On June 17-19 the First Cross-boarder School of Professional Skills for Academics of Legal Clinics took place in Warsaw, where I was very pleased to be a participant.
The main goal, the idea of the school was the development of regional leadership of legal clinics. In brief: after attending school, legal clinics should change their status quo from participants of programs and events which are helded at the regional level to organizers and equal partners in law-education movement.
The Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine, which organized the event, came up to the task comprehensively, and therefore the knowledge gained during the school, allowed to form not a general idea about the “subject, types, goals and tasks” of the clinic activities, but could instill the resolve and confidence that the goal will be achieved in each participant. After all, we have learned about specific practical tools that can be used in certain situations.
The work was held within 3 blocks.
I. Introduction to the work of legal clinics in Poland.
In general, it can be said that the situation is the same as in Ukraine – varies depending on the clinic.
In particular, we learned that:
☑ Clinics in larger universities have a division into sections by branch of law. At the University of Warsaw they are 12
☑ LC of University of Warsaw resolves the largest number of cases per year – about 1,000. It is said that the number of cases has declined significantly since the introduction of the system of free legal aid
☑ Staff: Warsaw University has a separate post of secretary, who carries out a preliminary record for consultation. At Lazarus University, an assistant is also employed along with the head – a student who is exempted from tuition fees because of work in the clinic
☑ At the University of Social and Human Sciences, university graduates volunteer in a clinic, they already work, but they help by checking counseling and assisting in interviewing and counseling clients
☑ Material support – always a separate issue. However, the room for client counseling is must-have
☑ After visiting the Lazarus University, It was wanted to renew the Practice of Custody Lawyer (counseling for people in detention). It is good needed practice. And the main thing – the consultants feel grateful (there are pictures drawn by the customers as a gratitude for the help on the photo below).
☑ A particular metal bookcase for storing cases is a mandatory requirement.
☑ All LC of Poland has contracted third party liability insurance contracts for poorly provided legal aid
II. Moreover we talked about motivation and establishing mutually beneficial cooperation with partners – it is very important to understand all available “levers of influence” (in the good sense of these words) and the benefits that you can offer your partner, as well as ways to resolve conflicts (it turns out, sometimes it is useful to even ignore the conflict )
ІІІ. ІІІ The participants developed projects for cooperation of legal clinics for participation in the school, they were presented during the school. Therefore, in the near future, it is to be expected that the Ukrainian community of legal clinics will shake up, the information space with interesting and socially useful initiatives!
The material was prepared by Yulia Khmaruk