Emilio Santoro

Private Troubles and Legal Imagination: The Legal Clinics and the Role of University

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Law Clinic; Legal Realism; Legal Construction; Legal Imagination; Access to Justice.

The success of legal clinics is mainly due to the idea that they can give a professionalizing connotation to the degree courses in law, while the evocation of the realist tradition, of law in action, and the reference to social justice seem relegated to the mere function of a legitimising myth. Only if characterized by a precise theoretical option that clearly distinguishes normative text from norm and identifies the hiatus between the two as the space of the jurist, can legal clinics be at the heart of a radical change in legal education. Even the orientation towards social justice is not implicit in any clinical experience. Only by configuring a legal clinic as a laboratory for students to learn how to use legal fantasy to transform the private troubles of marginalized people into claims that can be brought before a judge, does the clinic contribute to these individuals’ access to justice.

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