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What is the influence of the United States on European clinical legal education? The first reaction of many would be that this is not a particularly difficult question to answer. After all, clinical legal education is largely a US invention. Although one can find early examples of clinics in European law schools, the large-scale development of law school clinical education happened in the United States beginning in the 1960s. At present, there are clinical programs in each of the 207 American Bar Association (ABA)-approved US law schools. The Clinical Legal Education Association now lists 1,325 clinical teachers in its membership directory. So how could the United States not be a major influence on clinical legal education in Europe and elsewhere?

This chapter will suggest, however, that the story is more complicated than it might at first appear: in the most visible areas – especially funding – the US contributions have had less of an impact than commonly thought. But, at the same time, the USA has contributed in ways that are both subtler and more enduring.


European Law | Law | Legal Education


This material has been published in "Reinventing Legal Education: How Clinical Education Is Reforming the Teaching and Practice of Law in Europe", edited by Alberto Alemanno and Lamin Khadar. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use.