Combining community empowerment and clinical legal education: the Scottish University Land Unit

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For two years an initiative called the Scottish University Land Unit has partnered volunteer law students with an existing support agency that brings law students (with academic support) together with communities in Scotland seeking empowerment opportunities through access to local land or buildings. Drawing on the information and experience garnered over that period of operation, this paper will offer some reflections on the early life of the Scottish University Land Unit – or SULU – and also highlight the scheme to an international audience. It does this by drawing on existing scholarship to give an overview of the clinical benefits that students who engage with clinical legal education might gain, before giving an overview of the contemporary context and law relating to community empowerment and land reform in Scotland, then detailing how SULU brings together the complementary goals of student development and serving the community, before offering some suggestions about what the future might hold for SULU and some insights and perhaps inspiration for other schemes, whether in different sectors and indeed jurisdictions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Clinical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2021


  • clinical legal education
  • community empowerment
  • land reform
  • pro bono
  • Scotland


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