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Washington University Law Quarterly

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Despite the rapid growth of clinical legal education, relatively few clinical programs place students in private law firms. A major reason for the failure of clinical programs to expand into private practice is that students in clinical programs cannot receive both credit and compensation at the same time. An interpretation of American Bar Association Standard 306(a) provides: "Student participants in a law school externship program may not receive compensation for a program which they receive academic credit."

The authors believe that this restrictive interpretation of Standard 306(a) is unwise, and should be rescinded. One of the authors, Tom Leahy, has introduced a resolution in the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates recommending that all law schools provide students with opportunities to receive both compensation and credit in properly supervised clinical programs. In this article, the authors set out the arguments for and against "credit-plus-pay" clinical programs, categorizing the arguments on both sides as either educational arguments or economic arguments. The authors then develop a model credit-plus-pay program.