Developing Clinical Legal Education in Ireland,26-27 April, 2013



School of Law, NUI Galway & Public Law Interest Alliance
Developing Clinical Legal Education in Ireland

Friday 26th & Saturday 27th April 2013

Clinical legal education is emerging as a significant tool in the delivery of key knowledge, information and practice in the Irish legal system. Over the past decade, clinical legal education has developed incrementally in various universities, with other universities embracing clinical legal education as a means to embed student knowledge and understanding of the interaction of law in society, law in practice, the role of legal practitioners and law, advocacy and social change. Along with industry, legal practitioners and civil society organisations, clinical legal education has the ability to contribute to the transformation of the delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate legal education in Ireland.
In April 2013, the School of Law, NUI Galway and the Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA) will host a conference entitled, Developing Clinical Legal Education in Ireland. The conference will serve as the launch of the newly-formed Irish Clinical Legal Education Association (ICLEA). The Irish Clinical Legal Education Association will seek to enhance and expand clinical legal education programmes in law schools in Ireland by providing a forum to share experiences and foster collaboration; by lobbying collectively for necessary resources; and by ensuring optimum international engagement with clinical legal educators in other jurisdictions.

This conference will bring together experienced and emerging clinical legal practitioners, academics, clinical partners (e.g., NGOs, solicitors, barristers, state/quasi-state bodies) and students to explore the emergence and assess the future potential of clinical legal education in Ireland.

Registration and Call for Abstracts

Registration is now open. It is free to register for the conference, but spaces are limited and early registration is encouraged. There will be an optional conference dinner on the campus of NUI Galway. The charge for the conference dinner is €20. Again, spaces for the dinner are limited and early registration is encouraged. Those planning to attend the conference (and the conference dinner) can register at

The organising committee are interested in receiving 300 word (maximum) abstracts on issues relating to developing clinical legal education in Ireland. Papers on all areas of clinical legal education (both Irish and international perspectives) would be most welcome. They are particularly welcome on the following themes:
• The Emergence, Growth and Sustainability of Irish Clinical Legal Education Programmes;
• Theorising Irish Clinical Legal Education;
• Innovations in the Pedagogy of Irish Legal Education: Interdisciplinary Degrees, Experiential Learning and the Use of Technology;
• Recent Developments in Skills Training in Irish Law Schools;
• Learning from Best Practice: International Clinical Perspectives.

Abstracts should be submitted in PDF format through the website by March 18, 2013. Authors will be informed of acceptance by March 25, 2013.

Keynote Speaker
Kevin Kerrigan is the Executive Dean for the Faculty of Business and Law at Northumbria University.  He was formerly Dean of the School of Law and previously Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Clinical Programmes. A National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2010, he is also a practising solicitor and Human Rights Act consultant with experience of conducting criminal and human rights cases in courts at all levels. His teaching and research interests are in the fields of criminal litigation, human rights and legal education. Kevin is co-editor of Palgrave’s 2011 text, A Student Handbook of Clinical Legal Education and Pro Bono.
He is the former editor of the International Journal of Clinical Legal Education and organises an annual international clinical conference. He runs the criminal appeal clinic at Northumbria University's Student Law Office and is a co-ordinator of the Clinical Legal Education Organisation.
He has written numerous articles and text books and has delivered papers at conferences in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Conference Location
The conference will be held on the campus of NUI Galway, a ten minute walk from Galway City Centre, on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th of April 2013.  More details about campus venues will be made available on in the coming weeks.
Galway City is located in the west of Ireland and is easily accessible from all major towns and cities in Ireland by car or public transport (see further information on travel options from Irish Rail, Bus Eireann, Go Bus and Translink NI). For those travelling from further afield, Galway is served by Shannon Airport, Ireland West Airport (Knock) and Dublin Airport that have several flights from the United Kingdom, Europe and further afield each day, with Galway being less than one hour from Shannon and Ireland West Airports and just over two hours from Dublin Airport.

Attendees should organise their own accommodation for the conference.  There are a number of options to suit all budgets in Galway City.  More information about accommodation in Galway City can be accessed at  As it is a weekend, attendees are encouraged to organise accommodation at an early stage.

All questions with respect to the conference location, accommodation, parking and other logistics should be addressed to: Tara Elwood, Administrative Office in the School of Law, at or at +353 91 492389; or to Larry Donnelly, Lecturer & Director of Clinical Legal Education in the School of Law, at or at +353 91 495372.  And again, more details will be made available on in the coming weeks.   

About PILA
The Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA) is made up of individuals and organisations, both Irish and international, which recognise the important, though not exclusive, role of public interest law. This includes community and independent law centres, non-governmental organisations, legal practitioners, students, academics and all those interested in seeing law work for marginalised and disadvantaged people. One of the key aims of PILA, a project of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), is to reach out to law schools and law students to ensure that public interest law and clinical legal education become central components of the curriculum.

About the School of Law, NUI Galway
The School of Law has a long and distinguished tradition of law teaching and research which dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. It is a tradition that the School is extremely proud of and strives to maintain. The School of Law is comprised of full-time professors and lecturers, together with part-time teaching staff who are academics specialising in particular subject-areas or practising solicitors and barristers.

The School links with universities in Europe and in the United States afford interested students the opportunity to pursue part of their law studies abroad. Students of the School also participate in moot trial competitions at both national and international level, and the student law society is active in organising guest lectures and debates.

School members are engaged in research in a number of fields, including human rights, legal theory, criminal law, commercial law and media law. Research projects, international conferences and guest lectures are organised under the auspices of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. The School of Law is constantly working to attain the highest quality in teaching and research.