Centre for Legal Education

How the experiences of medical professional education can help the development of young legal professionals

In terms of professional development, it is often a good idea to turn one’s head to the professions of others to see if lessons can be learned and practice developed that may lead or enhance what we have now. The development of OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examinations) in the medical professions is one such area that has been studied, researched and adapted in legal education. The comparison of medical clinical advice and legal clinical advice is an obvious one to make. Both rely on appropriate questioning by way of forensic analysis of the facts, precise diagnosis of the issues, and the application of knowledge and procedure leading to effective advice.

At the first of a regular series of research seminars being held at the Centre for Legal Education, Nigel Hudson looked at how the experiences of medical professional education can help the development of young legal professionals. He considered the medical education experience, the development of OSCEs and standardised patients, how that compared to the legal education experience and the development of simulated clients.

Within the last year, Nottingham Law School has created a Simulated Client Unit (‘SCU’) led by Professor Paul Maharg and Nigel Hudson, currently consisting of nine trained simulated clients all of whom have considerable experience drawn from many years working with the medical profession. The SCU will shortly test its techniques in a pilot to be run on the distance learning Legal Practice Course. The findings from the pilot will be the subject of a paper that will inform future development of the SCU and its work.

If you would like any further detail of the Simulated Client Unit then please contact Nigel Hudson at nigel.hudson@ntu.ac.uk

Nigel’s slides from the recent research seminar can be viewed here: http://www.slideshare.net/NigelHudson2