News and Announcement

GTLE: Clinical and Experiential Learning

Saturday, August 11, 2012

On 11 August 2012, Center for Law and Policy (CLP) hosted the first conference of Global Trends in Legal Education (GTLE), titled “Clinical and Experiential Learning,” at Pearl Continental Hotel, Lahore. The conference was designed to analyze the goals of clinical and experiential legal education and to explore the possibility of introducing the same in Pakistan.

Syed Imad-ud-Din Asad [LL.M. (Harvard); Founder and Director, Center for Law and Policy; Associate Professor and Director, UMT School of Law and Policy], who conceived the idea of GTLE while attending Global Legal Education Forum (GLEF) at Harvard Law School in March 2012, explained the concept and sgnificance GTLE in his introductory remarks. He was followed by Nina Fite [M.Sc. (NDU); U.S. Consul General in Lahore], who formally inaugurated the event. In her speech, Ms. Fite appreciated the commendable efforts made by Professor Asad aimed at introducing improvements in Pakistani legal academia; and highlighted the need for the exchange of knowledge and experiences across borders and the importance of an efficient system of legal education for a country like Pakistan.

The conference comprised three sessions. During the first session, Elizabeth Badger [J.D. (Boston University); Assistant Clinical Professor, Boston University School of Law] explained the main features of the American legal system and then elaborated on clinical education at her law school. Afterwards, Beth Schwartz [J.D. (St. John’s); Clinical Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law] explained the dynamics of clinical education in the U.S.A. and at Fordham.

During the second session, Chad Carr [J.D. (Harvard); Lecturer, Harvard Law School] discussed clinical education at Harvard. He was followed by Patrick Cassidy [J.D. (Columbia); Director of LL.M. and International Programs, Northeastern University School of Law], who gave the details of the experiential method at Northeastern; and Latika Vashist [LL.M. (I.L.I.); Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School], who informed the audience of the initiatives taken in India regarding clinical education.

The third session was a panel discussion exploring the possibility of clinical and experiential learning in Pakistan. The panel, which was moderated by Professor Asad, comprised Aamer Raza Khan [LL.M. (Harvard); Former Judge, Lahore High Court; Advocate, Supreme Court of Pakistan], Nasira Iqbal [LL.M. (Harvard); Former Judge, Lahore High Court; Advocate, Supreme court of Pakistan], and Dr. D. M. Malik [Ph.D. (Punjab); Former Principal, Punjab University Law College]. The panelists pointed out the deficiencies in the current system of legal education in Pakistan and acknowledged the need for practical legal education in the law schools in the form of clinical and experiential methods. All the sessions were followed by Q&A sessions.

In the end, Dr. Hasan Sohaib Murad [Ph.D. (Wales); Rector, University of Management and Technology] made a concluding speech in which he shared, among other things, the objectives of the newly established UMT School of Law and Policy and the crucial role played by Professor Asad in establishing it.

The audience comprised lawyers, law professors and students, bureaucrats, and staff members from the U.S. Consulate in Lahore.

It was the first time that legal scholars from prominent law schools in the United States and India engaged in a dialogue with Pakistani lawyers on such a scale. The event proved to be a tremendous opportunity for both local and foreign scholars to learn from each other’s experiences.  

The second conference of GTLE will be held on 15 December 2012.

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