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THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF THE LEGAL CLINIC: PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF THE POOR OR SKILLS OF STUDENTS?
THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF THE LEGAL CLINIC:
PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF THE POOR OR SKILLS OF STUDENTS?
Doctor of Legal Sciences, Professor,
Head of the Department of Civil Procedure,
Saratov State Law Academy
The article raises the question of the goals and objectives of the activities of legal clinics in
higher education institutions specializing in the training of lawyers. It is argued that clinical
education is becoming a prerequisite for the formation of professional competencies for
a future specialist in the field of jurisprudence, when the student is integrated into real, rather
than simulated, legal reality during the lesson. The author positively assesses the experience
gained in the framework of the Annual Symposium “2019 – Civil Law and Procedure:
History, Current State and Perspectives” (September 27–28, 2019). While working in a legal
clinic with specific citizens and their real legal issues, the student checks for the object of
completeness, the theoretical knowledge he obtained, analyzes from a position of relevance
and reinforces this knowledge, receives new skills, and also forms his own general and
professional independence. The second task of the clinic is also being investigated, which is
secondary from the faculty, but for the legal clinic as a public institution, it is primary. The
legal clinic has its own social function, which comes from the low-income population of
our country and expensive (in the sense of not cheap) legal services, when the help of legal
clinics is sometimes the only way to resolve legal conflicts. At the same time, it is proposed
not to complicate the clinicians’ reconciliation of the parties, which are several arguments.
The usefulness of the clinical is spoken about by teachers – both managers and curators of
legal clinics, who significantly increase their own scientific and practical experience in several
branches of law at once, often having to go beyond the narrow industry thinking formed
over many years of teaching work in a certain field. Legal clinics are called upon to play
their own important role in solving educational and practical problems in the formation
of professional competencies of trained lawyers, while the formation of these competencies
should be phased, since the right skill can follow from deep knowledge, and experience from
skill and analysis. The protection of the rights of poor subjects seems to the author to be
a secondary moment regarding educational activities, while the protection of specific rights
is a positive bonus to clinical education, but not an end in itself.
Keywords: legal clinic; professional competencies of a lawyer; judicial defense; enforcement proceedings;
conciliation procedures; teaching legal disciplines; work programs of disciplines.
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Information about the author
O.V. Isaenkova (Saratov, Russia) – Doctor of Legal Sciences, Professor, Head of
the Department of Civil Procedure, Saratov State Law Academy (104 Chernyshevsky
St., Saratov, 410056, Russia; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Isaenkova O.V. Osnovnaia tsel’ iuridicheskoi kliniki: zashchita prav maloimushchikh
ili navyki studentov? [The Main Objective of the Legal Clinic: Protecting the Rights of
the Poor or Skills of Students?]. Vestnik grazhdanskogo protsessa – Herald of Civil Procedure,
2020, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 39–50. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.24031/2226-0781-