Within two days, the legal clinics of Ukraine competed in the National Client Consultation Competition: four teams of semi-finalists will continue their fight already abroad.
On December 6 -7, the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine held quarterfinal rounds of the 2020 National Client Consultation Competition of Legal Clinics. The theme of this year’s competition is “Damage to Property (Civil Law). This includes nuisance, negligence and trespass but excludes Landlord and Tenant Law”.
“The branding events we carry out are very important for the Association. One of the most interesting and the most awaited is the Client Consultation Competition. The Competition is gathering new teams, new formats and it is important to mention that in recent years it has been exclusively in English. It confirms our ability and it proves that we have interesting and organized students of legal clinics”, – said Andriy Halay, the head of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine.
The Client Consultation Competition is a unique competition among Ukrainian legal clinics that models the process of interviewing a client in a law office with the participation of two student advisors (legal clinic participants) who act as lawyers (solicitor, attorney, barrister) and a client whose role performs the guest actor. Interview and consultation were evaluated by judges (experienced lawyers and human rights defenders).
The client’s role was played by invited students who are fluent in English and also US citizens currently in Ukraine under the Peace Corps program.
In addition to the practical tasks, participants of the Competition had an interesting excursion to the National University “Ostroh Academy”, on the basis of which competitions were held.
Legal clinics students were also able to improve their skills by attending workshops:
- “Building of Effective Communication and Media Work” (Olena Sabo, Head of News Content and Regional Infoactivity Development of LC)
- “Transitional Justice Issues” (Oleg Martynenko, Expert of Analytical Direction of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Director of NGO Research Center of Law Enforcement Activity)
- “Difficulties faced by young lawyers at the beginning of their careers” (Maryna Kysloschaeva, lawyer of SBH Law Offices in Ukraine)
Nine teams of legal clinics from different parts of Ukraine took part in the Competition. The finalists were:
- 1st place – Legal Clinic of the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School
- 2nd place – Legal clinic “Pro bono” of the National University “Ostroh Academy”
- 3rd place – Experimental Training Laboratory “Legal Clinic” of the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
- 4th place – Laboratory of Practical Law “Legal Clinic” of the Law Faculty of Lviv Ivan Franko National University
These 4 teams were able to continue their participation in the semifinal and final rounds, which will take place in Poland in late January – early February 2020. The winner of the competition will represent Ukraine at the Brown Mosten International Client Consultation Competition which will be held in the United States of America April 15-18, 2020.
“The Competition gives the opportunity to try yourself in practice. And then, when students come into contact with clients in practice, it will be easier for them to work, more clearly how to build communication, how to try to help, what to look for, and in general this is an experience that many need.” – commented the lawyer of BA “Sisuyev, Bondar and SBH partners” Marina Kysloschayeva.
Competitions have been taking place in Ukraine for the sixth consecutive year, and more than ten times in total. For several decades, this competition has shown its practical value in the world, as it helps participants – future professional lawyers – to improve their skills in practicing law; develop analytical and communication skills in working with the client. Moreover, competitions at the national level support the exchange of experience of qualitative training of lawyers at the international level, where Ukraine has been represented about ten times already.
“I understand that a new generation of attorneys like us should grow, ie human rights defenders, judges, pre-trial investigators. Professionals who can resolve cases with a foreign element and represent the state must grow. And the most important, have a legal education and communication ability. If this is not, there will be no European level of development in the country, and the levels of justice is the level of the state.” – said lawyer Dmytro Komolov.
By the way, Dmytro had the opportunity to try himself at the Competition both as a judge and as a client.
The semifinalists received valuable prizes and awards from the Kyiv Bar Council, the Attorneys Family of Lysenko, the chairman of the All-Ukrainian Trade Union of Advocates of Ukraine, and lawyer Nadiya Korinna.
We would not hold the Client Consultation Competition at such a level if the assistance of volunteers were not coordinated, as well as assistance in the involvement of judges and sponsors by Tatiana Sholkova, a member of the Board of the Association and the head of the legal clinic of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.
Also, the Association of Law Clinics of Ukraine expresses its sincere gratitude to the sponsors, as well as the partners of the Competition Law Firm “Sisuyev, Bondar and SBH Partners”, information partners – the Yurincom-Inter publication and the newspaper “Legal Bulletin of Ukraine”, Human Rights House in Chernihiv.
Author of the material: Olena Sabo