Unity in Adversity: Reflections on the Clinical Movement in South Africa(1)
Willem de Klerk(2)
Not long after I joined the Wits Law Clinic in January of 1997, I was seconded by our Director to attend a workshop hosted by Rhodes University Law Clinic in Grahamstown. The workshop was to be presented by the Association of University Legal Aid Institutions, or AULAI as it is commonly known.(3) As a new recruit to our law clinic I barely knew of the existence of other university law clinics in South Africa, let alone a national association of law clinics. No-one at our clinic bothered to inform me what the workshop was all about, and I, being only concerned really with the adventure of travelling to a beautiful part of the Eastern Cape, never bothered to ask. So, I set off to Grahamstown in blissful ignorance of the events that were to follow, events that, as it turned out, shaped my involvement with law clinics in South Africa.
(1) Paper delivered at the 5th International Journal for Clinical Legal Education Conference held at Johannesburg on 9–10 July 2007.
(2) Adjunct Professor, University of the Witwatersrand Law Clinic, Willem.firstname.lastname@example.org
(3) On the history of Aulai and the impact it has had on the clinical movement, see Danny Wimpey and Shaheda Mahomed “The Practice of Freedom –The South African Experience”, paper delivered at the Fourth International Journal of Clinical Legal Education and Eighth Australian Clinical Legal Education Conference held at London, July 2006 (copy in author’s possession).
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