Clinics at the Law School bridge the gap between legal theory and legal practice. Students enrolled in JSW Law’s mandatory two-semester clinic, during the spring semester of Year Four and the fall semester of Year Five, split their time between a rigorous skills-based seminar and real-world legal work on behalf of clients. Students are supervised by practitioner-scholars, and benefit from a reflective experience focusing on the ethics and practice of legal work.
At present, there are three clinics planned for JSW Law students: (1) the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Clinic (which focuses on Bhutan’s traditional dispute resolution practices, mediation, consensus building, and dispute systems design); (2) the Entrepreneurialism Clinic (which focuses on developing students’ organizational and transactional lawyering skills, and works with small businesses or civil society organizations (CSOs) as clients); and (3) the Human Dignity Clinic (which focuses on the legal and social needs of women, young people, older people, and people with disability in Bhutan).
Law Clinics are of relevance to students whether they intend to be practitioners or scholars, private lawyers or civil servants, corporate attorneys or public interest activists. By design, all clinics have some sort of beneficial social impact. The skills that students acquire, however, are applicable to any kind of lawyering. Law clinics inculcate in JSW Law students a robust sense of professional ethics, and an understanding of what it means to practice law in a Bhutanese GNH context.
JSW Law’s clinical program strives to: (1) ensure reflective, rigorous, and hands-on training for the JSW Law students; (2) provide needed legal services at the highest professional standards to deserving clients and partners in the Paro and Thimphu Valleys and beyond; and (3) to generate and share academic and policy-oriented insights emerging from the clinic’s work to audiences in Bhutan and beyond.