 credit Careers and Research Management unit), so that students undertake a substantial proportion of this work for credit. This has been possible by creating a parallel and alternative route to the existing 40 credit Legal Dissertation. Assessment in third year is by way of a 3000 word legal essay (based on a legal topic raised in client interviews); a 3000 word reflective analysis of their experience, a journal and three letters that they have drafted in their CAB work. This is produced through one-to-one supervision – in much the same way as one would supervise a dissertation. Our aims in this project were to give students the opportunity to learn skills which would be of benefit in their professional lives, improve their employability and allow them to become more engaged in their local community. Portsmouth CAB was in need of more advisers and was interested in recruiting younger volunteers to establish a broader mix of advisers. The guarantee of 120 hours was a valuable commitment to them. I would propose to offer an explanation of how we manage our relationship with Portsmouth CAB and how we share responsibilities between us (for example, in training and 2 recruitment). I would also seek to evaluate what has worked well and what has been problematic in working with CAB.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal for Clinical Legal Education
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

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