Experiential learning in the community: Clinic for public interest advocacy

Principal Supervisor

Professor Luke Marsh, Faculty of Law


3 years

Approved Budget

HK $250,000

  • Project Objectives
  • Key deliverables expected
  • Evaluation of deliverables/outcomes
  • Dissemination of deliverables/outcomes

Project Objectives

The Clinic for Public Interest Advocacy is a new frontier in experiential learning at CUHK. The clinical programme will be an umbrella-vehicle, which encourages a learner-centred approach by fusing two areas of pedagogical strength within the Law Faculty: clinical education and student advocacy. Through the Clinic, an innovative programme will be launched that will place up to 30 students per term in organisations which focus on public interest work.

The underlying purpose and value of this project is to reflect the growing recognition amongst young persons in Hong Kong of the great value in developing their ethical commitment to serving the community. The beneficiaries are members of the public who use the services of our various Clinic Partners. We will only partner with community organisations who provide services (legal or non-legal) which are in furtherance of our mission statement: to assist in the protection of individual rights, advancement of social justice and enhancement of interests common to the community.

Key deliverables expected and timelines for completion

  • Links will be forged with community partners willing and able to supervise CUHK students in the deliverance of legal services. Such partners will engage in diverse areas of legal practice, all of which will be geared to addressing unmet legal needs in Hong Kong. (March 2013 – Ongoing)

  • Up to 30 students per term will be placed in the offices of our community partners where they will assist clients under the supervision of lawyers. (January 2014 – onwards)

  • These students will also attend an integrated seminar series convened by CUHK academics covering curriculum related to professional ethics. (Planning has commenced. Launch from January 2014)

  • A Public Interest Advocacy Bursary will be created, in recognition of the fact that many students are unable to take up placements without financial support. To assist students and alumni, the programme will establish a bursary to provide financial assistance to encourage public interest work beyond the curriculum. (Planning has commenced. Launch from January 2014)
  • Arrangements for evaluation of project deliverables/outcomes

    Structuring administrative approaches that seek to assure on-going quality for the various components of this programme will include the form of a work reference produced by relevant supervising partner organisations and provided to the academic supervisor. Teaching evaluation feedback from students will also serve as a vital feedback channel in gauging the success of this project’s aims.

    Means for disseminating project deliverables/outcomes

  • An e-sharing portal will be created showcasing the clinic and its accomplishments. Upon completion of the placement, students will write a reflective piece and be invited to share their experiences through an e-sharing portal – a website designed to showcase alumni achievements and pool together best practice in the arena of public-interest work.

  • A Public Interest Lecture Series will be established to explore a variety of legal areas of public interest – it will provide an opportunity for community leaders and alumni to share their experiences in addressing Hong Kong’s unmet legal need. Alumni will also be invited to participate as panel members.