The central thesis of this commentary is that clinical methodology is sound theoretically, as it provides a necessary and vital complement to other modes of legal education, but that the exciting potential of this method will not be realized so long as law school clinical programs rely primarily on "live client" cases to teach their students. Because the live client model is used extensively in clinical programs, this commentary will assess that model of clinical education by seeking to identify the problems associated with maintaining a law office in the law school environment. Particular attention will be given to the problem of staffing clinics, as the availability and retention of qualified lawyer-teachers is the essential precondition to the success of the live client model. This discussion will center on the tension which is created by the requirement of the live client model that a clinician be both a practitioner and a teacher. This commentary will conclude by recommending that to relieve this tension, exclusive reliance on the live client model be discarded in favor of relying primarily on simulated exercises.
Ralph S. Tyler and Robert S. Catz,
The Contradictions of Clinical Legal Education,
29 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol29/iss4/8