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!