JSW Law Clinics
JSW Law offers its students a world-class legal education. Central to that education is a strong commitment to experiential education — that is, “learning by doing.”
The centrepiece of JSW Law’s experiential education programme are its law clinics, which students take during the fourth and fifth year of their studies. Working under the careful supervision of qualified clinical faculty-practitioners, students provide crucial real-world access to justice for clients and community partners who would otherwise not be able to afford such representation.
There are three law clinics at JSW Law: the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Clinic (ADRC), the Social Enterprise Clinic (SEC), and the Human Dignity Clinic (HDC) These three areas were identified as ones where JSW Law’s clinical faculty and students could make a tangible positive impact on the communities we serve. They also focus on crucial skills that students will need to practice as effective, ethical, and innovative professionals after graduating from JSW Law.
Each clinic was vetted using the policy screening tool developed by the Gross National Happiness Commission (Bhutan’s national development planning body). In keeping with JSW Law’s mandate to train lawyers to be agents and facilitators of GNH, this process ensured that the approach, and substantive focus, of each of JSW Law’s three clinics is specifically designed to maximize their positive impact on Bhutan’s collective pursuit of GNH.
Students are encouraged to choose a clinic based not only on their substantive interests, but also (and especially) on the kinds of lawyering skills they wish to develop prior to their graduation. By the time they are far enough along in their studies to take the clinics, students will have already sat for three years of doctrinal courses. The clinics, therefore, touch only peripherally on ‘black-letter’ law. Instead, they focus on skill-building, and developing students’ capacity to think critically about the ethics and effectiveness, of their own attempts to promote their clients’ interests.
Clinics achieve this through a combination of project work, where students work in close partnership with JSW Law’s clinical faculty to make key decisions regarding their client and project work, coupled with an intensive seminar where students learn to reflect and process those experiences. This rigorous combination of theory and practice encourages students to gain self-confidence in themselves as professionals, and at the same time learn to appreciate the crucial role that humility plays in the ethical practice of law.
If you are reading this as a current or future student in the clinics, we warmly welcome you to the clinics, and look forward to working with you in one of our clinics. Please feel free to look at the “for students” tab on any of the clinics for more information about your experience as a clinical student.
If you are visiting this page interested in the kinds of projects and client representations we do in each of the clinics, please feel free to consult the web pages of each of the three clinics, and also to look through the “project work” tab on each clinic page.