Educating future practitioners through an Interdisciplinary Student Clinic


  • Elizabeth Curran ANU School of Law
  • Isobel Ryder University of Portsmouth
  • Caroline Strevens University of Portsmouth



This article introduces a pilot clinic that has been designed and implemented at Portsmouth Law School in partnership with the School of Health Sciences. The benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary team working identified in the health science and legal education literature will be discussed. It looks at the rationale for this innovative development and speculates on the potential for a new professional curriculum that may emerge.

The philosophy driving this pilot clinic is to contribute to breaking down silo thinking in professional students and build trust in the health and legal systems. This initiative will expose health professional and law students to holistic and therapeutic approaches to problem solving, teaching teamwork, collaboration and to breaking down the negative stereotypes of lawyers.

The proposed pilot clinic at the University of Portsmouth will provide new opportunities for students studying law and adult nursing to explore how interdisciplinary practice might build bonds of trust between professionals. It will also enable those involved to see potential networks, signposts and links, in order to improve client outcomes.

This new development, taking lessons from educational practice in health sciences, provides professional and teaching staff operating the clinic to build a new collaborative and dynamic joint curriculum. This new form of clinic, it is argued, provides an alternative to traditional perceptions of clinical teaching across multidisciplinary paradigms.

Author Biographies

Elizabeth Curran, ANU School of Law

Associate Director of the ANU International Centre for the Profession, Education & Regulation in Law

Isobel Ryder, University of Portsmouth

Adult Nursing Lead at the University of Portsmouth

Caroline Strevens, University of Portsmouth

Caroline Strevens is the Head of School and Reader in Legal Education in the School of Law at the University of Portsmouth






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