Feeling a Part of International Clinical Legal Community. Ukrainian participation in the 7th ENCLE conference

Feeling a Part of International Clinical Legal Community. Ukrainian participation in the 7th ENCLE conference

The 7th ENCLE & IJCLE Conference was strongly devoted to a question of service quality provided by legal clinics and the need of its standardization and assessment. It was mutually recognized that the experience of Ukrainian legal clinical community inspired the process of drafting the standards within the Erasmus+ STARS project as the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine (ALCU) adopted its Standards of legal clinics operations back in 2014. And it went even further, for in 2017 the Instrument for assessing conformity with the Standards was drafted, piloted and finally approved.

Since then 13 legal clinics have been assessed and 6 of them showed basic level, while 7 meet the Standards. About this and much more Ukrainian delegation which was represented by three Association Board members – Andrii Halai, Yuliia Lomzhets, Mariia Tsypiashchuk and USAID “New Justice” Program legal counselor Ashot Agaiian, was reporting during July 3-5, 2019 at Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia. Legal clinicians and people related to the quality of professional legal education from over 20 countries got together to discuss this conference topic: “Improving the Future: using Clinical Legal Education to educate Lawyers for a Just Society”.

Workshops, lectures, separate and joint panel discussions, case study, and even meditation sessions for developing mindfulness – all this was a part of Conference agenda.

So, first day started with optional workshops on analyzing the draft version of the European Best Practices Standards, as well as parallel presentations related to different aspects of the future lawyers’ education. As mentioned above, Ukrainian experience was recalled many times as an example of effective standardization process. Actually, the Instrument for Assessing the Operations of Legal Clinics and its practical implementations were presented at the panel discussion “Innovative Tools for Legal Clinical Education’s Quality Assessment” during the second Conference day.

Presentations can be downloaded by the links:

Statistics of Legal Clinics in Ukraine

Conference presentation on the Assessment Tool

Many more presentations were available and Ukrainian participants attended most of them. “It was exceptionally interesting to learn about the development of the activities of legal clinics in different countries: legal education in Ireland, training course in Hungary, introduction of standards of activity in Australia” – says Yuliia Lomzhets, the ALCU Executive Director.

Participants had plethora of time to interchange valuable ideas and think over the future joint projects. Head of the Association Board Andrii Halai is convinced: “We are now actively working on promoting international cooperation between Ukrainian legal clinical society and legal clinics from other countries, as well as the ENCLE itself. Due to efforts of the past few years we have a good potential to be quite interesting for the foreign partners”. It was especially pleasant to see colleagues from Poland who participated in a First Cross-Border School of Professional Skills for Legal Clinics Academics, which took place at the University of Warsaw during June 17 to 19.

As academic freedom and educational mobility are growing extensively – questions of uniformity and similar interpreting of basic terms, as well as the goals of legal clinic and its most effective format of operation are becoming even more topical. This process also predeterminates the tendencies of clinical legal education:

  • acknowledgment of the fact that legal clinics must be an integral part of legal professional education;
  • legal clinics tend to work with a real client. At the same time – there are still LCs of different types (litigation, mediation, Street Law clinics) and the LCs who only practice case study and simulation – so these various legal clinics demand various Standards and regulations, as well as ethical rules of operation;
  • there has to be a clear balance of understanding and following the educational goal of legal clinic what leads to the dilemma of obligations for a client v. obligation for a student.

In overall, the whole Conference was a great thing as its organizing Committee put a lot of efforts to make the event satisfying and meaningful. A special charm of ancient but so welcoming Bratislava, amusing atmosphere during the Conference dinner and such a number of like-minded people left a long-term feeling of true involvement and inspiration.

We do hope this inspiration will move us forward and strengthen the role of legal clinics in Ukraine and worldwide.

Participation of Ukrainian delegation in the 7th ENCLE & IJCLE Conference became possible due to the support of the USAID “New Justice” Program, as well as the development of the Instrument for Assessing the Operations of Legal Clinics. Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine also expresses a special gratitude to American professor Ms. Leah Wortham who contributed a great expertise and help for drafting the Instrument.


*Main photo is taken from the official ENCLE website

First Cross-Border School of Professional Skills for Legal Clinical Leaders: How was it

First Cross-Border School of Professional Skills for Legal Clinical Leaders: How was it

The idea to do something qualitatively new, in cooperation with foreign colleagues-friends, and with a reference point for the development of regional initiatives, has arisen for quite some time. However, it was rather difficult to pick up a format that would be both informative, practical, and on the other hand – not too overloaded.

In the end, after lengthy discussions, planning, adaptation and negotiation, 10 participants from the Ukrainian legal clinical community during June 17-19, 2019 took an international internship at the University of Warsaw. They also became acquainted with legal clinics of the University of Lazarus and University of Social Sciences and Humanities, located in Warsaw.

Workshops, presentations of own ideas-projects, participants who were coaches at the same time, development of ideas for further international cooperation – it’s only part of the School’s program. But now everything step by step.

How did the idea come and why is it regional development?

“For the Association, today’s most demanding challenge is the development of an efficient self-governing network of legal clinics capable of independently generating and implementing powerful intentions. Getting the “injection” of knowledge and skills in strategy and project management of legal clinics, direct mentoring in the formation and implementation of joint initiatives – this was the main idea of ​​the School “, – says Andrii Halai, Head of the Association and founder of the idea of ​​the School.

When an approximate understanding of the format was formed, negotiations with the partners, which subsequently supported the initiative, immediately began. As the continuation of last year’s Summer School of Legal Clinics of Ukraine, co-organizers of the School were Ternopil National Economic University and Y.Fedkovich Chernivtsi National University. On the Polish side Warsaw University and the Polish Foundation of Legal Clinics, with which the Association members have been cooperating for many years joined the project. Poland was chosen not by chance – it has one of the most advanced world-wide networks of the legal clinical movement. “Involving network representatives and the combined format of the School has allowed the effect of “all in one”, and one event allowed achieving several effects. This and in such a way we have not yet been taught “, – adds Andrii Halai.

The School gathered the leaders and leaders of six Ukrainian legal clinics from Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University, the University of the State Tax Service of Ukraine, the Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding, the National University of Ostroh Academy, Kryvyi Rih Economic Institute of Kyiv National Economic University, Lviv State University of Internal Affairs and, of course, Ternopil and Chernivtsi partner universities.

Before the training launched, all participants received task to develop a concept of regional projects with the mandatory involvement of at least two other legal clinics and partners from the public and NGO sectors. With the help of experienced Association mentors, the concepts were refined to project ideas ranging from providing legal assistance to small businesses – to financial and tax literacy, the development of regional partnerships of legal clinics, and the creation of remote advisory posts in the remote areas. Every participant presented these ideas on the second day of the School during a panel discussion, which was also attended by Polish colleagues from Krakiw (Pawel Klimek), Lodz (Dr. Przemysław Kubiak) and Lublin (Professor Delaine Swenson). The meaningful discussion gave not only clearer guidelines for finalizing plans but also defined rather concrete ideas for cooperation at the international level as well.

Moreover, on the first day of the School, Ms. Katarzyna Furman, who represented the Warsaw University and actively participated in organizing the whole event, presented the activities of the European Network of Legal Clinics (ENCLE), as she is its Board of Directors member. This network also holds regular events that promote the development of international partnerships and the legal clinical movement in general.

After the presentation, the training part of the School began. It covered the issues of topical management for the head of the legal clinic and effective interaction with other partners. Coaches worked in the joint Polish-Ukrainian teams.

During the third day participants attended two progressive Polish legal clinics and found out about those clinics’ organization, whether and how they are included into curriculum, what cases are taken by the clinic and how they are processed.

No doubt, participants found time for fun and adventures!

Quality Performance Assessment Tool for Legal Clinics in Ukraine

Quality Performance Assessment Tool for Legal Clinics in Ukraine

Quality Performance Assessment Tool for Legal Clinics in Ukraine allows to assess whether and how the legal clinics activity comply with the Standards, which have been approved by the General Assembly of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine in 2014.

Instrument was drafted during the expert meeting of the ALCU Board+ in Oles Honchar Dnipro National University during 12-13 May, 2017.

Pilot monitoring was conducted in Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University Legal Clinic ‘Ad Astra’ and proved its efficiency.

The high quality of this monitoring approach was also tested in the monitoring of the State Secondary Free Legal Aid Centres accessibility, conducted in 2017 with the application of the similar model.

Instrument was drafted with expert and technical support from USAID New Justice Program, Ukrainian Foundation of Legal Aid, International Renaissance Foundation and OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine.

A Team from the UCU School of Law will Represent Ukraine at the Brown-Mosten International Client Consultation Competition Competition in Dubbine

A Team from the UCU School of Law will Represent Ukraine at the Brown-Mosten International Client Consultation Competition Competition in Dubbine

Last weekend was intense for law students of legal clinics as during February 23-24 the National Client Consultation Competition 2019 took place at the National University of Ostroh Academy. The topic of this year’s competition was “Corruption Crimes and Misdemeanours”.

Eleven teams from various legal clinics and from different cities of Ukraine and universities have participated in the two rounds of semifinals: Lviv – Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and UCU Law School; Kyiv – National Academy of Internal Affairs; Ostroh – National University of Ostroh Academy; Vinnytsia – Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University; Dnipro – Dnipropetrovsk State University of Internal Affairs; Sumy – Sumy National Agrarian University; Chernivtsi – Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University ; Ternopil – Ternopil National Economic University; Severodonetsk – Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University. The participants were pre-qualified by their video consultations.

The Competition was held for the first time exclusively in English. Three teams of finalists were selected by the results of two previous rounds. They were representatives of legal clinics of the UCU Law School, the National University of Ostroh Academy and the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. Students took the first, second and third places respectively.

Participants were evaluated by representatives of the USAID New Justice Program (from the American people), international organizations and missions, the Directorate for Human Rights, Access to Justice and Legal Awareness of  Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the advocates union “Juscutum”, other practices and, of course, the representatives of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine.

The finalists were awarded with diplomas, they also received literature and, the winners – a free subscription for a legal newspaper from Yurinkom-Inter Publishing House. Three finalists were chosen by the advocates union “Juscutum” representative who was also a judge in previous rounds, to gain the possibility of internship in this law-firm.

The winners – Iryna Kania and Yurii Shvab, students of the master’s program at the UCU LAw School – shared their impressions: “We were impressed by the Ostroh Academy. We never could think that there is such a university in such a small town. Students were affable and friendly, they helped us every time. Moreover we would like to add a few words about the organization. Volunteers have done a great job. The rooms were perfectly prepared for the competition. Most of judges were true professionals and gave important and useful advice. Actors have played their roles for all hundred percent. Special thanks to the organizers for such a great work done! We will make every effort to present not only the university, but also Ukraine in the international rounds. Thanks again to everyone! ”

We wish the winners new achievements and success in preparation for the Brown Mosten International Client Consultation Competition, which will held during April 3-6, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland!

We also express our gratitude to the organizers, volunteers and judges who have done the impossible by organizing the Competition without any funding.

Mariia Tsypiashchuk, Communication Development Manager of ALCU and the organizer of the Competition, told about her impressions of the event: “Despite the fact that I have been organizing and coordinating the Competittion for the fifth time and the fourth one on the basis of the Ostroh Academy, this year’s competition is associated with the frase ” for the first time”. For the first time, we organized it without attracting any funds, for the first time – and this was my  long-cherished dream – the Competition was held exclusively in English, for the first time we had so many foreign experts who also were judges and fulfilled the role of clients. yet, for the first time, the cases (the situations with which the participants worked) was developed by an international expert, a professor at the Catholic University of Lublin, an American lawyer, Delaine Swenson. We did not even expect such a positive result when planning this year’s Client Consultation Competition in an updated format”.

So, we invite legal clinics from all over Ukraine to try their hand at next year!

A Competition for Training for Public Advisers Is Announced

A Competition for Training for Public Advisers Is Announced

The International Renaissance Foundation, the Coordination Centre for Legal Aid Provision, the Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation, the Legal Development Network and the Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv organize a competition for training for public advisers.

All those who understand the problems of their community, seek change and are ready to work for this purpose can participate in the selection.

The specialized course will include a series of trainings that address issues of security, decentralization, information and financial literacy, the work of government institutions, resource mobilization, the exercise of rights to education, health care, and qualified professionals.

To become a public adviser and to take part in the competition, you need to register with the link https://cutt.ly/1CpE8

More details on participation can be found at the link and on the Facebook page



OSCE in Ukraine: Vacancies for international experts and not only

OSCE in Ukraine: Vacancies for international experts and not only

International Consultant for Mid-Term Project Evaluation is required for an interim analysis of progress in building up cooperation between Ukraine and Moldova on sustainable and integrated water management in the Dniester basin.

The deadline for submitting applications is February 19th.

Vacancies for residents of Ukraine.

The OSCE Project Co-ordinator works to help Ukrainian institutions better mitigate the risks associated with hazardous chemicals. To enhance this work, Project Assistant is needed.

The deadline for submitting applications is February 24.

Active young professionals are invited to compete for the position of the Intern in “Rule of Law” program. Expected duration of the internship, which will begin in April 2019 is 6 months.

The deadline for submitting applications is March 3.

The second competitive selection of participants of “Training for Trainers” on “Soft skills development in a work with vulnerable groups of clients of the FLA system” is announced

The second competitive selection of participants of “Training for Trainers” on “Soft skills development in a work with vulnerable groups of clients of the FLA system” is announced

The Legal Aid Coordination Center in partnership with the project “Affordable and Qualitative Legal Aid in Ukraine” announces the second selection of participants of “Training for Trainers” (TT) on “Soft skills development in a work with vulnerable groups of clients of the FLA system”.

The selected participants will have three-day training for trainers. As a result, they will hold a two-day training “Soft skills development in a work with vulnerable groups of clients of the FLA system” in legal clubs PRAVOKATOR   for lawyers and employees of the SFLA centers involved in the provision of legal aid in all regions of Ukraine.

The conditions for participation and the requirements for candidates can be found at the link.

Victor Pinchuk Foundation will host the 3 rd Ukrainian Lunch during the Munich Conference on Security

Victor Pinchuk Foundation will host the 3 rd Ukrainian Lunch during the Munich Conference on Security

On February 16, 2019, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and the Yalta European Strategy (YES) will host the 3 rd Ukrainian Lunch in Munich atitled “Ukraine 2019 – A Future Choice” organized on the occasion of the Munich Conference. The event will be devoted to discussing Ukraine’s security issues and its implications for Europe and the world order. The discussion will be attended by world and Ukrainian leaders.

Watch the live broadcast of the event at the link.

All details on the site.

Round Table “Language of Education as an Instrument of Integration into Society” will Take Place in Kyiv

Round Table “Language of Education as an Instrument of Integration into Society” will Take Place in Kyiv

At the event, the results of sociological surveys conducted in the Chernivtsi, Zakarpattia and Odessa regions as a part of the project “Promoting Reforms in the Regions” will be made public. As well as representatives of the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting will give their recommendations for educational policy.

Two issues will be discussed during the round table:

  1. Teaching by minority languages ​​in schools is preservation of a national identity or barrier to integration into Ukrainian society?
  2. What are the problems with the implementation of Art. 7 of the Law on Education and the ways of their solution?

The event will be held on Monday, February 18, 2019 in the conference hall of the hotel “ALFAVITO-Kyiv” (Kyiv, Predslavinskaya st. 35D) and will last from 10:00 to 12:00. Registration of participants will begin at 09:30.

Registration for participation is obligatory.

The event is carrying out a project of Promoting Reforms in the regions implemented by the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting and “European Law” with the assistance of the European Union and the International Renaissance Foundation.

All details on the site, as well as on the Facebook event page.

Free Course “Countering and Preventing Bullying (Harassment) in Educational Institutions”

Free Course “Countering and Preventing Bullying (Harassment) in Educational Institutions”

The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation, has prepared a free on-line course “Countering and preventing bullying (harassment) in educational institutions”. The video lectures will be available on the educational platform Prometheus since March. Registration is currently underway.

More information on Facebook.