Law Clinics in Taiwan: Can Clinical Legal Education Succeed in This Civil Law Jurisdiction Education System?

Serge A. Martinez, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

Abstract

Law school clinics are an important part of legal education around the world, but there are still many places without clinics, including Taiwan. It is important for Taiwanese legal educators to consider whether and how clinical education might fit into the Taiwanese legal education system. When discussing clinical education, several concerns are commonly raised: are undergraduate students capable of doing and benefiting from clinical work? Is student practice legal? What effect does student practice have on quality of representation? How does a clinic fit with the existing apprenticeship program? Who would teach a clinic? How do clinics fit with the legal academy’s view of itself and its purposes? Can Taiwanese law schools afford to operate clinics? Ultimately, none of these concerns presents a serious obstacle to the introduction of clinical education. Taiwanese law schools should introduce clinics to their curriculum to give students the opportunity to enjoy the many benefits of clinical education.