Law.com has a recent post regarding clinical programs at law schools--namely, how some law schools are beefing them up substantially. Given that a lot of internet commentary bemoans the divide between legal education and legal practice (perceived and/or actual), and that law school clinics can be a very good way for law students to gain practical legal experience, the trend toward more clinical experience is generally seen as a good one. But given that clinics are time- and faculty/staff-intensive, and thus fairly costly, some law schools are not doing as much in the clinical arena as they might like.
I was particularly interested to see what my old Ethics law prof, Larry Marshall, is up to as Stanford Law School's clinical program director--namely, trying to raise $30 million to cover part of the budget for Stanford's 9 (soon to be 10) clinics that serve around 200 law students. That's quite an outlay.
I'm curious to hear readers' views regarding law school clinics. Has anyone participated in one? What did you like? Not like? Were they beneficial? For those in law practice, did clinical experiences in law school really help? Or are law school clinics at least partly just an effort by law schools to be trendy?