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Brigham Young University Law Review


clinical method, legal education, professional responsibility


This Commentary rests on five premises. The first is that it is both possible and necessary to understand clinical legal education as a general instructional method. The second is that all legal educators must be more willing to reexamine and clarify the purposes of legal education and to engage in discussion about the primary educational goals to be served. The third premise is that different educational methods possess distinct capabilities for the attainment of specific educational goals and that certain applications of the clinical method are manifestly superior vehicles to facilitate learning in the area of "professional responsibility." The fourth is that the teaching of professional responsibility should become a highly emphasized goal of legal education. The final premise is that the clinical method can be legitimately adapted throughout the legal curriculum; however, different adaptations of the clinical method will generate dissimilar kinds of learning. In this regard, three models for the implementation of the clinical method, designated as the strict, specialized, and complementary models, are set out in the final portion of the Commentary.