Current Status and Development Prospects of Legal Clinics in Russia
The paper deals with the issues of legal education quality improvement in Russia by means of involving clinical (practice-oriented) components. The concept and advantages of clinical legal education as a process of practice-oriented training based on legal clinics (higher educational institutions’ structural units) established for practical training of law students are defined. The legal clinic should be a compulsory component of educational programs for both Bachelors and Masters. The essence of clinical education consisting in students’ previous professional training and practical work regarding actual legal assistance to the population on a free-of-charge basis is revealed. The legal framework of organization and activity of legal clinics in Russia are analyzed. Gaps in statutory regulation are demonstrated. A comparative analysis of Russian clinics is carried out. Clinics’ common features and differences are revealed by means of the analysis. In general, the operation of legal clinics in higher educational institutions is organized in different ways. Common problems many clinics face are distinguished, recommendations regarding their operation improvement are provided. An efficient, according to the author, operation model of legal clinics carrying out students’ clinical (practice-oriented) training is offered. Clinical legal training stages are specified. The conditions for improving required quality of legal services rendered by students under the guidance of teachers are distinguished. Upcoming problems to solve for future development of legal clinics in Russia are distinguished.