Regulating Clinic: Do UK Clinics Need to Become Alternative Business Structures Under the Legal Services Act 2007?
AbstractIn clinical legal education circles we tend to focus on the pedagogical aspects of our work. We enjoy lively debate on topics such as assessment, skills, ethics, student self-efficacy, the role of reflection and balancing the needs of the student with the needs of the client. Rarely do we speak or write about the legal framework regulating the work that occurs in clinics. However, the regulatory landscape is changing, and rapidly.The Legal Services Act 2007 allows organisations that are owned or managed by non-lawyers to provide regulated legal services. It permits and encourages new entrants to the legal services market in England and Wales. It was heralded as ushering in important new opportunities for solicitors to team up with non-lawyers and to attract capital for their businesses in a carefully regulated environment. At first glance, there did not appear to be anything within the framework which affected law school clinics. On closer inspection, this is sadly not the case.The aim of this paper is to increase the level of awareness within the clinical legal education community, in England and Wales in particular, of the effects of the Legal Services Act 2007 on clinical activity. It will explore the background to the introduction of alternative business structures and compare the approach which Australia has taken. It will also look to the future and discuss potential problems and solutions.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).