Pro Bono in Law Schools: Tracking the Effect of Pro Bono Service in an Australian University Law Clinic
AbstractIt has been widely acknowledged that pro bono service in law clinics and university access to justice initiatives have a positive impact on students, especially in relation to increasing their graduate employability skills. However, little empirical evidence exists in respect of the extended benefits of pro bono service during students’ studies in relation to the students themselves once they enter the workforce, as well as data on the perceived benefits by recipients of the pro bono services. This article explores the impact of pro bono service by university students in a university law clinic from two perspectives, namely that of the graduates themselves after they enter legal practice; and that of the community members who are clients of the pro bono clinics. In the context of a pilot project dealing with these two issues, the author investigates: first, the incidence of continuing pro bono service once law graduates enter legal practice, and the motivating factors for their ongoing involvement in pro bono (or lack thereof), by surveying a group of clinic alumni of a Commercial Law Clinic held at Bond University; and second, the perceived benefits reported by clients of the same law clinic over a period of approximately five years.
References included as footnotes.
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