Integration Workshop for Legal Clinics by ALCU: Expanding the Capabilities of Legal Clinics for Effective Change
Integration Workshop for Legal Clinics by ALCU: Expanding the Capabilities of Legal Clinics for Effective Change
During late September – the beginning of November 2023, Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine held an Integration Workshop for legal clinics. This workshop, which consisted of two online webinars, a practical part and a final reflection session, became a source of inspiration and training for representatives of the legal clinical community. The workshop brought together managers and staff from legal clinics across Ukraine and provided an opportunity to delve into various aspects of their work.

“On August 25, during the annual Congress of ALCU, several participants expressed a request for introductory training on the work of law clinics. This was particularly relevant for those just starting or recently joining the legal clinical movement. We decided to conduct this basic training, considering important aspects. Firstly, we included a practical aspect to reinforce the theoretical part, applying the basic principle of ‘learning by teaching’ for legal clinics. Secondly, we considered the busy schedules of our colleagues and organized a measured pace of study. Thirdly, we held it in time for the implementation of tools and practices for the current school year. Lastly, we aimed to comprehensively cover the main areas of law clinic work, introduce resources, opportunities for staff and students, and discuss international cooperation,” – shared Mariia Tsypiashchuk, coordinator of the Integration Workshop and a member of the ALCU Board.

Over two days, on September 28 and 29, ALCU experts conducted two-hour online sessions to share experiences in organizing legal clinic work and explore opportunities offered by ALCU. The workshop covered key aspects of legal clinic work, including regulatory documents, organizational aspects, main work areas, curricula, quality monitoring systems, educational opportunities, and ALCU brand events.

Integration Workshop for Legal Clinics by ALCU: Expanding the Capabilities of Legal Clinics for Effective Change

ALCU Board members presented workshop topics, sharing their extensive experience. Mariia Tsypiashchuk discussed the main documents regulating legal clinic activities in Ukraine, educational opportunities for curators and consultants, organizational resources, and ALCU brand initiatives such as consulting competitions and an anti-corruption quest. Yuliia Matveieva, also head of the Educational Laboratory “Legal Clinic” at the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,” highlighted key legal clinic activities using real-life examples. Liliia Amelicheva, head of the Legal Clinic at Donetsk National University named after V. Stus, shared experiences in record keeping, document management, and technology application. Khrystyna Kovtsun, developer of the Model Syllabus of the legal clinic, provided an overview and explained its implementation. Yuliia Lomzhets, Head of the ALCU Board, co-author of the Tool for assessing the quality of standard activity of legal clinics of Ukraine, explained the purpose and processes of monitoring legal clinics, along with other ALCU initiatives.

“The training was very useful because I received a lot of useful information and improved my knowledge in certain positions,” concluded Victoriia Baklan, a participant from the Legal Studio Training Center and representative of Poltava University of Economics and Trade.

“I would like to thank the ALCU team for the opportunity to participate in your events; it is always interesting and informative! The integration workshop, organized by our legal clinic, was quite interesting and informative for both clinicians and curators’ teachers,” commented Anastasiia Kalytiuk, a workshop participant and head of the Legal Clinic at Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University.

After the workshop, participants had a month to conduct similar training in their own clinics, gathering feedback from colleagues and students. In early November, a final reflection session allowed everyone to share their experiences and impressions. While the journey wasn’t the easiest, with 29 initially registered participants, 11 from nine legal clinics successfully completed the training and received certificates. Considering the feedback from participants, this is deemed a positive outcome.

“Everything was at the highest level! I learned about street law and a lot of new things,” expressed Valeriia Panasiuk after Nataliia Lata’s workshop at the “Center for Legal Protection” State Trade and Economy University.

“This integration workshop became an important link in my professional development. It provided me with new ideas, approaches, and tools that I plan to use in my future practical work at the legal clinic,” commented Ye. Savitska after Iryna Legan’s workshop at the Legal Clinic of the State University “Zhytomyr Polytechnic.”

In total, 177 people, including 149 students and 28 teachers, participated in workshops held by participants in their legal clinics.

Over these two months, we observed the enthusiasm of Ukrainian legal clinics, which was truly inspiring. We hope that the knowledge and skills gained will not only be applied in the daily activities of legal clinics but will also serve as the beginning of innovation and positive transformation. The connections forged between legal clinics are expected to lead to long-term collaboration and strengthened network capacity.

Integration Workshop for Legal Clinics by ALCU: Expanding the Capabilities of Legal Clinics for Effective Change