Skills Transfers in Academia: a Renewed Strategy.
Enhancing Legal Clinics in the European Union.
Erasmus+ S.T.A.R.S. brings together 5 universities, from 4 EU countries, in order to enhance and support the legal clinics development


Teaching method

The way we teach (street law, client clinic, etc)

Clinical legal education driven through legal clinics is a legal teaching method based on experiential learning, which fosters the growth of knowledge, personal skills and values as well as promoting social justice at the same time. As a broad term, it encompasses varieties of formal, non-formal and informal educational programs and projects, which use practical-oriented, student-centred, problem and community-based, interactive learning methods, including, but not limited to, the practical work of students on real cases and social issues supervised by academics and professionals. These educational activities aim to develop professional attitudes and foster the growth of the practical skills of students with regard to the modern understanding of the role of the socially oriented professional in promoting the rule of law, providing access to justice and peaceful conflict resolutions, and solving social and community problems.
Legal clinics are a demand-driven and bottom-up approach to research. Their work can be described as community-based research (CBR). Their main function is to increase both public awareness and to provide access to legal science to laymen and non-profit organization. In practice, this means civil society organizations will have access to the legal research operated within the legal clinics at no cost.
Legal clinics also expose students to new business management skills in the field of legal services, contributing to a change of behaviour in the legal professions through exchange of ideas with successful legal entrepreneurs and professional trainers from the universities.
Legal clinics have existed for half a century in the USA. While legal clinics have been a fixture of legal education in the United States and other common law jurisdictions since the 1960s and 1970s, the concept in Europe has remained under-developed and under-utilized. Additionally, research regarding the use and potential of clinics in legal education has been limited. Even today it is not clear how many European Universities use the model. More recently they have been introduced in European Law Faculties and in law curricula and their role has gradually increased (According to the Report of C. Bartoli, (“Legal clinics in Europe: for a Commitment of Higher Education in Social Justice”, in Diritto & questioni pubbliche, special issue, May 2016. The report is available at: http://www.dirittoequestionipubbliche.org/page/2016_nSE_Legal-clinics-in-Europe/index.htm) 51 clinics are operating in the Europe Union in very different fields. But compared to the number of Law faculties existing in Europe (approximatively 451 according to a counting done online as there are no official statistics available), the number of legal clinics is extremely low which is highly regrettable as legal clinics have longed proved their efficiency in the US, where almost all law schools have developed clinical legal education with regard to the impact clinics activities have on community problems (for an overview of the US legal clinics landscape see the report of the Carnegie Foundation”Educating Lawyers, Preparation for the Profession of Law” 2007).

This late transplantation is due inter alia to the important differences existing between the functioning of law schools in the US and in Europe and between the American legal tradition – related to the common law system – and the legal traditions of the EU member States on continental Europe which are all related to the civil law tradition (For an anlaysis of these reasons and the necessity to adapt the American model, see E. Poillot, “Comparing Legal Clinics: is there a way to a European Clinical Culture? The Luxembourg Experience”, 4 European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance, 2017, pp. 111 – 139).
Legal clinics are still at an embryonic stage of development in Europe. Lawyers are naturally brought to understand and work in their communities (ubi societas, ibi ius) but still lack the appropriate methodologies to reach out and provide this kind of services. The project aims at providing guidelines and best practices that can be easily replicated in the hundreds of existing law faculties within the EU. Inasmuch as European law schools attract a great number of scholars and students from non-EU, European countries (e.g. Russia) or other continents (Latin and North America, Africa, Asia) and have strong bilateral agreements with other Law faculties, there is a concrete possibility of ‘exporting’ the model to other systems.
In legal clinics, students tackle legal issues involving real people. Legal clinics provide hands-on-legal experience to law students and services to various clients. They provide pro bono services in a particular area, providing free legal services to clients. Legal clinics develop apprenticeship within the academic curriculum by providing students with theoretical knowledge, practical skills and ethics. In fact, in the frame of legal clinics, law students learn the rules of ethics, study related cases and ethical opinions, work through hypothetical cases highlighting ethical dilemmas, and explore the obligations of lawyer to clients, third parties, and tribunals. Legal clinics represent an integrated approach to legal education as they allow developing networks of ideas, individuals, and institutions to advance teaching and learning, perfectly fulfilling the third mission of Universities in the field of law.

The STARS project helps to renew teaching strategies in law schools by providing models of “learning by doing” methods that can be implemented in more classical classrooms settings and demonstrate the importance of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches of teaching.

Third mission

The general objective of this project is to enhance and develop the science shop approach in the field of legal science through clinical legal education and consequently to enhance the "third mission" objective of universities (also called outreach and engagement), and consisting in, as indicated in many documents of European institutions (See e.g. the EP resolution of 13 March 2012 on the contribution of the European institutions to the consolidation and progress of the Bologna Process), in widening their traditional "missions" (teaching and research) by providing positive externalities to society at large by offering, for free, knowledge and educational services.
LCs provide “community service” which is an extension of university expertise to the world outside the university, the community, in the service of improving the quality of life of the community and which is effected through a university model in which community service is integral to all aspects of the university: mission, structure and organization, hiring and promotion, curriculum and teaching, research and publications (the so called third mission of universities).
The project will highlight the point that LCs are part of the mandatory “Third Mission” of universities and fall within the so-called Dublin Descriptors (in particular the ability of students of “reflecting on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgements”).

Empirical research

This project focuses on consumer law clinics. Students typically provide assistance with research, drafting legal arguments, and meeting with clients. The functioning of all the legal clinics involved in this project is based on a close cooperation with civil society actors (consumers associations, regulation entities, bars).

This close cooperation allows legal clinics to benefit from the knowledge of stakeholders (e. g. members of consumer associations helps students understanding how to provide simplified legal information to consumers, legal practitioners help them to build the overall picture of the case they are dealing with not only relying on one discipline of law and taking into account probationary problems, legal strategies, consumers interests. In return LCs assist consumers associations in better understanding the complexity of consumer law and provide them with high expertise information on legal issues. Consumer law clinics therefore constitute a very good example of exchange of best practices between the academic world and civil society.

The legal clinics involved in this project operate in the frame of an academic context setting a benchmark of quality for the project, which together with the practical relevance of the project and its European dimension shall promote access to the job market in the member states where the clinics are located and in Europe.
The STARS project will be a foundation for a successful legal or policy-related career for students trained in the participating clinics who will have acquired skills rarely transferred in law schools.
Regarding the improvement of students’ employability, the promotion and development of clinical legal education is crucial, as this teaching approach is known to be an extremely effective means of teaching the practical aspects of legal notions within a very students’ friendly approach since small groups work under the continuous supervision of both academics and practitioners. Therefore, the STARS project will be a strong complement to the internship programmes already developed but that do not provide such an efficient mentoring of students. Clinics offer a more direct supervision of students than internship programmes. practitioners interact with students in law schools working hand in hand with lecturers and pedagogists. Students receive personalised feedback from supervising lawyers about each piece of interviewing, research and advice that they attempt.
The STARS project will promote the growth of clinics within Europe and expand knowledge of legal issues for three main stakeholders: civil society, students and academia. It will improve the quality of legal teaching in clinics and increase their use by consumers.

Bibliography on legal clinics

Legal clinics bibliography of the last decade

1) Legal clinic education
2) Fields of law
  I) Consumer law
  II) Human rights
  III) Business law
  IV) Intellectual property law
  V) Immigration law
3) Legal clinics and the law practice

1) Legal clinic education


T. Linden and N. Johnson,' The Clinical Legal Education Handbook ', Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London Press (2020)


J. Marson, K. Ferris and A. Kawalek,'A Vineyard in a Law Clinic: The Practical Application of a Therapeutic Jurisprudence Philosophy in a UK', in Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, Sheffield Hallam University Research Archive, Vol. 124 (2019)

A. Sciurba, 'Le cliniche legali italiane e la risignificazione del diritto', in "Rivista di filosofia del diritto, Journal of Legal Philosophy" Vol. 2 (2019)

E. Santoro, 'Guai privati e immaginazione giuridica: le cliniche legali e il ruolo dell'Università', in "Rivista di filosofia del diritto, Journal of Legal Philosophy", Vol. 2 (2019)

T. Casadei, 'L'approccio clinico-legale e le sue (utili) implicazioni', in "Rivista di filosofia del diritto, Journal of Legal Philosophy", Vol. 2 (2019)

C. Bartoli, B. Celano, 'Apologia del libero mercato', in "Rivista di filosofia del diritto, Journal of Legal Philosophy" , Vol.2 (2019)


S. R. Jones and Janet Thompson Jackson, ' Law & Entrepreneurship in Global Clinical Education, ' in 25 Int'L J. Clinical Legal Educ, Vol. 25 no. 3 (2018)

R. J. Wilson, ' The Global Evolution of Clinical Legal Education: More than a Method ', in University Press WCL Research Paper No.22, (2018)

M. Tomoszek, V. Tomoszková, 'A New Dawn in the Czech Clinical Movement', in ALEMANNO A., KHADAR L. (Eds.) Reinventing Legal Education: How Clinical Education Is Reforming the Teaching and Practice of Law in Europe , (2018)

M. Tomoszek, 'Legal clinics and social justice in post-communist countries', in MCKEOWN P., ASHFORD C. (Eds.) Social Justice and Legal Education, (2018)

M. Tomoszek, 'Reflections on New Trends in Clinical Legal Education in Continental Europe'. In THOMAS L., VAUGHAN S., MALKANI B., LYNCH T. (Eds.) Reimagining Clinical Legal Education, (2018)


E. Poillot, "Comparing Legal Clinics: Is There a Way to a European Clinical Culture? The Luxembourg Experience", European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance, vol. 4-2, 2017, pp. 111-139

L. Pantin, The Economic Justice Imperative for Transactional Law Clinics , in Villanova Law Review, Vol. 62 No. 1 (2017)

C. Amato, 'Experiential Learning From the Continental Viewpoint. If the cap fits…', in R. Grimes (ed.), Rethinking Legal Education Under the Civil and the Common Law, Routledge,(2017)

E. Poillot, 'Comparing Legal Clinics: Is There a Way to a European Clinical Culture', in 4 Eur. J. Comp. L. & Governance, Vol. 4 No. 2 (2017)


K. L. Tokarz, ' New Directions in Public Policy, Clinical Education, and Dispute Resolution: Introduction, ', in Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 51 No. 1 (2016)

R. Lowenstein Lazar, ' Interdisciplinary Clinical Education- on Empowerment, Women, and a Unique Clinical Model ', in Clinical law review, Vol. 23 No. 429 (2016)

E. Campbell, ' Recognizing the Social and Economic Value of Transactional Law Clinics: A View from the United Kingdom ' ,in J. Legal Educ, Vol. 65 No. 580 (2016)

X. Aurey, M-J. Redor-Fichot, (dir.) 'Les cliniques juridiques' ,Presses Universitaires de Caen, (2016)


J. Gabel Cino, ' The Lean Legal Clinic:Cost-Effective Methods of Implementing Experiential Education ', in Elon Law Review, Vol. 7 (2015)

P. A. Crowder, ' Designing a Transactional Law Clinic for Life-Long Learning ', in Lewis & Clark L. Rev, Vol 19 No. 413 (2015)

A. Evans and R. Hyams, 'Specialist Legal Clinics: Their Pedagogy, Risks and Payoffs as Externships' in Int'l J Clinical Legal Education, Vol 22 No. 2 (2015)

G. Smorto, ' Clinica legale. Un manuale operativo ', Edizioni NEXT (2015)


E. Poillot, 'L'enseignement clinique du droit, expériences croisées et perspective pratique', Larcier (2014)

K.R. Kruse, ' Legal Education and Professional Skills: Myths and Misconceptions About Theory and Practice ', McGeorge L. Rev, Vol.45 No. 7 (2014)

C. Amato, 'Developing Strategies for Academic and Financial Sustainability: the Brescia Legal Clinic's Experience', in L'enseignement clinique du droit, expériences croisées et perspective pratique, (E. Poillot ed.) , Larcier (2014)

M. Tomoszek, 'The Growth of Legal Clinics in Europe - Faith and Hope, or Evidence and Hard Work?', in International Journal of Clinical Legal Education (2014)


L. Bliss, S. Caley and R. Pettignano, A. E. Carpenter, ' The Project Model of Clinical Education Principles To Maximize Student Learning and Social Justice Impact ', in Clinical Law Review, Vol. 20 (2013)

B. L. Adamson, C. Pang, B. Colbert, K. Hessler, K. Kruse, R. Kuehn, M. H. McNeal, D. Santacroce, 'Clinical Faculty in the Legal Academy: Hiring, Promotion and Retention', in J. Legal Educ c, Vol 62 No. 115 (2012-2013)

A.E. Carpenter, 'The Project Model of Clinical Education: Eight Principles to Maximize Student Learning and Social Justice Impact', Clinical L. Rev., Vol 20 No.39 (2013)


A. S. Lopez, ' Beyond Best Practices for Legal Education: Reflections on Cultural Awareness - Exploring the Issues in Creating a Law School and Classroom Culture ', in William Mitchell Law Review, Vol. 38 No. 3 (2012)

S. A. Rosenbaum, ' The Legal Clinic Is More than a Sign on the Door: Transforming Law School Education in Revolutionary Egypt, ' in Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern & Islamic Law, Vol. 5, (2012)

L. Cruciani, 'Sperimentare il comune nelle facoltà di diritto: le law clinics', in , Oltre il pubblico e il privato. Per un diritto dei beni comuni (M.R. Marella ed.) Riccardo Terzi (2012)

H. Kang, 'Use of Role Play and 'Interview Modes in Law Clinic Case Rounds to Teach Essential Legal Skills and to Maximize Meaningful Participation' , Clinical L. Rev., Vol 19 No. 207 (2012)


K. M. Mattes, ' The Tulane Criminal Law Clinic: An Evolution into a Combined Individual Client and Advocacy Clinic ', in Clinical Law Review, Vol. 18 (2011)

C. Grose, ' Beyond Skills Training, Revisited: Spiraling the Pyramid of Clinical Education ', in William Mitchell Legal Studies Research Paper (2011)

K. Kerrigan, V. Murray (eds), ' A Student Guide to Clinical Legal Education and Pro Bono ' in The Law Teacher, Vol 45 No. 3 (2011)

R.H.Grimes, D. Mcquoid-Mason, E. O'Brien, J. Zimmer, 'Street Law and Social Justice Education', in The Global Clinical Movement: Educating Lawyers for Social Justice, Oxford University Press (F.S. BLOCH ed), (2011)

D. Blazquez-Martin, 'The Bologna Process and the Future of Clinical Education in Europe View from Spain', in The Global Clinical Movement: Educating Lawyers for Social Justice, Oxford University Press, (F.S. BLOCH ed) (2011)

S.F Reed, 'Clinical Legal Education at a Generational Crossroads: A Self-Focused Self-Study of Self', in Clinical L. Rev., Vol 17 No. 243 (2010-2011)

F. S. Bloch, ' A Global Perspective on Clinical Legal Education ', in Revista De Educación Y Derecho. Education And Law Review, No. 4 (2011)

F. S. Bloch, Foreword: International Clinics and the Global Clinical Movement , in Md. J. Int'lL, Vol 26 No. 1 (2011)


H. Olasolo, ' Legal Clinics in Continental Western Europe: The Approach of the Utrecht Legal Clinic on Conflict, Human Rights, and International Justice ', in American Society of International Law Proceedings (Proceedings of its 104th Annual Meeting), (2010)

R. Vasilescu, C. Barna, M. Epure C. Baicu, ' Developing university social responsibility: a model for the challenges of the new civil society ' , in Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences,Vol.2 (2010),

M.J. Kotkin, D. H. Rivkin, 'Clinical Legal Education at a Generational Crossroads: Reflections from Two Boomers', in Clinical Law. Review,Vol 17 No. 197 (2010- 2011)

2) Fields of law

I) Consumer law


J. Fox, 'Consumer Law Clinics: Community-Based Lawyering - A Social Justice Response to the Financial Crisis' in Geo J on Poverty L & Pol'y, Vol 20 No. 517 (2013)


P. Maisel and N. Roman,' The Consumer Indebtedness Crisis: Law School Clinics as Laboratories for Generating Effective Legal Responses' in Clinical Law Review, Vol 18 No. 133 (2011)

II) Human rights


L. Bartlett, ' A Human Rights Code of Conduct: Ambitious Moral Aspiration for a Public Interest Law Office or Law Clinic ', in St. John'S L. Rev. Vol 91 No. 559 (2017)


A. J Carrillo and N. E. Yaksic, ' Re-Imagining the Human Rights Law Clinic ', in Maryland Journal of International Law, Vol 26 No. 80 (2011)

M. M. Meghdadi and A. Erfani-Nasab, ' The Role of Legal Clinics of Law Schools in Human Rights Education: Mofid University Legal Clinic Experience ', in Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 15 (2011)

J. G. Kestenbaum, E. Hoyos-Ceballos, M. C. del Aguila Talvadkar, 'Catalysts for Change: A Proposed Framework for Human Rights Clinical Teaching and Advocacy' in Clinical Law Review, Vol.18 No.2 (2011)

III) Business law


V. Roper, E.Campbell, A. Ben-David, D. Greenbaum, J. Askin 'Understanding the Scope of Business Law Clinics: Perspectives from the United Kingdom, Israel and the United States', in Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 5 No. 1 (2018)


A. Ball, ' Disruptive Pedagogy: Incorporating Critical Theory in Business Law Clinic ', in Clinical Law Review, Vol 22 No. 1 (2015)

IV) Intellectual property law


C. L. Dahl and V. F Phillips, ' Innovation and Tradition: A Survey of Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinics ' in Clinical Law Review, Vol 25 No 95 (2018)


C. Dahl, ' Solving Ethical Puzzles to Unlock University Technology Transfer Client Work for an Intellectual Property Legal Clinic, ', in Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law, Vol. 23 No.1 (2017)

V) Immigration law


J. L. Koh, J. Lee, " Reflections on Elitism After the Closing of a Clinic: Justice, Pedagogy and Scholarship ", in Clinical Law Review, Vol 26 No. 263 (2019)


S. Paoletti, ' Finding the Pearls When the World is Your Oyster: Case and Project Selection in Clinic Design ' in Drexel Law Review, Vol. 5 No. 423 (2014)

3) Legal clinics and the law practice


J. A. Cade, ' Teaching Tomorrow's Lawyers Through A (Semi-) Generalist, (Mostly-) Individual Client Poverty Law Clinic: Reflections on Five Years of the Community Health Law Partnership ', in Georgia Law Review Online, Vol 53 No. 143 (2019)

N. Rossi, ' Magistrati oltre la crisi? Le cliniche legali ', in Questione giustizia, Vol. 3 (2019)


A. I. Pérez Machío, J. G. Vértiz, A. R. González-Murua, ' Las prácticas de grado desde la Clínica Jurídica por la Justicia Social de la UPV/EHU (Compulsory External Work Experience Internship from the Legal Clinic for Social Justice of the UPV/EHU), ', in Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 8 No. 4 (2018)

A. Alemanno and L. Khadar, ' Reinventing Legal Education: How Clinica Education is Reforming Law Teaching and Practice in Europe (Introduction), ', in Cambridge University Press (2018)


D. A. Maranville, L. Bliss, C. W. Kaas and A. S. Lopez, ' Executive Summary of Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World ', in Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World (2015)

E Campbell, V Murray, ' Mind the Gap: Clinic and the Access to Justice Dilemma ', in International Journal of Legal and Social Studies, Vol 2 No. 3 (2015)

H. Sommerland, S. Harris-Short, S. Vaughan, R. Young (eds.), 'The Futures of Legal Education and the Legal Profession', Oxford and Portland, Oregon (2015)

M.R. Marella, E. Rigo 'Le cliniche legali, i beni comuni e la globalizzazione dei modelli di accesso alla giustizia e di lawyering', in Rivista critica diritto privato, Vol 32 No 4 (2015)


K. L. Tokarz, A. S. Lopez, P. Maisel, R. Seibel, ' Legal Education at a Crossroads: Innovation, Integration, and Pluralism Required! ', in Wash U. J. L. & Pol'Y 011, Vol 43 (2014)

A. Plerhoples, A. Spratley, ' Engaging Outside Counsel in Transactional Law Clinics ',in Clinical Law Review, Vol 20 (2014)


J. H. Pietsch, ' Expanding Access to Justice Needy Elders Through Law School Experiential Programs ' , in Elder Law Journal, Vol 20 No.2 (2012-2013)

D. Bonilla, 'Legal Clinics in the Global North and South: Between Equality and Subordination - An Essay' ,in Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, Vol. 16 No. 1 (2013)

R. Van Gestel, H. W. Micklitz. 'Why Method Matter in European Legal Scholarship' in European Law Journal, Vol 20 No.3 (2013)


T. Foley, M. Rowe, V. Holmes and S. Tang, ' Teaching Professionalism in Legal Clinic

- What New Practitioners Say is Important ' in International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, Vol. 17 (2012)

L. Pantin, ' A Model for Interdisciplinary Clinical Education: Medical and Legal Professionals Learning and Working Together to Promote Public Health ',in International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, Vol. 18 (2012)

T. Heremans, 'Professional Services in the EU Internal Market', in Hart Publishing Oxford and Portland (2012)

L. Cruciani, '«And Justice for all». Accesso alla giustizia e «law clinics» come beni comuni', in Ri vista critica diritto privato, Vol 3 No 2 (2012)


M. L. Karin, R. Runge, ' Toward Integrated Law Clinics that Train Social Change Advocates ', in Clinical Law Review, Vol. 17 (2011)

Y. Dausab, ' Access to Justice: The Use of International Law Clinics to Advance the Case for Vulnerable Members of Society ',in Md. J. Int'l L., Vol 26 No 8 (2011)


G. V. Weber, A. S. Lopez, ' Stories in Mexico and the United States About the Border: The Rhetoric and the Realities ', in Intercultural Human Rights Law Review, Vol. 5 No. 241 (2010)

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[.docx] Legal clinics bibliography of the last decade

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