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Queen Mary Summer School

Clinical Legal Education: Access to Justice and Pro Bono Law

the hand of a person at a protest holding a sign staying No Justice, No Peace


Academic Lead: Dr Frances Ridout

Syllabus: Clinical_Legal_Education_Access_to_Justice_and_Pro_Bono-Law_Course [PDF 148KB]

This dynamic course will provide students with an opportunity to learn about access to justice and pro bono initiatives in England/Wales and globally.  This will happen through an in-depth look at the theory of clinical legal education, public legal education and a specific type of public legal education known as 'Street Law'.  Students will examine these important activities and concepts in the context of different legal systems, the Rule of Law and professional practice.  Further students will have the opportunity to develop certain professional legal skills such as client interviewing skills through structured simulations. Other professional practice topics like  advocacy, professional legal ethics, drafting will also be explored. This content will be covered through highly interactive seminars, court visits and simulations. 

Course content is subject to change.

Course aims

This course aims to:

  • provide students with a unique appreciation of access to justice issues and how legal systems globally deal support clients who are unable to pay for legal advice.
  • offer an overview of theories behind various access to justice initiatives such as pro bono legal advice, clinical legal education and public legal education.
  • explore the inter-related nature of the above theories and how these interact with working life as a legal professional.
  • give students an opportunity to develop various 'practice based' skills which are regularly used in a professional work environment. 

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, fieldtrips (to London-based international law firms and other relevant international organisations), and a human rights training workshop with the British Institute of Human Rights (based at Queen Mary University of London).

Learning outcomes

By attending this course, you are expected to:

  • understand and explain the practice and theories of clinical legal education and public legal education, and how these interact with access to justice for individuals within the legal system
  • understand the nature of pro bono legal advice and why it is important to the Rule of Law
  • identify key problems in access to justice and free legal advice and how these problems are interrelated

You will develop/be able to:

  • learn and practice the teaching methodology used in Street Law
  • develop client interviewing skills
  • debate critically and respectfully, work collaboratively with peers

Thereby this course will enable you to:

  • think critically and independently, and to express your views sensitively and effectively
  • to develop good judgment to problem solving and independent work
  • to critically analyse and synthesise the material in this module in order to be able to resolve or debate problems in the legal sector.


Additional costs

All reading material will be provided online, so it is not necessary to purchase any books.

You will be required to pay your travel costs to and from any field trips.

For course and housing fees visit our finance webpage

Entry requirements

We welcome Summer School students from around the world. We accept a range of qualifications

How to apply

Have a question? Get in touch - one of the team will be happy to help!

Applications close 24 May 2024

Teaching dates
Session 2: 21 July - 11 August 2024
Course hours
150 hours (of which 45 will be contact hours)
Portfolio (100%)

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