Presentation Title

A Grounded Theory Analysis of the TRU Faculty of Law Community Legal Education Program

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented April 1, 2017

Location

IB 1015

Start Date

1-4-2017 4:15 PM

End Date

1-4-2017 4:30 PM

Abstract

The Thompson Rivers University Community Legal Clinic (“TRU CLC”) is the first law student-staffed pro bono legal clinic in the Interior of British Columbia. The eight clinicians and supervising lawyer are a passionate team providing legal assistance and advice to those who would otherwise be unable to afford legal assistance.

TRU CLC is part of the TRU Faculty of Law Clinical Legal Education Program (the “CLEP”). The CLEP began in 2016 and includes one semester of course work and up to two semesters of clinician experience at TRU CLC. The CLEP responds to the lack of legal representation, legal information, and legal resources available in Kamloops and the Interior of BC. CLEP students are trained and educated to assist low income people and to understand the importance of fostering access to justice as part of a lawyer’s professional responsibility. The CLEP enables law students to use the law as a tool for social justice by working with community agencies and non-profit organizations.

Using the Grounded Theory method of qualitative data analysis, this research identifies strengths and weaknesses in the CLEP by studying the experience of current and former TRU CLC clinicians. The data was gathered through focus groups, individual interviews, and written reflection pieces. This research explores numerous areas for improvement in clinician training and supervision. It recognises the practical, academic, and emotional benefits for CLEP students. Most importantly, this research notes a ploddingly urgent incongruence in positive outcomes between TRU CLC clinicians and clients. This incongruence compels changes in TRU CLC practice, pedagogy, and delivery of legal services to further advance the CLEP mission.

Department

Law

Faculty Advisor

Shanthi Senthe

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Apr 1st, 4:15 PM Apr 1st, 4:30 PM

A Grounded Theory Analysis of the TRU Faculty of Law Community Legal Education Program

IB 1015

The Thompson Rivers University Community Legal Clinic (“TRU CLC”) is the first law student-staffed pro bono legal clinic in the Interior of British Columbia. The eight clinicians and supervising lawyer are a passionate team providing legal assistance and advice to those who would otherwise be unable to afford legal assistance.

TRU CLC is part of the TRU Faculty of Law Clinical Legal Education Program (the “CLEP”). The CLEP began in 2016 and includes one semester of course work and up to two semesters of clinician experience at TRU CLC. The CLEP responds to the lack of legal representation, legal information, and legal resources available in Kamloops and the Interior of BC. CLEP students are trained and educated to assist low income people and to understand the importance of fostering access to justice as part of a lawyer’s professional responsibility. The CLEP enables law students to use the law as a tool for social justice by working with community agencies and non-profit organizations.

Using the Grounded Theory method of qualitative data analysis, this research identifies strengths and weaknesses in the CLEP by studying the experience of current and former TRU CLC clinicians. The data was gathered through focus groups, individual interviews, and written reflection pieces. This research explores numerous areas for improvement in clinician training and supervision. It recognises the practical, academic, and emotional benefits for CLEP students. Most importantly, this research notes a ploddingly urgent incongruence in positive outcomes between TRU CLC clinicians and clients. This incongruence compels changes in TRU CLC practice, pedagogy, and delivery of legal services to further advance the CLEP mission.