Improving Students’ Practical Abilities in Legal Education: The Perspective of Labor Education


Improving the practical abilities of law students is an important guarantee to meet the social demand for legal talents. The emphasis on professional education in current legal education covers up the differences and shortcomings of students in labor ability and accomplishment, affecting the ability and level of students to provide professional labor and service to the society. Legal education should be integrated with labor education to promote the effective improvement of students’ practical abilities. At present, the development of labor education in law is facing challenges in teachers’ and students’ subjective cognition, curriculum setting and assessment, construction and operation of practical teaching platforms inside and outside the campus. It is urgent to deal with it by improving labor theory education, the combination of professional teaching and labor education, and reforming the operation mechanism of practical platforms.

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Xu, S.Q. (2022) Improving Students’ Practical Abilities in Legal Education: The Perspective of Labor Education. Open Access Library Journal, 9, 1-7. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1108541.

1. Introduction

Law is a vital applied science and social science. Social practice is the source of legal research and the critical object of the law. Chinese legal teaching in universities increasingly emphasizes improving students’ ability to apply knowledge to match students’ ability with the needs of society and the requirements of the rule of law. The law education in the new era should establish the practice teaching concept with the cultivation of students’ practical ability, innovation ability, entrepreneurship ability, and legal thinking ability as the core, use various ways to cultivate the innovation and entrepreneurship ability of law students, and form a “multi-level, three-dimensional, innovative and open” practice teaching mode [1] . At present, China advocates labor education in colleges and universities, emphasizing students’ labor spirit, dedication, and craftsman spirit. Labor education has internal consistency with improving students’ practical ability [2] . The requirement of students’ application ability is mainly from the practical application of professional knowledge, focusing on training students to provide professional services to society and contribute to the development of law. In addition to professional knowledge and skills, general labor skills, labor ability, and labor spirit lay the foundation for professional activities regardless of occupation or task they undertake. Based on the analysis of the relationship between labor education and the improvement of legal practice ability, this paper mainly discusses the problems and main approaches to improve students’ practical ability through labor education [3] . After the introduction, Section 2 discusses the relationship between labor education and law students’ practical abilities The challenges faced by labor education to enhance the practical abilities of law students are analyzed in Section 3 and suggestions are given in Section 4. Some concluding remarks are presented in Section 5.

2. The Relationship between Labor Education and Law Students’ Practical Abilities

Through social production and practical training, labor education aims to cultivate a variety of labor qualities of the educated in a planned and organized way to establish a correct labor view, a positive labor attitude, and master basic labor skills. Labor education is essential for students’ overall development, mainly making students establish valid labor cognition through teaching labor concepts and knowledge [4] . Through labor education, students can develop a sound and independent working personality and have essential labor qualities in interpersonal communication, social communication, cooperation, organization, coordination, and so on. Labor education enables students to establish the concept of labor glory, labor equality, and respect for labor achievements, and establish their close feelings with the working people [5] .

Labor is divided into professional and general labor, which is different in knowledge demand, operation means, application tools, goal orientation, etc. The application process of professional knowledge characterizes professional labor. It achieves specific goals through more complex intellectual activities and more professional labor tools and equipment [6] . Professional labor is the product of the gradual development of the social division of labor. It comes from general labor, but it is different from the latter [7] . Professional labor in modern society often becomes the primary basis for workers to obtain positions and remuneration, while general labor mainly meets workers’ daily lives and basic production needs. Professional labor in law is based on legal knowledge and skills, which is reflected in applying legal knowledge to practice the rule of law. No matter what professional practice contains the basic skills, attitudes, and methods required by general labor, there are differences in specific contents and requirements [8] . Therefore, general labor quality is the premise of professional labor. Without good general labor quality, it is not easy to complete or complete the corresponding professional tasks and requirements with high quality. In general labor, the determination of labor objectives, the formulation of labor plans, the allocation of labor resources, the implementation of the labor process, the supervision of labor process, the evaluation and improvement of labor effect, the integration of labor spirit, the application of labor experience and knowledge all provide the basis for the development of professional labor [9] . Professional labor is based on general labor. The improvement of efficient legal practice ability mainly lies in the emphasis on professional labor [10] . General labor is regarded as tasks students themselves or other institutions such as family and society. Therefore, in the case of significant differences in students’ general labor ability and generally at a low level, only paying attention to professional knowledge and skills training can not fully improve students’ legal practice ability [11] . Based on the existing legal practice teaching, graduates still have many problems in providing professional legal services, including In addition to the differences in students’ practical ability, students’ general labor quality is generally lacking, so it often takes a long time for them to adapt to the corresponding professional occupations.

Moreover, some students think that the existing practical teaching has failed to establish their confidence in engaging in the relevant legal profession, and there are still a lot of cognitive blind spots on the actual legal professional activities. In fact, with the development of the social division of labor, legal professional activities are developing more and more in the direction of refinement, and the requirements for students’ labor details are higher and higher, which also means that the available labor quality often determines the professional labor level of law students. Therefore, the importance of labor education in improving the practical abilities of law students is becoming increasingly prominent [12] .

3. Challenges Faced by Labor Education to Enhance the Practical Abilities of Law Students

Improving law students’ practical abilities is an inevitable requirement to realize their comprehensive development, but there is still a particular gap between law students’ practical abilities training and the social demand. The reform of labor education provides an important opportunity for perfecting the legal practice teaching system, but it also faces challenges in many aspects.

1) As far as subjective cognition is concerned, there is insufficient understanding of the content and significance of labor education itself. In fact, labor concept, labor skills and labor consciousness all can affect students’ habit [13] . Through investigation and interview, some teachers believe that they mainly undertake professional teaching tasks. The main purpose of professors is to impart professional knowledge and focus on students’ mastery and understanding of professional knowledge [14] . Students’ labor ability is often regarded as students’ personal affair, which has little to do with professional learning. Some teachers believe that their families or students should realize students’ labor education through their extracurricular activities or part-time jobs, and schools do not need to invest too much energy. Some teachers believe that labor education is phased, and students’ labor ability and habits have been formed in the earlier education stage. Some teachers believe that the existing practice and production practice activities can meet the needs of students’ labor education, and there is no need to introduce labor education into professional teaching [15] . As far as students are concerned, some students think they already have essential labor ability, so it is not necessary to carry out systematic labor education. Some students believe that they can learn the labor skills they need by themselves or through unit training after they graduate and go to work, and there is no need for special learning at the undergraduate stage. Therefore, from the subjective aspect, both teachers and students question the importance and necessity of labor education and do not pay enough attention to the development of labor education subjectively [16] .

2) In terms of curriculum and assessment, in the traditional experimental curriculum, simulated court, legal practice, and other curriculum and process time curriculum, as well as the curriculum teaching dominated by a large number of general or professional courses, the systematic labor education in and out of class teaching and practical activities are not sustainable, In particular, it ignored the training and assessment of general labor quality in professional practice [17] . The internship process is often uneven, the communication inside and outside the school lacks normality, and the internship activities are superficial and procedural, which fails to give full play to the function of training students’ working ability and comprehensive quality. The intensive curriculum also determines that the time and conditions for developing labor education are difficult to guarantee [18] . In terms of assessment, the process assessment and final assessment follow the aspects of student attendance, daily interaction, mastery of professional knowledge, and professional problem research ability. There is a lack of corresponding standards and assessment forms for investigating students’ labor quality and ability in the corresponding links, which affects the implementation of labor education in professional education and separates professional education from labor education. Students regard daily learning and practical activities as separate components and fail to realize the organic combination of the two in cognition, which hinders students from exercising their labor ability and quality in daily learning and affects teachers’ effective guidance and investigation on students’ labor education [19] .

3) As far as the construction of the practice platform is concerned, there are significant differences in the construction and operation of the platform among universities. Some colleges and universities have established diversified student practice platforms, established a perfect legal professional practice system from teaching, scientific research, social services, professional practice, and other aspects, equipped with a normalized operation mechanism, and have full-time practice instructors, teaching assistants, and part-time off-campus instructors. Others have apparent shortcomings, which is challenging to ensure the practical and effective operation of the practice platform [20] . However, regardless of the construction of the practice platform, the main purpose of the operation of the platform is to train students in the application of professional knowledge, pay attention to the training of students in a simulated or real environment, and make them master the practical operation process and main tasks of relevant industries and affairs in the field of law. Students mainly learn, imitate, and understand through observation and practical operation. This typical operation mode of practice platform reflects the guidance of specialization, but it still ignores students’ labor education content. How labor education can be implemented through the improvement of the operation mode and mechanism of relevant platforms still needs further research and discussion [21] .

4. Paths for Integrating Labor Education into Legal Education

The internal consistency of labor education and practice teaching and the problems faced by the integration of labor education into practice teaching urgently require an appropriate method to realize the organic combination of the two and improve students’ practice ability through the development of labor education [22] . This article suggests three ways to achieve this goal.

1) Perfect the theory teaching of labor education enhances teachers’ and students’ cognition to labor education. The concept of labor education influences the implementation of labor education. Only by fully understanding the connotation, requirement, value, and significance of labor education can the contents and ideas of labor education be implemented in teaching and learning.

2) In the course setting of law, the labor education course should be connected with the introductory course of law. Based on the particularity of the law curriculum, the curriculum system is set up and organically combined with labor education. Classroom teaching is one of the important ways to implement labor education. The curriculum design and teaching scheme design of law significant are the decisive factors affecting the teaching effect.

3) Improve the design and operation of the legal professional practice platform with the concept of labor education. Training path of labor education ability in law practice teaching Schools can set up a unique training platform for innovative talents. To perfect the professional practice teaching platform, we should optimize the practice curriculum system and appropriately increase the training, inspection, and evaluation of students’ basic labor skills.

5. Conclusion

Under the background of the in-depth development of professional legal education in colleges and universities and the increasingly perfect practice teaching of law, labor education as the training of students’ essential labor quality has not received sufficient attention in the past. With the development of labor education in colleges and universities and the shortcomings of law students in essential labor ability and accomplishment in practice, it has become a vital choice to improve the practical abilities of law through the comprehensive combination of labor education and professional education. Based on the investigation and interview of law teachers and students and the investigation of the existing professional courses and practical teaching and platform, this paper analyzes the problems and ways to improve the practical abilities of law students through labor education. The specialization of education and the overall development of students are the key issues facing higher education, and the proposal and implementation of labor education provide an essential opportunity for students to improve their labor ability and basic skills. Integrating professional education and labor education will become a continuing topic. This paper analysis principles and approaches for labour education in a conceptual way, more researches are needed to design detailed arrangements for labor education.


This work is funded by 2021 Undergraduate Education and Teaching Reform Project of Jiangsu Ocean University: The Mode of Integrating Labor Education into Legal Practice Teaching: Knowledge Integration, Resource Coordination, and Knowledge-Practice Combination.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflicts of interest.


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