The conceptual basis underlying our Legal Clinics is twofold:
The first is pedagogical. We believe that as an institution providing legal education, the law school carries a responsibility regarding the “final product” of this process – lawyers - who emerge from our institution into the professional market. Legal education represents a period in which law students form and develop their conception and understanding about the role of law, and of lawyers, in our society. The clinics offer an alternative educational experience: for a full academic year students study and practice (under the supervision of our clinical lawyers) the potential as well as the shortcomings of law to better the lives of the poor, minorities, and other disadvantaged groups in Israel.
The second mission of the clinics is service oriented. The services we provide are often the only ones available to individuals or groups that cannot obtain legal assistance elsewhere. Be they homeless young persons, residents of a poor neighborhood contaminated by industrial pollution, Bedouin children lacking the most basic educational facilities or people seeking a refugee status, the clinics play a vital role in providing legal assistance, information, and consultation to populations that cannot obtain these services in the private market.
We are of course proud of our achievements and the tangible outcomes of our clinics. Perhaps most important is the impact we have had - and are having - on the hundreds of law students whose lives and careers we have helped shape and influence. We have touched the hearts and minds of many (privileged) law students within Israel who, on their way to careers in the law, had a chance to apply their knowledge, skills and commitments to better the lives of those less fortunate than themselves.