International Internship: First Cross-border School of Professional Skills for Academics of Legal Clinics

Warsaw hosted the representatives of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine, who initiated and organized the First Cross-border School of Professional Skills for Academics of legal clinics during three days.

The internship was based on the exchange of Ukrainian and Polish experience in the operation and management of the legal clinics network of Poland and Ukraine. The experience of Polish colleagues is impressive, because they succeeded to create a brand of Legal Clinics, which harmoniously fit into the structure of high schools, which train future lawyers.

What are the leaders of the legal clinical movement discussing?

An interesting experience of the work of the best legal clinic of Poland (University of Warsaw), which was presented gracefully by its head Dr. Katarzyna Julia Kowalska, inspired for searching of new ideas and ways to implement them.

Thanks to the representatives of the Polish network of legal clinics, the participants determined that legal clinics occupy a significant place in the system of legal protection and higher legal education in Poland. Interestingly, all legal clinics in Poland have a rating that they publish in the mass media. During three days we have been able to see the practices of the three best law clinics in Warsaw.

A significant emphasis was put on management of the LC, because the manager should be able to find a partnership, develop a strategy and resolve conflicts in the process. Thanks to the experience shared by Delaine Swenson (Poland) and the practical case studies provided by the members of the Association of Ukrainian Legal Clinics, Andrii Halai, Mariia Tsypiashchuk and Julia Lomzhets, we succeed to systematize knowledge and practical experience and find more effective ways to solve problems, which arise during the work of the head of the LC.

The practical training block envisaged the development and presentation of a project of regional development of the network of legal clinics in Ukraine. In this part it was wanted to do everything at once, because it was want to do so much for the development of students and staff of the Legal Clinic at the regional level. Experienced mentors have helped optimize ideas into an effective project that will work for the development of a regional network.

The project which was presented was directed on the legal education of the youth, because the experience of working with high school students in Krivyi Rih during the year showed that young people know but do not understand human rights. It is suggested to unite the legal clinics of the region precisely around solving this problem.

Polish experience proves:

  1. Legal clinics are a basic and effective tool for developing law enforcement skills for future lawyers.
  2. Project activity is an important component of the development of high schools and Legal Clinics in particular, but this should be learned by changing the minds of participants in the educational process.
  3. Our strength is in unification – it is impossible to build a progressive network without cooperation and unification of the efforts of its active and progressive representatives.

“New knowledge, interesting acquaintances and changing of environment always inspire for progress. However, when you understand that the whole team is interested in building effective cooperation and is keen on developing your Legal Clinic, it is already a responsibility!”

The material was prepared by Kateryna Datsko, translated by Anna Myroniuk 

International Internship: First Cross-border School of Professional Skills for Academics of Legal Clinics
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