The author summarizes his discussions with Chinese law professors regarding the issues that separate American from Chinese attitudes in creating clinical legal education. The author observes that the baseline orientation of American lawyers to turn to the courts for redress is usually not the same for the Chinese, where bribery of judges is accepted. He also notes that in addition to teaching practical skills such as client interviewing and persuasive advocacy, American clinicians devote attention to value questions, such as client-centeredness, the demands and limits of zealous advocacy, and the commitment to bring about social justice. The inclusion of these ethical ideals appears to be antithetical to the mission of Chinese lawyers in establishing the rule of law in China. The author ponders whether Chinese legal clinicians will choose to play a role in teaching students how to bring about social change in regard to judicial corruption, and how client-centered ideals, if integrated into clinical education, will be adapted to the Chinese culture.
Milstein, Elliott. “Experiential Education and the Rule of Law: Teaching Values through Clinical Education in China.” Global Business & Development Law Journal 22, no. 1 (2009): 55-62.