Clinical Legal Education Handbook

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The Clinical Legal Education Handbook
Edited by Linden Thomas and Nick Johnson

Published: May 2020

Open Access edition free to read online and download from OBserving Law in the School of Advanced Study's Humanities Digital Library

Clinical Legal Education (CLE) is the study of law through real or simulated casework - a learning experience which enables students to participate in practical legal situations, to be involved in the law in action, and reflect on their experiences.

The CLE Handbook edited by Linden Thomas and Nick Johnson is intended to act as a good practice guide and practical resource for those engaged in the design and delivery of clinical legal education programmes at University law schools. It has been written by academic and professional lawyers, clinicians and 3rd party sector partners.  It shares best practices and experience from law schools where the law students gain supervised practical experience in pro bono legal advice centres, assisting the local communities and helping deliver access to justice.

IALS is delighted to be working with the editors and contributing authors on this important OA publication. The CLE Handbook will help all UK University law schools, those operating clinics already and those considering a clinical legal education approach, and will contribute to furthering social justice and public benefit.

The Clinical Legal Education Handbook is due to be published by the IALS Open Book Service for Law at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies with the University of London Press in May 2020.


ISBN 978-1-911507-17-8 (PDF) - Open Access PDF version in the Humanities Digital Library

ISBN 978-1-911507-16-1 (Paperback) - Print on Demand edition - order online £35

Edited by:

  • Linden Thomas - Senior Lecturer and the supervising solicitor for the pro bono programmes at The University of Birmingham Law School. She also manages the School’s Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research and is a trustee of the Clinical Legal Education Organisation.  Her research focuses on clinical legal education, pro bono and regulation.
  • Nick Johnson - Senior Lecturer, School of Law, Programme Leader LLM Legal Practice, Faculty of Business and Law,  De Montfort University, Leicester. He was previously Director of Nottingham Law School’s Legal Advice Centre and a trustee of the Clinical Legal Education Organisation. He also sits as a tribunal judge in the First-tier Tribunal Social Entitlement Chamber.

With a team of specialist contributors


by Linden Thomas

Part One: Law Clinics: What, Why and How?
by Lydia Bleasdale, Beverley Rizotto, Rachel Stalker, Lucy Yeatman, Francine Ryan, Hugh McFaul, Nick Johnson and Linden Thomas

Part Two: Regulation and Compliance
by Linden Thomas, Nick Johnson, LawWorks, Lee Hansen, Christopher Simmonds, Tony Martin, Victoria Roper, Rachel Dunn and Vinny Kennedy,  Frances Ridout, A. Thanaraj and M. Sales, Vivien Cochrane and Will Hayes.

Part Three: Assessment in Clinic: Principles, Practice and Progress
by Richard Grimes and Beverley Rizotto

Part Four: Research on Clinical Legal Education: Unpacking the Evidence
by Tribe Mkwebu

Part Five: Precedents and Resources

Part Six: Glossary of Clinical Legal Education Networks

Part Seven: Postscript - "Things I wish I'd known before I started doing Clinical Legal Education"
John Fitzpatrick, Richard Grimes, Jane Krishnadas, Donald Nicholson, Julie Price

The Regulation of Solicitors and University Law Clinics by Linden Thomas
CEPLER Working Paper Series
Professional Legal Education and Research, Birmingham Law School

This working paper is a chapter from the forthcoming ‘Clinical Legal Education Handbook’. The paper outlines the impact that the changes to the regulation of solicitors, which are due to come into force with the introduction of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019, may have on solicitors working and volunteering in university legal advice clinics.

Page last updated: 16th September 2022