Conflict and Freedom to Conduct Legal Clinical Education
Conflict and Freedom to Conduct Legal Clinical Education

The head of the Legal Clinic was fired – the end of plans and hopes?

Typical cases of legal clinic problems include conflicts between and with their bosses. The situation sounds like this – now I am not allowed to do this.

Another person is appointed … We cannot find common ground … It humiliates our own dignity … And so on. My vision is subjective. But it is. So.

Firstly, it’s okay.

Exhale and take it. We all have the right to respect for dignity, self-esteem, freedom of opinion (eg about organizing of legal clinic or your own vision of teaching your own class).

We can argue, for this reason, preferably civilized. This is okay. Unless we are the heads of the faculty or department, then this is probably someone else.

He/she can evaluate, appoint/dismiss us. Become a leader and your decisions also may be dissatisfied. Is not it? Or don’t move your career, take a quiet place and “grow moss on the north side”. Just don’t complain then.

ALCU is trying to regulate this.

Support it. Of course, we, the Association, stand for appointment/dismissal based on a well-founded decision.

It is possible that the Association, as an NGO, will in the future raise publicly the question of the validity of the appointment/dismissal of the heads of legal clinics. Of course, with respect for self-government and freedom of managerial discretion in a law school.

Our point in the draft Regulations on the university’s legal clinic, regarding the competencies of the head of Legal clinic and the need to confirm the competence of all involved academics through professional development. Here he is:

“The head of the law clinic is appointed by decision of the head of the institution of higher education institution, upon the submission of the head of the institute, faculty, etc. The head of the legal clinic must have sufficient legal, managerial and pedagogical competence. The head of the legalclinic may also serve as a curator.”

By the way, some heads of legal clinics opposed this point from time to time. That’s funny. But let’s move on.

And, is there a win-win solution?

The issue of decisions about the activities of the legal clinic is the prerogative of the leaders of the faculty, but freedom of view and creativity in our own courses is more accessible to us (at some methodical discretion of the department). Is it?

Here is the solution. You do not get along with the head of the clinic, but you want to engage in legal clinical education? Implement it to your course (s)! Make them more practical, develop forms of coordinated independent work, including advocacy and law education. Find your own organizational form for such de facto legal clinic, for example through a partnership with the public sector. And that’s all, you have another legal clinic in the faculty.

And what is next?

And then do what is convenient for you: unite, disconnect, combine. I think the Association can consider such a legal clinic as an independent, we respect the freedom of the organization.

But act qualitatively – in accordance with our standards.


Author: Andrii Halai

Conflict and Freedom to Conduct Legal Clinical Education