Adoption and Implementation of Clinical Legal Education Programmes in the Indonesian Legal Education System

Published date01 January 2021
Date01 January 2021
Subject MatterArticles
Adoption and Implementation of
Clinical Legal Education
Programmes in the Indonesian
Legal Education System
Saru Arifin1, Bayangsari Wedhatami1 and
Riska Alkadri1
Legal education in Indonesia has followed a traditional model, focusing on the rote transfer of legal
doctrine. Students are taught legal theories and sources of law but not how to critically apply the
law in concrete real-world scenarios. Consequently, law graduates tend to be unprepared for the
workforce, which is a regular complaint of employers. To overcome this impediment, some law
faculties in Indonesia adopted clinical legal education (CLE) as a ‘new method’ in the legal education
system, whereby students not just learn theory but also gain practical legal experience. This article
analyses the adoption of the model and methods of applying CLE to legal education in Indonesia. This
study uses the doctrinal research method with a qualitative approach. It is found that the adoption
of CLE in Indonesia is diverse; some programmes include it in the core curriculum, while others
make it an extracurricular activity. CLE programmes generally use three of six methods, namely street
law, advocacy and internship. The differences in the three methods of CLE directly influence their
success, exposing participants to interaction with live clients, public speaking and networking. This
article recommends that in order to achieve the optimal implementation of CLE, uniformity of the CLE
adoption model in Indonesia’s legal education curriculum is needed.
The legal education system in Indonesia remains conservative, similar to those of other Asian regions,
especially those that adhere to the legal traditions of civil law systems, including China, Japan and
Korea.2 Some of the sharpest criticisms of the conservatism of legal education in Indonesia have come
from the Dutch Indonesian legal expert Adrian Bedner, who has vociferously expressed concerns that the
Asian Journal of Legal Education
8(1) 52–65, 2021
© 2020 The West Bengal National
University of Juridical Sciences
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/2322005820961208
Corresponding author:
Saru Arif‌in, Faculty of Law, Universitas Negeri Semarang, Campus Sekaran, Building K, Gunungpati, Semarang,
Central Java 50229, Indonesia.
E-mail: saruarif‌
1 Faculty of Law, Universitas Negeri Semarang, Gunungpati, Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia.
2 Setsuo Miyazawa et al., The Reform of Legal Education in East Asia, 4 Annu. Rev. LAw Soc. Sci. 333–60 (2008).

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