Role of Clinical Legal Education in Social Justice in Nigeria

Date01 January 2018
Published date01 January 2018
Subject MatterEssay
Role of Clinical Legal Education
in Social Justice in Nigeria
Olanike S. Adelakun-Odewale1
Very few faculties of law in Nigerian universities that offer law programme have established law clinics
that offer live-client services to the public as part of their legal education training. Across the border,
clinical legal education is gaining more popularity by the day as a tool to imbibe the necessary skills
in students to become sound legal practitioners. This article assesses the impact of law clinics on the
skills of law students to enable them handle effectively the demands of the legal profession. The article
analyses the correlation between law clinics that provide services to live clients and the skills acquired
vis-à-vis the performance of student clinicians. The article recommends the need to integrate live-client
law clinics into the mainstream legal education system in Nigeria.
Legal education in the Global South is characterized by innovation, resistance and conformity in that
legal education reflects the demands of democracy, cultural and social identity as well as globalization
effects.2 The trend across the globe has shifted from traditional legal education to legal education for
justice education which is inspired by justice education campaigns.3 The International Association of
Law Schools has emphasized the need to produce lawyers who will be advocates of justice as well as law
experts who will be advocates of public good.4 In this light, the need to solve social problems has led to
the adoption of ‘on-the-field’ training by many law schools across the world, and Africa is not left out in
this trend. Nigerian law faculties have taken up the challenge of training law students to be advocates for
social justice, hence campaign for inclusion of clinical legal education in the curriculum in Nigeria.
1 American University of Nigeria, Lamido Zubairu Way, Nigeria.
2 Shashikal Gurpur & Rupal Rautdesai, Revisiting Legal Education for Human Development: Best Practices in South Asia, 157
Procedia Soc. Behav. Sci. 254, 255 (2014).
3 Deborah L. Rhode, Access to Justice: An Agenda for Legal Education and Research, conSortium on acceSS to JuStice (2013), (last visited Jan. 15, 2017).
4 IalS, The Role of Law Schools and Law School Leadership in a Changing World (2009),
schools-and-law-school-leadership-in-a-changing-world/ (last visited Mar. 16, 2017).
Asian Journal of Legal Education
5(1) 88–98
© 2017 The West Bengal National
University of Juridical Sciences
SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/2322005817730148
Corresponding author:
Olanike S. Adelakun-Odewale, American University of Nigeria, Lamido Zubairu Way, Nigeria.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT