The only way is Ethics!

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 15:36:00 BST

£50,000 for Law and Psychology to create pioneering Law Clinic

Phil Drake, Professor Stuart Toddington, Lynda Turner and Dr Jane Tobbell

Pioneers (l-r) Phil Drake, Professor Stuart Toddington, Lynda Turner and Dr Jane Tobbell

Working collaboratively, Professor Stuart Toddington and Phil Drake of the Law School and Dr Jane Tobbell and Lynda Turner of the School of Human and Health Sciences have been awarded a Higher Education Academy grant of over £50,000 to design, implement and evaluate the introduction of a Law Clinic at the University of Huddersfield.

This project is highly innovative and aims to enhance not only technical legal skills, but  raise the student’s awareness of the ethical issues that arise in  maintaining access to justice for all in the face of the erosion of publicly-funded legal representation.  This is an exciting project that will involve both law and psychology students working together to evaluate teaching and learning experiences within a real, hands-on environment.

The underpinning assumption of the project is that all education is shaped by the practices and values that form the learning environment.  Genuine participation in learning is empowering for the student and creates a learning community that develops an ethical and a co-operative outlook on the nature of the problems that arise and on approaches to their technical solution. 

To this end, students will be part of this project from its inception.  Law students will work with Law School tutors in the design and implementation of the proposed clinic and will benefit from practical experience in real legal situations.  Psychology students will be trained in a range of interventions which will enable them to work with the law students and staff to enhance positive collaboration.  Moreover, the law clinic will be managed by a Business Studies student on placement, creating further practical synergy.

The project will aim to produce a general guide to establishing this clinical education model for all UK Higher Education institutions.  Both Stuart and Phil will be delivering a key paper at the International Journal for Clinical Legal Education Conference in Durham on the 12th July entitled ‘The Ethical Dynamics of Learning:  Empowerment and  Responsibility in Clinical Legal Education’ and propose to the conference, that in clinical learning in particular, ‘The Only Way is Ethics!’.

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