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Clinical legal education is both more exhilarating and more stressful than "traditional" legal education. It forces students to confront their pre-existing assumptions about the practice of law and the representation of clients (frequently, indigent and marginalized individuals), and it similarly forces them to integrate new doctrine, theory, and practice in a very different way than "regular" law classes demand.

Therapeutic jurisprudence considers the role of the law as a therapeutic agent, and examines all aspects of the legal system in an effort to determine whether it is operating therapeutically or anti-therapeutically, and suggests that legal decision-makers consider the potential impact that legal judgments may have on individuals' well-being.

Therapeutic jurisprudence has several applications to clinical teaching: It (1) improves the teaching of skills, (2) gives clinical teachers a better understanding of the dynamics of clinical relationships, (3) investigates ethical concerns and the effect on lawyering roles, and (4) invigorates the way teachers and students question accepted legal practice.