State of the Nation: 10 Years of Entrepreneurial Law Clinic Supervision in the United Kingdom


  • Elaine Gregersen Northumbria University School of Law



In July 2012, I delivered my first conference paper at the International Journal of Clinical Legal Education Conference: ‘Taking care of business: a new clinician’s experience of supervising and developing commercial case work.’ The audience was sparse. When the chair asked for questions, the room echoed in silence. A few years later, I was called a ‘danger’ to clinical legal education because my students provided free advice to entrepreneurs. The service was criticised as being at odds with the social justice mission of clinical legal education. I remember it being a lonely time. Only a handful of UK entrepreneurial law clinics existed, and we received little attention in research literature.

A decade on, I am still taking care of the Business and Commercial Law Clinic at Northumbria Law School. Much has changed. We have seen the rapid development of commercially focused law clinics across the UK, with a diverse range of approaches.

In this article I will make a major contribution to our understanding of the state of the nation for entrepreneurial law clinics in the United Kingdom today. Using elements of narrative inquiry and autobiographical writing, I will (a) reflect on my journey as one of the first UK entrepreneurial law clinic supervisors, (b) report on the increasing number and models of law clinics offering advice to businesses, and (c) argue for the further development of research in this distinctive and flourishing area of clinical practice.

Author Biography

Elaine Gregersen, Northumbria University School of Law

Associate Professor, Northumbria Law School