Legal Client Counseling for Sharia Law Students: An Innovative Approach toward Increasing Professionalism in Sharia Counseling

  •  Mohd Samuri    
  •  Norazla Wahab    
  •  Zuliza Kusrin    
  •  Mohd Muda    
  •  Norhoneydayatie Manap    


One of the issues that often circulates among newly recruited Sharia lawyers is the lack of the required capability or aptitude to be a Sharia counsel, especially when conducting legal counseling with clients. The Department of Sharia law, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), must play an important role in preparing its graduates with a variety of skills, among them being client counseling. In relation to this, a client counseling training program had been introduced for the first for Year 3 students of the Department of Sharia Law in 2011/2012 Academic Year who were taking the course Comparative Civil Law. This research is aimed at viewing the perception of the Sharia students towards the client counseling program that they had taken, and the implication of the said course on their legal couseling skills. For the purpose of this research, semi-structured and in-depth interviews were conducted with seven (7) students who had graduated in 2012 and are currently in the process of completing their chambering at their respective law firms. This research had found that the client couseling program taught to these former students had provided them with both benefit and early exposure to them, and simultaneously increased their legal couseling skills. This research proposes that client counseling is included as a form of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in all comparative law subjects at the Department of Sharia Law as an innovation to the subject-matter which encourages more graduates to pursue professions such as that of Sharia lawyers.

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