About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Papers and practice reports will be delineated by strand.

Clinic, the University and Society: this strand addresses the role of clinic as an instrument for civic engagement, access to justice and societal change. 

Reviewed Articles in this strand will engage with the theory of clinic, relating to purpose, ideals and conceptualising the value that clinic offers to students, staff, the institution and wider society. These papers will explore the complex relationships between clinical education and social justice agendas, between university vision statements, student expectations and the demands of the legal profession.

Practice reports in this strand will deal with procedures and governance for clinic development, partnership working within universities and beyond, including statutory and voluntary sectors and practical aspects of managing clinical work including attendant issues such as data management. Papers co-authored with partners and stakeholders are particularly welcomed.


Teaching and Learning in Clinic: this strand investigates the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment used to prepare students for and support students during their clinical experience.

Reviewed Articles in this strand will contribute to the wider pedagogic literature, contextualising on-going debates in education within the particular disciplinary and local contexts.  They may contain detailed empirical explorations of the impact of particular learning environments, opportunities or processes. From a policy perspective, some papers may explore the tensions between legal education and preparation for practice as a lawyer. 

Practice reports in this strand will report innovative work, giving clear guidance for other practitioners who may wish to replicate their approach. Reports in this strand will typically include learner perspectives and we encourage co-authored papers with students.


Research and Impact:  this strand will focus on the evidence base for clinical education and will explore the weight of evidence and the knowledge claims. The issues will develop our sense of how secure our conception of the impact of clinic is by giving the rigorous presentation of a range of empirical data a strong critical and epistemological frame. Papers in this strand may therefore have a topic focus from another strand but the balance of the paper will be weighted towards an exploration of the research methods used (in a report of a particular empirical study) or of the balance of approaches to research in CLE (in a review of existing studies).

Reviewed Articles in this strand will engage critically with the tools and methodologies used to investigate clinic and provide evidence about the unique opportunities and limitations afforded by these choices of research design. 

Practice reports in this strand will focus on single methods within on-going investigations of CLE, for example a review of the validity of a questionnaire used to tap into student experiences.

Peer Review Process

Reviewed articles (of up to 8,000 words each) will be blind peer-reviewed by an Editorial Board Member and an external reviewer. Feedback from these reviews will be given to the author by the strand editor. Authors wishing to submit papers as Reviewed Articles will need to remove all identifying details from the paper before submission.

Publication Frequency

The International Journal of Clinical Legal Education publishes three issues per annual volume in Summer, Autumn and Spring issues.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

This journal does not charge APCs or submission charges.

Articles are licenced with a CC BY Attribution 4.0 International Licence. 

You are free to:

  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

Under the following terms:

  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Publication Ethics & Malpractice

The International Journal of Clinical Legal Education is committed to the Core Practices, we serve a diverse community of clinicians and scholars across the globe and wish to provide them with the best possible publication in a transparent manner.

  1. Allegations of misconduct: all allegations of misconduct are referred to the full Editorial Board for review
    1. All allegations, whether from authors, reviewers, readers, whether anonymous or named, will be investigated equally.
    2. The Managing Editor will have responsibility to investigate in the first instance and to provide a prima facie summation firstly for the Complainant, who will have the right to submit any additional material and then all materials submitted to the Board.
      1. Where the conduct of the Managing Editor is the subject of the complaint, this summation role will be taken by another member of the Editorial Board. There will be a designated contact on the website.
    3. The Board will review the prima facie summation in order to determine whether
      1. There is insufficient basis for the complaint to be pursued. In this instance,
        1. The complainant will be notified in writing of the Board’s decision and the complaint will be archived.
      2. There is sufficient basis for the complaint to be pursued. In this instance,
        1. The Board will determine the remedy and make directions for amendment of the online resource, which will include a statement explaining the change and the process undertaken.
        2. The scope, timescale and persons involved in the amendment and statement will be set out in the Board’s decision.
        3. The complainant will be notified in writing of the Board’s decision and the complaint will be archived.
      3. There may be sufficient basis but further investigation is required. In this instance,
        1. The scope, timescale and persons involved in the investigation will be set out in the Board’s decision.
        2. Upon receipt of the new investigative materials the Board will make a final determination of c.i. or c.ii. above and the attendant processes will follow.
  2. Authorship and contributorship: the foundational principle is of collegiality and respect based on a recognition that whilst academic work tends to be rewarded individually, it is often created collaboratively.
    1. If any person has made a significant contribution to the paper they should have an author credit. This includes
      1. Preparation of the manuscript, theory development, literature review, data collection, data analysis
        1. Authors who submit sole-authored papers in which they thank others for such contributions will be invited to reconsider this during the review phase.
      2. This principle is independent of the status of the contributor and applies equally to academic colleagues, students, practice partners, temporary staff and volunteers.
      3. Author credits carry an implicit assumption of collegial equity: author order does not imply greater or lesser ownership
        1. Where it is required for employment, promotion, or academic credit (for example in a Doctorate by Published Works) the proportion of work or details of contribution carried out by each author can be included in the Author description footnote. The Journal will require independent email verification of such statements from all authors.
    2. If any person considers that their work has not been acknowledged in a publication in IJCLE they are encouraged to submit a complaint (s.3, below). If the complaint is upheld, a correction with full explanation of the complaints and investigation process will be posted on the site.
  3. Complaints and Appeals: the process must be clear, accessible and manageable.
    1. If copyediting or other errors are spotted, readers and authors are invited to report them in an email to the Managing Editor. Corrections will be actioned as soon as possible and usually within 20 business days.
    2. If issues of process in submission or review are experienced by authors, they are invited to report them in an email to the Managing Editor.  These will be dealt with as soon as possible and usually within 20 business days.
      1. As the peer-review process is double-blind, direct communication between or identification of authors and reviewers will not take place. Communications and recommendations will be mediated by the Managing Editor/ Editorial Board.
      2. Where there are explicit allegations of misconduct and/or the complaint is not resolved to both parties’ satisfaction, the processes under S.1 (above) will come into action.
    3. Appeals to decisions of the Managing Editor can be sent to the designated Board Member (S.1.b.i, above).
    4. All complaints and appeals will be archived.
  4. Conflicts of Interest: the principle of transparency extends from the journal and editors to authors and reviewers of the journal. It is expected that we all consider our complex positions of privilege, tradition and allegiance and be reflective about the impact they may have on our work.
    1. Authors are required to include any commercial or professional interest that is pertinent to the content of their manuscript. Additionally, they are encouraged to include in their manuscripts a consideration of their position and how this shapes their scholarship. This exploration will typically be scaffolded in the review process.
    2. Reviewers are required to notify the Managing or Issue Editor of any commercial or professional interest that is pertinent to the content of the manuscript under review.  Additionally, they are encouraged to consider how their position impacts on the review process. In practice, this can be initiated by: the Author in feedback or questions to the Editor; the Editor in response to the review content or (as is most frequent) reflective questions from the Reviewer to the Editor. This is typically scaffolded through email correspondence with the Editor.
    3. Failure to report conflicts of interest will be dealt with using the processes under S.1 (above).
  5. Data and Reproducibility: as an Open Access publication, IJCLE encourages data transparency. Empirical studies are required to give minimal data about participants, measures and outcomes that would render manuscripts eligible for systematic review (and where appropriate, meta-analysis).
    1. The location and accessibility of all data must be clearly stated in the manuscript.
    2. Rights and permissions to use of all data and images must be sought and confirmed by the authors prior to submission.
      1. Where data or images are identified as having been used without permissions the owners are encouraged to report as set out in S.1 above.
  6. Ethical Oversight: the principles of respect and equitable treatment require that authors and editors consider the experience of all parties to the publication. Mere adherence to institutional or disciplinary rules are insufficient.
    1. Consideration must be given in the manuscript to
      1. The transparency of the ethical process – in sufficient detail to reflect the complexity of permissions sought and given;
      2. The limits of the ethical process – in disciplinary and practice communities anonymity is impossible and confidentiality often possible to decode;
      3. The changing nature of vulnerability and the difficulties of enduring consent – a good faith position must take account of changes in capacity, circumstance and reputational risk.
    2. The review process will typically scaffold authors’ exploration of these points.
    3. Where any person considers that they or another person have been given insufficient ethical protection in relation to a publication in IJCLE, they are encouraged to report as set out in S.1 above.
  7. Intellectual Property: as an Open Access journal, we do not charge authors or readers. We require authors and readers to correctly cite and/or link to the journal. Reviewed articles and Practice reports must be original, other materials reproduced from conferences and events are clearly identified by the Editor as such.
    1. Authors must ensure that
      1. The manuscripts submitted for review are original and not under review elsewhere
      2. Subsequent use of material published in the IJCLE is correctly cited and referenced.
  8. Journal Management: all our procedures are clearly set out on the website, which is managed by the University Library Publications team at Northumbria University using OJS free software. All editors, board members and reviewers contribute their time as part of the broad academic compact. No fees or expenses are paid. Board membership is reviewed bi-annually, typically around the time of the conference.
  9. Peer review processes: we operate a double blind peer review process for Reviewed articles and Practice reports. Other pieces are typically reviewed by one reviewer drawn from the editorial team.
    1. Two reviewers are selected for the first round of reviews. The Editor takes into consideration the stated interests of the review college and may take steps to recruit a new reviewer. The review team should have an international balance to reflect the readership.
    2. The review form makes it clear to the reviewer which criteria should be included in the review. Reviewers are encouraged to be formative and specific in their feedback.
    3. All reviews are screened by the Editor prior to release, to ensure clarity and to provide direction to the author.
      1. If there is a lack of clarity or a perceived breach of academic courtesy, the Editor will email the reviewer and attempt to resolve this before releasing the feedback to the author
      2. If the issue cannot be resolved, a new reviewer will be appointed.
  10. Post publication discussions and Corrections: the journal welcomes responses to published papers.  We do not currently host a discussion facility. Corrections are dealt with using the process at 3.a. above.

The Clinical Legal Education Podcast

We are delighted to bring you The Clinical Legal Education Podcast. In our podcast, you can listen to a range of clinician and student voices about their experience of clinical legal education. Episodes include interviews with leading clinicians, student roundtables, and discussions about clinic research. Each episode is fully transcribed. You can find out more about the podcast, listen to the episodes, and access the transcripts here: https://clinicallegaleducationpodcast.wordpress.com/

Journal History

Northumbria University School of Law currently publishes the International Journal of Clinical Legal Education bi-annually. This is the only international peer reviewed law journal devoted to the innovative field of clinical legal education. There is a well-established editorial board made up of highly experienced members from the clinical legal education community worldwide.  This journal has organised an annual international legal education conference for the past 10 years which has been hosted in South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, England and Spain. Delegates from more than 50 countries have participated in these conferences. Papers from these annual conferences together with submissions from clinicians worldwide provide highly relevant and topical material for what has over the last decade become a respected resource in the field of clinical legal education.  There is an opportunity now to take stock of the work in the field and to move forward with a more structured exploration of clinical legal education.

We intend that by moving the journal online, we will secure an increased profile and readership for the journal, lending more impact both for individual papers and for the CLE work more broadly.  It will also allow us to have a more streamlined and transparent review process and easy access to our archive. Finally the move online gives us the opportunity to change the format of the journal, by using multi-media content and by publishing more frequently with themed issues.