On 6 September 2022, Eliza Platts-Mills and Emily Wapples presented at a UK-wide gathering of Clinical Legal Education Organisation members hosted by the University of Central Lancaster in Preston. It was a great opportunity to hear what other clinics are doing and to meet people in person.
In the afternoon session, Emily and Eliza facilitated a discussion of a qLegal problem-based learning exercise that teaches students how to think broadly and commercially for a start-up client. The exercise is based on a hypothetical business owner who wants to bring on additional staff and seeks advice on whether to hire the new people as employees or contractors.
The goal is for students to realise that clients don’t want lawyers to present a lecture on employment law but instead to present options for how they can meet their business goals and needs while complying with legal requirements.
Other sessions covered using a virtual, online internship to teach students how to work with clients, sharing lessons learned by supervisors and students from a project to help individuals obtain Windrush Compensation and involving law students in the design of a new clinic.
qLegal was one of the first commercial law clinics in the UK when it started back in 2013. Emily and Eliza enjoyed being able to represent qLegal and hear from other clinicians about similar challenges and opportunities with their clinical offerings.