Do we want a human first, and a lawyer second?:Developing law student empathy through clinical legal education

Whittam, Sadie and Saban, Kathryn and Lawton, Amy (2021) Do we want a human first, and a lawyer second?:Developing law student empathy through clinical legal education. International Journal of Clinical Legal Education. (In Press)

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Abstract

In the UK, the legal profession is increasingly acknowledging the importance of emotional intelligence and empathy in legal practice. Furthermore, research has demonstrated that soft skills such as empathy can be taught, and these skills should be incorporated in legal education. This study uses the Basic Empathy Scale to examine whether law student participation in law clinic and tax clinic modules had any effect on students’ self-reported empathy levels. It is submitted that, in general, the students who worked in clinic experienced a statistically significant positive shift in their empathy levels. However, a few students who worked in clinic also experienced a decrease in their empathy levels, and the possible reasons for this are explored. In addition, this paper considers the impact of gender on students’ self-reported empathy levels.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Journal of Clinical Legal Education
ID Code:
162132
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
10 Nov 2021 13:45
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
In Press
Last Modified:
02 Dec 2021 09:08