Street Law Festival? – Why not?
Street Law Festival online? – Easy.
On 21-23 July 2020 more than 150 participants from Ukraine, Poland, Georgia, and the United States of America joined meaningful discussions, webinars, and presentations in the first Ukrainian Festival of Practical Law “Fin $kills”. The event was conducted by the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine with the support of the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST) and devoted to the topic of the protection of financial services consumers and financial literacy.
At the opening, the Festival Head of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine Yuliia Lomzhets commented on the implementation of Street Law in Ukraine.
“Festival is a result of a long journey taken by the Association since the first attempts to introduce Street Law in Ukraine. Presently, legal clinics conduct more than 2000 legal awareness events, the majority of which with the usage of Street Law technique. Over these years we collected significant expert knowledge in the sphere of high-quality and enlightening legal education crowned in Festival contest works. A single fact that Festival involved known Street Law experts from different countries demonstrates the relevance and necessity of what we do”.
On the Street Law technique, its meaning and features, Member of Board of The Association Mariia Tsypischuk briefed:
“Street Law is a very special approach to teaching law in a simple and understandable language using interactive methodology and instruments. As a rule, the target audience of Street Law is schoolchildren. The Programme was firstly introduced in the early 70s in the United States of America, however, the legal clinics in Ukraine are using the Street Law technique over the past 20 years too. Street Law technique defined one of the key vectors and is enshrined in Standards of the Legal Clinics Activity in Ukraine.”
Street Law Festival became a part of events of the project «Interactive Legal Education Street Law» in the frame of Ukrainian School of practical knowledge on access to justice”, co-founder of which is the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine.
The main part of the Festival was a presentation of finalist’s works – the representatives of Ukrainian legal clinics who took part in the contest on creating legal education materials. The participants applied for three nominations:
- Interactive lesson using Street Law technique (compulsory category of the contest)
- Graphic Legal Education (infographics, booklets, posters, тощо)
- Legal Awareness Video (artistic or animated)
Generally, works were presented by 12 legal clinics. 11 legal clinics prepared interactive lessons, 8 – graphic resources of legal education (20 materials), and 4 – submitted videos. You can access mentioned contest works following this link – https://finskills.com.ua/
Works on the topic of the protection of financial services consumers and financial literacy were evaluated by professional contest jury:
- Maryna Kulihina – Senior Communication Specialist of the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST)
- Yurii Sverba – State Expert of the Expert group on the issues of justice-related legal institutions of the Directorate of Justice and Criminal Justice of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine
- Kateryna Yeroshenko – Responsible Secretary of the Ukrainian Access to Justice School of Practice, Programme Coordinator in the Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation
- Andrii Halai – professor, Doctor of Juridical Sciences, Member of Board of the Association of Legal Clinics in Ukraine
- Mariia Tsypiaschuk – professor, attorney, human rights & electoral rights trainer, human rights activist, Member of Board of the Association of Legal Clinics in Ukraine
According to jury evaluation, the winners of the contest on the financial literacy in three nominations were chosen as follows:
§ Nomination “Interactive lesson using the Street Law technique”:
1st Place – Legal Clinic of the Economics and Technology State University
2nd Place – Legal Clinic of the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School
3rd Place – Legal Clinic «Ex aequo et bono» of the Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding
§ Nomination “Graphic Legal Education”:
1st – Legal Clinic of the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School
2nd – Legal Clinic of the Economics and Technology State University
3rd Place – Legal Clinic of the University of Customs and Finance
§ Nomination “Legal Awareness Video”:
1st Place – Legal Clinic of the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School
2nd Place – Legal Clinic «Dovira» of the Sumy National Agrarian University
3rd Place – Legal Clinic «Ex aequo et bono» of the Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding
4th Place – Legal Clinic «Adiutorium» of the Chernihiv Polytechnic National University.
Members of the Economics and Technology State University team commented:
“The topic of financial literacy and financial services customers protection is not easy for the lawyer to perceive. Seems like it is an economical topic, not legal. But work in the Association legal literacy project somehow changed our attitude to the topic. We are thankful for an interesting and professional insight of communication experts upon creating legal literacy materials, achieved experience and tons of emotions because we had an opportunity apart from conducting our webinar to see webinars of other teams. We are grateful the jury for the expert assessment of our works that motivates for further efforts and our development in a legal clinic.”.
Apart from it, participants could vote for the favorited contest works and nominee teams for the viewers’ award.
According to the organizers’ words, all of the contest works will be adapted and used for further application during lessons using the Street Law technique. Some of the works were presented by legal clinics directly during the Festival. The «Fin $kills» School, in particular, was including the series of webinars on financial literacy:
- «Financial lifehacks: how to save for your dream?» – Legal Clinic of the Economics and Technology State University
- «Financial literacy for schoolchildren» – Legal Clinic of the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School
- «Counterfeit money in Ukraine: how to distinguish and verify?» – Legal Clinic of the Donetsk State University of Management
- «Family budget. Revenue and expenses» – Legal Clinic of the University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine
- «Modern expression of fraudulent schemes: what do the social networks hide?» – Legal Clinic «Ex aequo et bono» of the Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding.
Besides getting acquainted with the contest works, the Festival participants were involved in the interesting practical sessions:
- Overview of interactive developments of the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST) presented by Financial Consumer Protection Advisor of the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST) Tetiana Burak
- «Explanations about explanations. How to help state lawyer to write more simple and clearer» from Head of the Department of Strategic analysis of preventing corruption of the NACP Andrii Halai
- “Lifehacks in creating video and infographics introduced by the Communication Coordinator of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine Olena Sabo
- «What you have to remember creating an interactive Street Law lesson?» provided by Professor of Law of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Director of the Center for Advancing Legal Skills Dr. Delaine Swenson (Poland, USA)
- Remote Education technologies from Education Trainer, Director of the Center for Quality Assurance in Higher Education of the National University «Kyiv-Mohyla Academy» Olha Bershadska
- Training on strategic communication for students and schoolchildren conducted by an expert in strategic communication Maryna Hovorukhina.
Concluding, but one of the most important parts of the Festival was the «International Platform Street Law», during which foreign speakers from Georgia and Poland shared their experience and perspective about practical law implementation in legal clinics there. The real discovery was the participation of American colleagues from Street Law, Inc., one of the biggest organizations in this field and in the world. They had not only shared their experience but also gave participants of the Festival opportunity to take part in a short practical law session. Thus, the session included experience sharing in a frame of four presentations:
- Expert potential of legal clinics in the sphere or Street Law. Programme of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine in a frame of the Ukrainian School of practical knowledge, presented by Head of the Association Yuliia Lomzhets
- Street Law practice in Georgia from Project coordinator UNHCR in «Human Rights Georgia», NGO Anna Gudadze
- Street Law practice in Poland and its influence on society and law students shared by President of the Polish Legal Clinics Foundation Dr. Filip Czernicki
- “What believes, knows and does a good citizen”, participants discovered together with Jennifer Whatley, Chief Program Officer of the Street Law, Inc. and Ben Perdue, Manager of International Programs of the Street Law, Inc.
A great bonus to first two days of the Festival was the evening show and discussion of documentaries on human rights from the collection of Docudays UA cinema clubs: «Web Junkie» (Dir. Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia, Israel, USA, 2014) та «Blossom with Tears» (Dir. Huaqing Jin, China, 2012).
Besides the Festival contest and education programmes, the organizers prepared lots of entertainment: morning warm-ups, games, quizzes, and more contests. Students of the Legal Clinic of the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School Viola Martyniuk and Valeria Vatseba presented the authors’ game «You & Finances: who wins?», while the organizers offered Kahoot quiz «What do you know about Street Law?».
Additionally, before the Festival a few contests were announced:
- «Know how to save: TOP of the most useless purchases»
- «The most interesting facts about Street Law»
- «Encrypt the motto» (Legal clinics – an undeniable road to Valhalla)
Еhe winners of which have received nice awards – brand-name portable speakers, eco-bags, other useful souvenirs from the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine.
In the end, Coordinator of the Festival «Fin $kills» Kateryna Datsko highlighted the major Festival achievements:
Again, we opened talented clinicians who are ready to improve their both soft and hard skills despite the quarantine, holidays, or vacation. Thanks to the way you care is a key to future success and a benefit before others. I feel grateful to each contest participant for responsibility and creativity in resolving experienced tasks.
We handled an extensive legal education work in the topic of financial services among participants of the Festival and created the best methodical developments that are available for use and might become a unique feature in the lessons on financial literacy in schools.
We confirmed that Street Law is interesting for students, schoolchildren, community, and organizations with legal education activities not only on a national but on an international level too. So, the chosen direction is the right one and what is left – to keep moving forward in growing own expert potential in Street Law in Ukraine.
Member of Board of the Association Andrii Halai also added: “This Festival is a new product and a new form of Street Law activities among Ukrainian legal clinics. We tried complex and organizational challenges never known before. We conquered it all. Festival was meaningful, fascinating, and entertaining. In the end, it perfectly illustrates the saying – we shall look for opportunities on how to do it, not the reasons why not to do it.”.
The Festival became possible with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development in the frame of the grant, provided by the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST).
Event information partners are Docudays UA Educational Film Clubs on Human Rights Network, popular science magazine Kunsht, The Human Rights Educational House and the Programme “School is the Human Rights territory”, Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”, Charitable Foundation «Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation», “Pro Bono Space” and Free Legal Aid Provision Coordination Center.