Successes and future plans of the regional project “Free Legal Support for Small Business”

Successes and future plans of the regional project “Free Legal Support for Small Business”

In November 2019, four law clinics joined forces to launch the project “Free Legal Support for Small Business”.

The essence of the regional project is to provide consultants of legal clinics participating in the initiative of free legal assistance to representatives of small business, in particular: assistance in business registration; advising on the most optimal form of taxation; drafting of personnel documents, contracts, etc.; carrying out legal “audit” of documents for compliance with the future requirements of the legislation; drawing up of check-lists for checks; providing advice, clarification of legislation; preparation of procedural documents and court representation, etc.

The project is being implemented by:

  • Legal Clinic “Pro Bono” of National University of Ostroh Academy,
  • Legal Clinic “Liberta” Ternopil National Economic University,
  • Lega Clinic Leonid Yuzkov Khmelnytskyi University of Management and Law,
  • Legal Clinic Ukrainian Catholic University, which in its specialization will provide legal assistance to veterans wishing to start their own business.

During the two months of the project implementation a number of activities have already been carried out:

1. Training courses were held at the Legal Clinic “Pro Bono” of National University of Ostroh Academy, which covered various aspects of small business consulting.

2. Legal Clinic “Liberta” Ternopil National Economic University

Students of Legal Clinic “Liberta” have increased their competencies in small business legal support in Ukraine.

3. Lega Clinic Leonid Yuzkov Khmelnytskyi University of Management and Law

A somewhat different format of training for students was chosen in Khmelnytsky.

4. Legal Clinic Ukrainian Catholic University

At Legal Clinic of UCU Law School started a series of small business consulting client trainings with Natalia Vasylechko, a lawyer, partner and head of IT practice Attorneys at law “BK partners”.

The training is only the beginning of the implementation of the regional project “Development of regional leadership and establishing a model of coordination of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine”, which is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation. Next – look for our success stories, helpful advice and practical tips on how to develop this line of law clinics.

Author – Khrystyna Kovtsun, manager of the Legal Clinic of the UKU Law School

0̶0̶7̶ Mediation Agents: Their Successes and Project Achievements

0̶0̶7̶ Mediation Agents: Their Successes and Project Achievements

 «I have a dream…»

Martin Luther King

Project objective:

  • to teach students and academics of legal clinics the basics of mediation;
  • create and develop a regional network of mediation promotion agents based on legal clinics;
  • to establish horizontal cooperation of legal clinics, as well as cooperation of legal clinics with mediation and human rights NGOs and professional mediators.

Project executors:

  • legal clinic of Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University;
  • the Legal Clinic of King Danylo University;
  • the legal clinic “Femida” of the PF NAIA;
  • the legal clinic V. Stefanyk. PNU.

Project activities began with an organizational meeting at the Legal Clinic of King Danylo University (Ivano-Frankivsk), during which a project roadmap was agreed.

Particularly noteworthy is the organized by the project team of the study of the level of legal and mediation awareness of the population of Chernivtsi and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

 

 

Some statistics:

67 % respondents know about the activities of legal clinics;

54 % respondents DO NOT know what mediation is;

52 % respondents want to resolve the dispute without going to court.

Here are some videos from the student consultant survey:

 

The project team is actively working towards establishing collaboration with Frankivsk mediators, prepearing for students and academis of legal clinics involved in the project training in basic mediation skills, to develop, on the basis of data from legal clinics, a regional network of mediation promotion agents based on their activities , principles, practices for a renewed approach to dispute resolution.

2020 promises to be saturated with events and results, so keep an eye on the project; hashtag: #ЮК_агенти_медіації

“Mediation is not just a dream, it’s a lifestyle,” project manager Lidiya Nesterenko summed up.

The material was prepared by Lidiya Nesterenko and Iryna Romaniuk

Networking experience of legal clinics in Kyiv region: influences and perspectives

Networking experience of legal clinics in Kyiv region: influences and perspectives

Since October 2019, 6 legal clinics in the Capital Region have joined their forces to introduce innovative and effective law-education topics to different target audiences on equally relevant legal topics. Two regional initiatives that are part of the project “Developing Regional Leadership and Establishing a Coordination Model of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine”, implemented by the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation.

In this article, we analyze the key achievements of the regional project “Strengthening Regional and Cross-Sectoral Cooperation of Legal Clinics of Kyiv Region”, which includes the autonomous initiative “Innovative Teaching Methods in Law Education Activities of Legal CLinics for Secondary School Students” with a reinforced component of tax education.

The project is implemented by the Legal Clinic “Law and Practice” of Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University.

The project co-executors are:

  1. The Educational and Practical Laboratory “Legal Clinic” of the ESI National University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine – implements the component of the initiative entitled “Innovative Teaching Methods in Law Education Activities of Legal CLinics for Secondary School Students”
  2. Legal Clinic of the Academy of Advocacy of Ukraine
  3. Legal Clinic “Astreya” of Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University
  4. Educational laboratory “Legal clinic” of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
  5. Legal Clinic “Protection and Justice” of the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine

What has been achieved in two and a half months?

Following the completion of the preparatory phase, which took place in October, on November 4, 2019, a Workshop for Legal Clinics was held at the PRAVOCATOR Law Club in Kyiv, presenting the purpose and objectives of the project at the national level.

Clinics’ students from seven legal clinics of the central region of Ukraine, accademics of faculty of law and linguistics, well-known lawyers together with partners and experts of the clinical and human rights protection movement worked on the ideas for further development of “Maps of interaction of legal clinics with stakeholders”. Finally, this month the legal clinic “Law and Practice” of Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University developed and presented such a map.

An important area of ​​the project is the networking of legal clinics in the Kiev region. The first peer-to-peer networking event was a visit to exchange experience at the Legal Clinic of the Academy of Advocacy of Ukraine.

 

The next was a study visit of the exchange of experience to the Educational and Practical Laboratory “Legal Clinic” of the ESI National University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine in Irpin.

In addition, as part of the legal education component, legal clinics entered into cooperative agreements with Irpin’ schools and monitored students’ primary tax knowledge through polls. The monitoring will allow the development of training material that will meet the real needs and equal tax awareness of the target audience.

What’s next?

  • Completion of the “Clinician Advisor” to help build constructive communication, how to behave in non-standard situations, and what to look for when working with special clients.
  • Development by 5 teams (representatives of legal clinics of Kyiv region, project participants) methodical developments for conducting training for 9th grade students on the topic of “Taxes is easy” and submit it to the competition.
  • For students of eight schools of Kyiv region conducting trainings on methodical instructions, which was determined as the best.
  • Conducting three brain-rings among the students of three schools in Kyiv, two schools in Bila Tserkva and three Irpin schools participating in the training.

The project participants are convinced that this initiative provided an opportunity to unite the legal clinical community and outline the opportunities of legal clinics, which will greatly improve its organizational development.

 

Material was prepared by Mariia Tsypiashchuk based on information by Olga Nastina, Anna Bondareva

Photo: Legal Clinics “Law and Practice” of BNAU, NUSFSU

Development of regional leadership as a key to sustainable development of the legal clinic network

Development of regional leadership as a key to sustainable development of the legal clinic network

The idea of ​​developing regional cooperation and enhancing the capacity of legal clinics is not new. In one form or another it has been discussed for the last five years. However, further talk did not go. Heads of he most active ALCU legal clinics regularly attended annual forums but, returning to their daily routine, forgot about regional leadership until the next meeting.

After the successful implementation of the Project “Institutional Capacity Building of the Association / Network of Legal Clinics of Ukraine” (in partnership with the Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation), we realized two things: the first – we are capable of more, the second – the development of the network is impossible without strengthening the capacity of the legal clinics themselves. As a result, the development of regional leadership in the network of legal clinics has become one of the main priorities of the Association’s development.

The first step in the search for future leaders of the legal clinical movement was the First Ukrainian-Polish School for Academics of Legal Clinics, held in June 2019 in Warsaw. The participants of the School discussed in detail and openly the vision of regional cooperation development and possible problems and presented their own project initiatives. For the first time in many years, besides the desire to develop a legal clinical movement in the regions, we have received specific proposals and projects from people interested and motivated to implement them. What else is needed? Financing!

The implementation of the project allowed to hold a competition and provided funding for three projects, which, in our opinion, will allow cooperation between legal clinics and enhance their ability to independently search and implement projects.

The project “Strengthening of Regional and Cross-Sectoral Cooperation of Legal Clinics of Kyiv Region” is implemented by the Legal Clinic “Law and Practice” of Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University in cooperation with the LC of University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine and the LC of Academy of Advocacy of Ukraine.

The project has two strategic goals. The first is to analyze the stakeholders and their interests, to explore the Ukrainian market of legal aid providers.

The second goal of the project was to develop the skills of legal clinic students in the organization of law classes and increase the financial literacy of school youth.

The project “Legal clinics – agents for promoting mediation as a way of resolving disputes” is implemented by the Legal Clinic of Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University in cooperation with the LC of King Danylo University, LC of Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University and LC “Femida” of the Precarpathian Faculty of the National Academy of Internal Affairs.

Can legal clinics settle disputes through mediation? Yes, they can – the authors of the project are convinced. The main thing is to teach the students-consultants to convey the benefits of mediation and to convince the client of its effectiveness. LC students themselves need to know the basics of mediation and promote mediation to the general public. Accordingly, the purpose of the project is to create and develop, on the basis of legal clinics, a regional network of mediation promotion agents.

The project “Free Legal Aid for Small Business” is being implemented by the Legal Clinic “Pro Bono” of National University of Ostroh Academy, in collaboration with the Ukrainian Catholic University, LC of leonid Yuzkov Khmelnytskyi University of Management and Law, and LC “Liberta” Ternopil National Economic University.

This project is an attempt to go beyond and allow students to work with a whole new category of cases. The essence of the project is to provide consultants of participating in the initiative of free legal assistance legal clinics to the representatives of small business and the opportunity to acquire complex knowledge and experience in the field, which they would come across only at work.

By:

Yulia Lomzets, Executive Director of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine

2020 Client Consultation Competition: New Challenges and Victories

2020 Client Consultation Competition: New Challenges and Victories

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:

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

ALCU monitoring as inspiration for new achievements of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs Legal Clinic

ALCU monitoring as inspiration for new achievements of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs Legal Clinic

It has been proven that the legal clinic is the most effective form of legal education for obtaining law skills. The maximum efficiency of a legal clinic will be provided on the condition of its institutional capacity. Quality marks and providing recommendations for improving the work of legal clinics are effectively provided by the monitoring conducted by the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine.

October 22-25, 2019, KhNUIA Law Clinic hosted a monitoring group of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine, which consisted of: Andrii Halai – Head of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine, Kateryna Datsko – Dean of the Law Faculty, Head of the Law Clinic of KNEU, Olga Osinskaya – State Expert on Legal Education of the Directorate for Human Rights, Access to Justice and Legal Awareness of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, Nina Reshetar – Representative of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine.

More about the work of the monitoring group:

The Law Clinic of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs was established in 2012, although its history begins in 2006. Today she works at Faculty № 6 (for student preparation).

Three days allowed to evaluate the organizational, educational, human rights and educational direction of the work of the Legal Clinic of KhNUIA. We note that the legal clinic has a sufficient level of material support and prospects for development. The priority areas that need the most attention right now are: specifying and sharing responsibilities between legal clinic staff (academics, students) and establishing a regular own online representation of the law clinic.

The peculiarity of this monitoring was the information-rich press conference at the Kharkiv Press Club, which was attended by local mass media, representatives of public organizations and the city community. The press event showed the community’s interest in the activities of the Law Clinic of the National University of Internal Affairs, which shows the possibilities for establishing effective cooperation and integration into the local communities.

Monitoring results:

We are convinced that the monitoring and recommendations will contribute to positive institutional changes in the Legal Clinic of KhNUIA while presenting the results of the evaluation of the legal clinic:

The monitoring was financially supported by the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine.

FLA Providers unite on the information platform “Legal Space”

FLA Providers unite on the  information platform “Legal Space”

On July 9, 2019, representatives of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine took part in the Second working meeting of FLA Stakeholders on Strategic Development of the Information and Analytical Portal ‘Legal Space’. The event is part of the process of reconciling the concept of restarting the already known information platform – the portal “Legal space”.

This resource was mainly aimed at individuals who directly needed legal information or advice. The idea now is to reorient its target audience on the legal aid providers and create a single information and analytical platform for all FLA providers and stakeholders in Ukraine.

It will not only give possibility for each provider to be high-quality and accessible in the information space, but it will also become a source of a stable expert exchange and, what is most importantly, will help to increase access to justice in Ukraine and abroad.

It will be much easier to understand for citizens who need legal aid where and how they will be able to get a legal assistance they need, since the portal contains clear and comprehensive information about the specialization of a legal aid provider, his contacts and so on.

The meeting was started by Natalia Bimbirayte, director of the IRC “Legal space”, who talked about the concept of reforming the portal, the main directions and expected format of its functioning, as well as the results of the first working meeting that took place several weeks earlier.

With the help of the facilitator Ruslan Baktiyev, the participants of the event, within three hours worked in groups and in joint discussions on what content of the portal could be useful and necessary for the target groups of this source, and also considered portal navigation issues and other related issues.

Moreover, except ALCU, representatives of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the Legal Development Network, the Association of Women’s Lawyers of Ukraine “JurFem”, the NGO “Legal Hundred”, the Center for Human Rights “Change”, the Human Rights Directorate of access to justice and legal awareness and, of course, the Legal Information Resource Center “Legal Space” presented. Also at the meeting was Olga Galchenko, Coordinator of the Human Rights and Justice Program of the International Renaissance Foundation, supported by the project as a whole.

We hope that this necessary and meaningful initiative will be implemented in the near future and the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine is extremely pleased to be part of this process.

Photo credit: Natalia Bimbirayte, Maria Tsypiashchuk

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